Last year was a decent reading year for me, but as always I feel there are a few things I could do to make it better. These all seem doable, but would have significant impact.
Read Books I Own
I know a lot of reader identify with this one. My Owned and Unread Bookshelf is approaching the 3 year mark (how long it would take me to read them all if I read nothing else). I have cut back on book purchases over the last few years and become a much better library user, but I haven’t cut out all book buying. Since library books have a due date and I always have library books around, my owned books keep getting pushed back.
This year I’m going to make it a priority to read books I own. If I don’t like them at 25% - DNF and donate!
Quit Buying Books!
Between Kindle sales, BookOutlet and thrift stores, I still accumulate a fair number of new books annually because I have a hard time passing up a deal on a book I have on my (very long) TBR list. I think I’m going to cap my Kindle sale books at one a month MAX and just stay off BookOutlet and out of thrift stores.
Read (at least attempt) longer/harder books
I read Gone With the Wind at twelve. I read The Power of One and Tandia in high school and loved them all. If I look though books I’ve read, even 4-5 years ago I was reading a few chunksters annually and they are books I thoroughly enjoyed and am glad I read: The Stand and 11/22/63, Poisonwood Bible, and The Passage to name a few. But in the last two or three years, the only times I’ve finished a book over 500 pages were later books in YA series. This goal ties in with my first one because I do own quite a few longer books that I just never seem to get to.
My top three priorities (subject to change):
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Roots: the Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Find new ways to use Audiobooks
I went through a ton of audiobooks when I was traveling for work 2014-2016, but now that my commute is down to 20-30 mins (45 on a bad traffic day) I’ve inadvertently cut back on audiobooks and I miss them. My commute is just so short that I feel like I can’t “get into” a book before the ride is over and I don’t always start them up again. I’ve tried listening when cleaning and that doesn’t work for me.
During exercise – works for walking outside, but not anything on a machine indoors. Not enough of a distraction.
During other hobbies that don’t engage all of my brain – puzzles, cross-stitch, etc. I’ve had a little success with this. Just need to make it a habit instead of iPad and TV.
Less Mindless Internet browsing/More Reading
I’d like to better use small amounts of downtime to read 5-10 pages instead of always waiting until I have at least an hour of reading time.
I hate that this still takes planning and effort, but if I don’t make it a priority (and many other readers like me) than neither do publishers.
Less Decision Paralysis
I have a very first world problem in that I have so many book choices sometimes I struggle to pick my next book. This year I'm going to try having a Priority TBR of 10-20 books. I'll update it weekly after every library trip so it will only be books I currently have access too, but then when it's time to pick a book I'll only chose from those titles. Maybe it won't work, but I think narrowing my choices in a given moment will help with decision paralysis.
What about you? Any goals you really want to achieve this year? Any tips for me on accomplishing mine?