How We Fared With Our 2017 Reading Resolutions

_RKR4519.jpg

Michaela

My 2017 resolutions were:

  1. Read 40 books and keep track on Goodreads
  2. Read at least 10 classic novels

I read 12 classic novels and 75 books this year, and all were dutifully tracked on Goodreads. I am shocked I read as many books as I did, honestly. I figured I'd maybe make the 50 book mark, not all the way to 75! I'm also really happy with Goodreads as a tracking method; it was the most convenient way for me to mark the books I read and keep up with what I was currently reading, so I will definitely continue that in 2018. 

This year ended up really being about rediscovering the book world and returning to being a more constant reader after  couple years of not reading as much as I had been previously accustomed to. Being on bookstagram meant I was immersed in what was new and getting great buzz every single day. Combine that with forging relationships with publishers and having early access to new releases meant I was generally more on top of what was coming out this year than I have been in my whole life. I definitely didn't read all the hot new releases, not even close (nobody could ever keep up with that, holy cow), but I read way more of them than I normally would have.

In addition to the new releases I read, I was also reading widely from backlist, non-fiction, indie presses, and of course buddy-reading classics with Rikki. This voracious, eclectic reading style really allowed me to explore and define who I am as a reader right now at age 28, versus what I used to like in my teens/early twenties.

I truthfully didn't read much between 2012-2015 because there was too much life happening. As you'd expect when life gets really intense, those years ended up being hugely transformative for me as a person, and I've found the changes they wrought profoundly affected my taste in books. I am standing here at the end of 2017 looking back at the past 5 years, realizing that I am a wholly different person and reader than I used to be. It's safe to say this past year of exploration in books has been so good for me, on so many levels.

Now that I have a much better handle on my current tastes as a reader, and am keeping one finger on the pulse of the publishing world, I'm planning for 2018 to be one of greater selectivity. I want to only be reading books I know will truly suit me, and to be able to turn away from some of the hyped new releases without FOMO.

Of course there will be some buzzy fresh releases I'm genuinely interested in reading, but I also have at least a few dozen books waiting for me on my own shelves I've been meaning to get to. There is nothing more irritating than finishing a book thinking "oh that was nice!" and then forgetting all about it a week later. I want to read more books that will stick to my insides, and I know there are rows and rows of them waiting patiently on my shelves.

RIKKI

My 2017 resolutions were:

  1. Read 40 books
  2. Read more classics
  3. Read widely

I've always been a book lover and reader, but I've never set a reading goal for myself before this year. I read maybe twelve books in 2016, before The Ardent Biblio was born, and I was totally cool with that. Once we got started and my kids were reading more, I wanted to make reading a much bigger part of my life and I set an end of year goal and finished with about 28 books. This year, I set it to 40, thinking that might be overly ambitious, and was surprised with how much reading I really was able to fit into my days when it became a priority to me. I've surpassed my goal, reading 68 books and am so pleased with my reading life this year. 

From buddy reads with Michaela to buddy reads with my oldest kid, I'm happy to say that I'll be setting the same goal for 2018. I'm not about the quantity I read per say, but the quality of books I read is what I find most important. I read very few books that I didn't enjoy. This past year, I started grad school, we had a baby, and moved for the first time as a family (first time in 9 years for me). I start school again at the beginning of the New Year, so we will see how that affects my reading life again.

Most importantly, I want to continue being selective about the books I purchase and the books I own. I will continue using my local library like crazy, I hope to participate in book clubs again (fell off since baby came along), and author events would be a great addition! Lastly, I want to read books that "I've been meaning to get to," because life is too short to not read things that you feel compelled to read. I read for me and I want to feel good about that all the time, and I want to fill my mind with things that are empowering, beautiful, and full of wisdom.

Happy reading in 2018!