Sarah Talks… Reading Goals

January – the first month of a brand new year, a time traditionally filled with people making resolutions, and in many cases promptly breaking them again. The only resolution I’ve managed to ever stick to was one I made never to make another resolution again!

That’s not to say there aren’t things I would like to do this year, in general I’d like to be a bit more organised and planned, I’d like to find time to get to the gym at least once a week and I’d like to drink more water, I think my skin would thank me for it.

But I digress the topic of this blog post is Reading Goals, not New Years Resolutions so what does January mean for book bloggers? Well blogs both near and far will be filled with posts about their reading challenges for the upcoming year, people setting their Goodreads goals and confirming their aims for 2019. Now to be clear this post is by no means a dig at any bloggers doing that, I’ve read some wonderful posts and seen some great looking challenges. In both 2017 and 2018 I set Goodreads targets and signed up to several reading challenges, in 2019 I won’t be and here’s why.

Book Challenges

There are some fantastic challenges around that encourage people to diversify their reading or aim to shine a light on some aspect of the literary world, from Classics to LGBT+ and Own Voices works. Last year I signed up for several including the British Books and Cloak and Dagger challenges but in all honesty I was absolutely terrible at A) actually posting reviews in 2018 and B) remembering to link up when I did. So this year these challenges just aren’t for me.

Monthly TBRs

I went through a period back in 2017 of setting myself a monthly TBR – a number of books I planned to read that month, it’s not something I really did in 2018 and I don’t intend to bring it back in 2019. I always set my TBRs with the best of intentions but sometimes I ended up feeling a little trapped by them even though I’d picked them myself, I felt like I had to read the books on the list before I moved onto anything else, it was a pressure I put on myself and some months it just led to me falling into a bit of a slump because I didn’t feel like reading the books I’d set out to read but felt bad picking up something else.

So 2019 I’ll be reading the books I feel like reading with no pressure to read a specific 10 books in a month. Obviously if I’m lucky enough to read any proofs I’ll aim to read them in time for publication but other than that 2019 will be a year of reading what I want when I want.

The Goodreads Challenge

I set myself a target of 50 books and surpassed it back in 2017 and it felt so so good so in 2018 I upped my target to 60 books and I failed miserably! Now 2018 was not a good reading year for me, according to Goodreads I only read 37 books, it’s possible there’s a couple I forgot to add on but that seems about right. I know there are reasons I didn’t read as much this year, I fell behind with reviews and thought I should catch up before reading any more (that didn’t happen), I started a new job with a much longer commute in the summer and it took me a while to get used to the extra time out of the house, and the very early starts to try and avoid a rush hour commute that was even longer. Even so logging on to Goodreads to change the status of a book and finding my Goodreads challenge telling me I was 5, 10, 20 books behind schedule became rather disheartening! So while in 2019 I still intend to use Goodreads to record the books I’ve read I won’t be setting a target this year.

Book Jar Goals

This is one thing I will be doing in 2019 although it will be happening virtually! Last year I saw a post from Aoife where she talked about popping a euro into a jar for every book she’d finished and I loved the idea, a little savings pot to be spent on treats at the end of the year. I started it with gusto making sure I popped a pound coin after every book but then more and more often I didn’t have any change when I finished a book so increasingly I forgot to add the money – and then when I needed change I raided the jar oops! So for 2019 I’m going digital – I bank with Monzo and their current account lets you set up multiple pots, I’ve got several set up and for 2019 I’ve got regular payments set up to move into them on payday, I can still access the money anytime I want but it doesn’t show in my available to spend amount, I’m going to set up a virtual book jar and transfer a pound across every time I finish a book, additionally I’m going to lock the pot so I can’t access it until Boxing Day – just in time to hit the sales!

However if reading goals work for you here are a couple of great posts where some of my favourite bloggers are talking about their goals for 2019.

Charlotte, Somewhere // Tomes With Tea // Pretty Purple Polka Dots

Will you be setting reading goals for 2019 or will you be avoiding the majority of them like me? Let me know in the comments below!

18 thoughts on “Sarah Talks… Reading Goals

  1. Emma's Library

    Challenges like the ones you’ve mentioned don’t really work for me either. I want to read based on my mood and more often than not, challenges get in the way of that. I’m still doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge which I’ve set to a manageable 50 books, but apart from that it’s all about what I want and feel like reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. goldenbooksgirl

    I’m doing a Goodreads challenge that should be manageable (and I will lower it if needed) but other than that I’ve also decided not to make any concrete goals or resolutions or challenges. Though I still managed to hit most of those I set last year, it turned into a very different year than the one I’d expected and my main plan for 2019 is to enjoy it as much as possible.
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly | Kelly's Rambles

    I’m definitely planning to have a ‘less pressure’ year when it comes to reading. I’ve had a lot on my plate recently and I realised I wasn’t helping myself with so many challenges etc and forcing myself to read certain books. I’ve still set a GR goal but it’s at 52 rather than my usual 100. Last year I read 93 books and setting a goal of 52 feels much more relaxed already for me. I hope you have a great reading year 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah - SWB

      Haha true! I’d still feel pressured to read the books picked though, perhaps even more so as someone else had made the effort to pick them!

      I hope 2019 is full of wonderful books for you!


  4. Hannie

    I’m keeping my Goodreads goal to the bare minimum amount of books I would want to read this year. It really helps me not feel pressured to read short books just to get my numbers higher.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. alison41

    Hello! see my recent post on my blog on exactly the same topic. I love the idea of a book jar! I will be doing the same – great idea! I never have enough money for the books I’m dying to buy and read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The Sunday Post – 6th January 2019 – Sarah Withers Blogs

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