New Year’s Resolutions…

So! Last year at this time I set myself some reading resolutions for 2017. Time to see just how badly I did! And then to gird myself anew for the fray… I shall nevah surrendah!

The 2017 Results

Right, you lot! Last year’s display of giggling was totally unseemly. Please try to behave in a more civilised fashion this year. That includes you! Yes, you! Anyone who chuckles will be sent to the Headmaster’s office, is that clear??

1) Cut back on taking freebies for review.

Take no more than 36 books during the year and reduce the total outstanding at year end from 30 to 20, none of which are overdue.

The Result: Hmm! Well, I reached 36 in May, so it’s fair to say that didn’t go so well. The final utterly outrageous total is 88! On the upside, if there is such a thing, the total outstanding is 32 which at least means I’ve read or abandoned almost as many as I’ve received. But 20 of the outstanding ones are overdue. Hmm!

2) A minimum of 12 re-reads.

The result: I succeeded! I succeeded!! 13! I feel so good! I think this may be the first bookish resolution I’ve ever achieved!

3) Reduce the TBR!

a) Reduce the overall total from 181 to 150.

The Result: Yes, well, I think we all know the result of this one. The figure at the end of the year is 215.

b) Read at least 35 books that have been on the TBR since 2015 or earlier.

The Result: I’m actually almost ashamed to admit to this one. I’ve read a paltry 9 of the books that have been on the TBR since 2015 or earlier. 

c) Read at least 50 books that went onto the TBR in 2016.

The Result: And I only managed 26 of the books on the TBR that were left over from 2016. Not good, is it? It’s all the review copies! If I only read 120-ish books a year and I take 80+ review copies, well… even I can do the maths!

4) Read 20 Classics

The Result: Smashed it out of the park! 22, and that doesn’t even include any of the Golden Age crime I’ve been reading. I’m declaring this one a major success!  

5) Other Stuff

I didn’t set targets for these, but aimed to read several from each.

The Result:

Science Fiction – 5
Around the World Challenge – 17
Catch-up books from authors I’ve previously enjoyed – 9
Reading the Russian Revolution – 12

A mixed result but I’m pleased about the Around the World and Russian challenges, so I’m going to call this a success too.

Woohoo! 3 out of 5 achieved! The major problem remains the dreaded review copies and getting to the older stuff on the TBR, but otherwise I’ve done far better than I expected. (Admit it – better than you expected too, you cynic! 😉 )

* * * * *

Resolutions for 2018

Here goes! I’m going to try to be realistic again this year, because I actually quite like succeeding in achieving at least some of my resolutions! But let’s start with the killers… the review copies and the TBR…

1) Cut back on taking freebies for review.

Okay, I’m going to set a target of accepting no more than 48 for review. I’m also setting a target to read at least 48, so my backlog at the end of the year should be no more (and hopefully less) than it is at the end of 2017 – i.e., 32.

2) Reducing the TBR

Yes, I know! But this year I mean it! So, what I’m thinking is if I reduce the backlog of the old stuff that’s hanging around and add less than I read, then it should obviously go down, right? Right?? So my plan is simple…

a) Read at least 72 books that are on the TBR at the end of 2017

b) Buy no more than 36 books during the year *faints*

c) The TBR target for the end of the year will be 170. And the target for the overall figure, TBR plus wishlist, currently standing at a ridiculous 415, will be 360.

3)  The Challenges

That just leaves my ongoing challenges. There are enough books on the existing TBR/wishlist to achieve all of these without adding any more, so this ought to be perfectly feasible, especially since some books will fit into more than one category.

a) Reading the Russian Revolution – 5 books to go. I plan to finish this challenge around April/May.

b) Great American Novel Quest – I’m planning to restart this properly once the Russian challenge is finished, with a low target of just 4 books this year.

c) Classics Club – to stay on track with this, I need to read 24 books this year (and start tackling at least some of the longer ones).

d) Around the World in 80 Books – about halfway through this one and averaging 20 books a year, so that will be this year’s target too.

e) Murder, Mystery, Mayhem – Going for 20 books this year. At that rate, this will be a five year challenge. 

4) Other stuff

I’m not setting targets for anything else, but hope to fit in some more re-reads and do a bit more catching up with authors and series I’ve enjoyed.

Wish me luck!

