Happy New Year! Let’s hope we break the curse of the 2020s this year. Not just the pandemic, but I’ve been struggling with my reading. Last year I think was the worst, although that’s hard to say because I didn’t track 2020 or much of 2021. I also struggled even in my tracking because many of the books I borrowed from my library or Scribd did not get added to my tracking spreadsheet. I hope to have a post somewhat soon, as in sometime this month, about reading apps. For reasons I’ll get into in that post, I feel this may help with my excuses for forgetting to add, or just not adding books to my tracking.
Total Books Goal
I wanted to reduce my number of owned and unread books by around 1/3. However, after tallying in the books I was gifted for my birthday, holidays, or purchased myself, I would need to read 74 books I own. This is likely not realistic with some other items I am trying to do this year, such as expanding our house garden and finally finishing updating the interior of our home. Plus, many of the books I own are book 1 of trilogies and series. Meaning I likely wouldn’t be able to continue many of these series or trilogies. I also don’t have many audiobooks I haven’t already listened to multiple times. So I’ve decided to go with a somewhat realistic goal of 65 books. If I manage to read this number of books I may increase the goal before the end of the year, but we shall see. I hesitate to make it any higher because many of the books I hope to get to this year are over 500 pages, and will take me a while to get through.
Book Buying Ban
Obviously, I have an issue with owning books and not reading them. Not because I don’t want to read them, but through a combination of lack of time or busy with other things and the only way to sneak in a book is with an audiobook and those are expensive. So then there is the trouble of finding the audiobook available either from my library or Scribd, and I’m learning of other services for audiobooks as well recently. Two I’m likely checking out more thoroughly soon may be Spotify and Speechify. I knew Spotify had audiobooks before, but I wasn’t comfortable with how the files worked on the app and had trouble finding them. It looks like they’ve done some changes at some point over the past year or so and I am just now noticing.
Anyways, before I get too far off track, back to the buying ban. This will not be a full ban, I will still allow myself to buy books. I am going to include gifted books though, in these calculations. So leading up to events like my birthday, I will need to bank some books. I did a 5 book ban before, where I had to read 5 books I owned before I could buy a book. This was not realistic. Bigger books take longer, and I became discouraged and turned to my library and other services for books instead of reading those I owned because I couldn’t get the books I wanted to read or get the books to continue a series. With this in mind, I decided to try for three books. For every three books I own and I read, I can buy a book.
I may or may not count the pre-orders I have already waiting. I haven’t fully decided yet but am leaning toward not counting them as new in terms of this ban. If I count them, I would already be at a six book deficit, and this may be too much. All I really want to accomplish with this ban is to be more cognizant of the books I’m reading and make sure I prioritize the books I own. I don’t want to take this so seriously that I take away the joy of reading which is what happened a bit with my previous five book ban.
Completing a series doesn’t necessarily mean reading the last book if the last book is not available. I just mean to either DNF the series if I’m not enjoying it, or read up to the book of the series most recently published. I did very poorly in trying to complete series in 2022. For example, I started the Furyck Saga by A.E. Rayne at the end of 2021 or early 2022. Of the six books in this finished series, I read only two. In an entire year, I read only two of the six books. I am so furious at myself for this because the Furyck Saga is a series I am enjoying and want very much to continue, I just for some reason kept turning to Scribd, or re-reading other books because the stress of life was getting to me and apparently, one of the things I do to cope, is I re-read books.
I don’t have a specific number of series I’d like to catch up with. I am still developing my series tracker and do not have nearly all the series I want to be reading on the tracker yet so I don’t know a reasonable fraction I would likely be able to accomplish. Catching up on only two series though in 2022, when I have 18 series I really want to start with others I haven’t added yet like the series with City of Brass in it somehow hasn’t made it to the tracker yet. I also haven’t added the In Death series by J.D. Robb, but that’s more because there are over 50 stories in the series currently and it’s still going. I do, however, believe this may be a DNF soon. I’ve read and loved these books so much that I can guess what is going to happen. The next book will be the determination of if I DNF it, or if I continue.
These are my reading goals for 2023. What goals do you have for the year? Or are you going by monthly or quarterly goals? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious to see what you are looking to achieve. Let’s cheer each other on!