Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Reading Goals

I'm very pleased with how much and what I managed to read in 2016. My main goal was to read one hundred books during the year, which I managed to do for the first time ever: I read 111 books in 2016. Although I can see myself reading even more books in 2017, that is not my goal this year. My Goodreads goal is set to forty books for the year for a few different reasons.

First, in reference to one of my previous posts, I want to focus more on the quality not the quantity of books I read. I want to really connect with and enjoy the books I read instead of just trying to read as many books as possible. Forty seems like a reasonable number in that manner.

Second, my main focus for this year is to reduce the number of unread books I own (my TBR). At the beginning of 2016, my TBR was somewhere around 430 books, but I have continued to both acquire many books and read many owned books throughout the year, as well as giving away around forty books (most of them unread). Now at the beginning of 2017, my TBR is 415 books. My goal is to get that number down to under 300 by the end of the year. I don't intend to actually read one hundred books since I know of quite a few that I will be giving away once I unpack all my books from storage (oh, the joys of moving). My TBR has been in the hundreds for as long as I can remember, and I am starting to feel overwhelmed by it. I have the long-term goal to reduce it to under ten books by 2020.

Third, I want to read some longer classics this year that will take more time to read than the average length of books that I normally read. My goal is to read these three books in 2017: Anna Karenina, Don Quixote, and Jude the Obscure. I have a few more on the list if I can get to them, although reading long classics is a goal secondary to reducing my TBR.

Fourth, I would like to read five church-related books throughout the year (I own quite a few, so this goal pairs with my second goal). These kinds of nonfiction books generally take more time to read than lighthearted fiction novels because they require in-depth study of and pondering on their concepts.

In 2016 I participated in and completed the Around the World in Fifty-Two Books challenge. Although that challenge is continuing in 2017 with a new list, I will not be taking part this year. I found that last year, I mostly just matched the books I was reading with a goal from the challenge without really going out of my way to read books I wouldn't normally read. I think that is the point of the challenge, though, to read out of your comfort zone a little bit. I love reading challenges with different goals like this one, but I think I will put off participating again until my TBR is low enough that I feel I am at a place to venture outside of my own books.

Overall, I am hoping 2017 brings great books and lots of time to read. I believe that my favourite book is still out there waiting to be discovered, and maybe this will be the year that I discover it.

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