Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Reading Goals Review

My first reading goal of 2017 was to focus on the quality over the quantity of books I read, so I set my goal at forty. Halfway through the year, I felt that I could still accomplish that goal while reading more books, so I upped that number to sixty. I managed to read 62 books in 2017, thus completing my first goal.

My second goal was to reduce my owned TBR pile; however, this year I decided to reread a lot of childhood favourites. I didn't intentionally decide this at the beginning of the year; it just happened throughout the year. I reread the Spiderwick Chronicles and the Land of Elyon series. I reread a recent favourite, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I also reread Twilight (which wasn't originally a favourite), and that led me to read the rest of the series for the first time. I've never been a big rereader; in fact, I hardly ever reread books at all, even ones that I love. But this year I guess I just had the deep desire to relive a part of my past, and I am so glad I did. Rereading the Land of Elyon books was such a happy time (that's one of my favourite series of all time). I've learned over the past two years to reach for the books that my heart desires, and it always ends up being a good reading experience because I'm reading what I genuinely want to read. Besides rereading, I also ended up borrowing and thus reading six books from some friends this year.

Because I did a lot of rereading and borrowing, I didn't get to as many of my own unread books this year. At the beginning of 2017, I had 415 books on my TBR. After completely overhauling my bookshelves (click here to see that journey) and reading and acquiring books throughout the year, my TBR now at the start of 2018 is 293 books. That's a huge decrease, but that's also still a huge amount of books to read.

Another factor that prevented me from reading as many of my own books as I wanted to was that I joined NetGalley last year. I ended up requesting and thus completing seven books from NetGalley: The Hour Wasp, All Things New, The End We Start From, Why We Sleep, Reincarnation Blues, The House at 758, and The Ice House. All but one of these books (The End We Start From) I really enjoyed, and I would have never heard of them or picked them up if it wasn't for NetGalley. The only downside to reading these advanced copies is that I didn't read books from my physical TBR during that time.

My third goal was to read three longer classics and to read more classics in general. I wanted to read Anna Karenina, Jude the Obscure, and Don Quixote. I didn't get to Don Quixote, but I did read the other two. I also ended up reading some smaller classics: Black Beauty, Treasure Island, and 1984. I never read any classics while growing up, so I'm trying to expand my mind now by reading a few more every year.

My fourth and last goal I made last year was to read five religious books. This is the only goal I utterly failed doing because I read only one religious book, and even that is stretching it. I read Love That Lasts, which is a book aimed at strengthening marriages for LDS couples. I was hoping to read books with a basis in and study on doctrinal concepts, but I guess those will have to wait for another year.

Overall I am fairly happy with what I managed to read in 2017. I read a lot of books that I really enjoyed, and I had far fewer one- and two-star reads than in 2016. I've learned to let my heart choose what I read next, and that is something I will continue to do in the future.

Check out my top five favourite books of the year here, and if you want to see what my goals are for next year, be sure to check out my 2018 Read-My-Own-Books Challenge.

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