Since my blog is only a few months old (we’re just going to pretend that I didn’t start it a year ago and then ignore it for eight full months before actually posting anything again…), I don’t feel like a full 2017 wrap-up post would be all that useful or interesting. Instead, we’re going to look forward at what I hope will happen for me next year! Here are the 8 goals I hope to achieve in 2018.
1.) Blog Regularly
…This is something that I dropped the ball on almost immediately after starting my blog, and it’s largely because of graduate school. I used NaNoWriMo to help me get into the swing of things, and now I’m much more active on here than I was before November! I want to get to a place where I’m writing AT LEAST 2 posts per week, but in the long run I’d like to be able to post daily or every other day. (I am not pushing myself too hard on more than 2, though — I am still a student through June!)
Also, I’m taking a YA resources class during winter term that will require me to read 15(!) YA books, so I’ll have lots of books to discuss for the first few months of the year!
2.) Stick To My ARC Tracker
I’ve managed to get my hands on a surprising amount of ARCs for being a pretty new blogger (LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program has helped with that, I’ve gotten a few books through NetGalley, and I even got an eARC of Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh while attending LibraryCon Live! as a library student), and last month I made a two-page spread in my project notebook to track titles, release dates, ratings, and where I’ve posted my reviews. The spread looks a little intimidating at the moment because there are quite a few things on the list, but I’m hoping that I can work through that intimidation and stick with the system! I think it will simplify things for me and help me keep track of my to-do list for each ARC. I’m really excited to be reviewing more ARCs next year!
3.) Be More Organized When It Comes to New Releases
In 2017, I preordered more new releases than I ever have before, but it was still only a small number of books. 2018 is looking like it’s going to be an even bigger year for new releases for me — it’s not even January yet and I already have 29 books I want to preorder!
Last night I made a spreadsheet with titles and release dates in order to get a better idea of what all I want to buy, and for most months I want to preorder somewhere between 2 and 4 books. Since I have the spreadsheet to help me keep track of what I’ve ordered, I decided I’m going to preorder books roughly one month ahead of time. This helps me keep from getting overwhelmed, and it also gives me more time to decide whether I really want to have a physical copy of the book or if I’m okay with just having a Kindle copy. And that leads to my next goal…
4.) Be More Selective When Buying Hard Copy Books
I am going to buy more hard copy books next year. It is inevitable. In fact, I already have some hard copy books preordered and shipping to me in January.
I do not have room on my shelves for a lot more books. I don’t even really have enough room on my shelves for the books I already have… The books I have physically should not be capable of fitting on my shelves like they are. I am definitely low on space, and until I move out of my apartment (which isn’t likely going to be for a while still — I like it here, it’s cheap, and I don’t really want to move again until I can buy a house, and that’s DEFINITELY not happening while I’m still in school) I’m not going to have room for new shelves.
I am hoping that next year I will be able to commit to acquiring fewer hard copy books. I know there are a lot of new releases in particular that I want hard copies of, and that’s totally fine — what I want to curb back on is acquiring hard copy books that I am not fully excited about. This is likely going to be hard for me, but I’m going to do my best. I’m hoping that if I limit myself to my book wishlist spreadsheet and the two book subscriptions I’ll have in 2018 (Cemetery Dance grab bags every three months and Shakespeare and Company, Paris, boxes every four months) I’ll have less to worry about when it comes to shelf space.
5.) Read The Books I’ve Already Got
I have a LOT of books I haven’t read yet on my shelves, and now that I’m over the reading slump I had for several years, it’s time to start getting through them! I want a good chunk of my reading this year to be books that I’ve bought but have never read. With my planned preorders listed out, I should be able to better commit to reading what I’ve already got without feeling the need to impulse buy new stuff all the time.
6.) Finish All Of My Borrowed Books
So, the library I volunteered at as a teenager did not have any late fines, and when I was about 19 or 20 I may or may not have taken home a few library books and just never returned them… (Everything is still checked out on paper, so they have no digital system in place to nag me.) Also, I still have two books I borrowed from my mom, three that I borrowed from my brother, and one that I borrowed from my high school history teacher (which I have NOT had since high school, by the way… I only got this one a few years ago…). And I really need to get around to reading them and returning them. That’s a foot of shelf space I could use, right there.
7.) No Rereads (Within Reason)
I reread a lot of books this year for various reasons. There’s nothing wrong with rereading, but it does take time away from me reading books that I’ve had for a while but haven’t read yet, and that’s something that I don’t want to do as much in 2018 as I did in 2017. So, no rereading just to reread for me in 2018. I’ll have lots of time to reread later, but I want to focus on reading new things right now.
One major exception: school. As I mentioned, I’m taking a YA resources class in the winter, and I know right off the bat that I will have to reread 1 or 2 books for it. This is fine. There is a purpose to this. If there is a reason for me rereading something, that’s fine. I just don’t want to spend ALL of my time rereading stuff this year.
8.) Increase My Goodreads Challenge Goal — And Reach It!
In 2017, I’d started off by wanting to read 50 books in a year. Because I’d been reading so little during the previous years, that felt like it might be a bit of a stretch for me at the time I made my goal. Then I broke through my reading slump, and I completed 50 books around midway through the year. I ended up increasing my goal to 100, and as of the time of this post I’ve finished 108 books total.
Because I’m reading more regularly now, I want to challenge myself further and increase this goal. For 2018, I want to read 120 books total. I came close to that this year, and I want to push myself just a little further now that I’m out of my slump. I can do this!
What bookish goals do you have for 2018? What are you most excited about for next year?