81 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions…

  1. I have had the same problem with the freebies and if I make one resolution for 2018 it will be to only request books I would have acquired anyway. I have spent all Christmas trying to catch up with what I’ve promised to review and the two which I took on spec have turned out not to be worth reading. I am too old to waste what reading time I have left in that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve tried only requesting ones I would buy, but I just don’t stick to it. But on the whole I much prefer the books from my own list to the review copies from NG, so I don’t know why I keep allowing myself to be sucked in. I have a much better track record with the books I get directly from publishers, because I’m much choosier about which ones I ask for. Hopefully we’ll both exercise more self-control in 2018… 😀


    • Aaarghhhhh! Don’t even suggest such a thing! My only hope of getting through the TBR is with chocolate to keep my strength up! 😉

      Thank you, and you too – it’s all about the quality in the end! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck! I am aiming to get the TBR shelf down to one shelf at some point during the year. I’m going to be more careful with NetGalley books, too. And not take on too many reading challenges – just continue my Iris Murdoch one and possibly read Alan Moore’s Jerusalem along with my husband (hmm).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoy the challenges, but really only ones I set myself, I’m discovering. I think I’m going to avoid joining in with the various challenges that pop up over the year – they just divert me from all the books I’ve wanted to read for ages. And if only I could control my NetGalley addiction a bit better…


  3. You know, FictionFan, I think you should take great pride in the fact that you completed that classic mystery challenge. That took doing! And those re-reads! Fabulous! Those things I consider great successes. The rest? Well, that’s what 2018 resolutions are for. And besides, I’m hardly one to talk about TBRs and such things… Happy reading in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was pleased about the re-reads – I used to love re-reading and have got out of the habit with the easy availability of so many new releases. Haha – whatever challenges I may set, though, I think we can all be sure my TBR won’t be going away any time soon – here’s to another great bookish year! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck!
    I’m just make a resolution to…uhm…read. This last year was still a struggle for me…not sure why I’m not managing to read like I used to…but, at least 2017 was better than the reading drought that was 2016. One book at a time…and it is working.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! 😀

      You’ve had a lot of changes in your life which may well have impacted on your reading, but hopefully you’ll get back in the swing properly next year. I know I semi-joke about all these numbers and challenges, but really it’s all about whether we’re enjoying the book we’re currently reading – if so, then everything else is secondary… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely right (that last bit). Actually, the whole reason my reading went downhill is because I got too caught up in reaching my target on Goodreads. I know it was purely a personal one but I still didn’t want to fail…which I did anyway because I got no joy out of reading. So now, I just read as and when something grabs my attention.
        Have a wonderful New Year and here’s to a 2018 filled with happiness and health and lots of books and movies 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! 😀 Ha – I know. The review copies are the real killers, and yet they’re so hard to resist! Still, too many books is a better problem than too few… 😉

      Happy New Year – here’s hoping it’s a bookishly great one! 😀


    • Thank you – I was surprised myself that I’d actually achieved a couple of my resolutions! A first! 😀 And I’m looking forward to all these challenges for next year – here’s hoping 2018 is the bookiest year yet! 😉


    • Ha – thank you! I fully expected to have failed them all, so imagine my surprise when I discovered I’d actually achieved some – a miracle! 😉 But I do find setting some kind of targets helps me not to get distracted so much by whatever shiny new hyped book comes along… we’ll both do better in 2018, and more importantly hopefully we’ll both have some great reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! 😀 Haha – every year we all say we’re going to be more careful about what books we take for review… and then every year we all fall back into our old habits… But 2018 will be different, I’m certain… 😉


  5. Im not surprised to see you say you are not taking on any new targets – just the set you’ve described are challenging enough! Those free review copies can be the slippery slope can’t they – Net Galley makes it far to easy to request copies. Hence I am pretending that site doesn’t exist so I don’t get tempted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I know! I’m not quite sure how I ended up with all these massive years’ long targets, but I do enjoy them! They don’t leave a lot of reading time for random picks though. NetGalley is wonderful – too wonderful! I think I’m getting better at being choosy, but I still seem to end up requesting stuff and then wondering why… we’ll all do better in 2018, I’m sure… 😉


      • I know how you feel. I tried to hold off from too many reading projects this year but still found I was reading a bit to order. Im still debating whether I want to do two book groups this year since that already means 2 books I am committed to read (and I usually only manage 4 a month) plus invariably I would have to buy them….

        Liked by 1 person

        • I must admit that’s mainly why I steer clear of book groups. I love the idea of them – bookish people gathering together – but I don’t want to commit to reading lots of books that might not have been ones I’d have chosen for myself.


  6. Brilliant and yes, I admit, better than I expected although I had an inkling this time last year that getting to 150 on the TBR was a wild dream. I don’t usually do resolutions but I am going to this year which will be posted before the end of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – that 150 target was a bit optimistic, but this year I’m feeling super determined! Ooh, I’ll be looking forward to seeing yours (and maybe chuckling over them next year… 😉 )


  7. Well, you might not have achieved ALL your 2017 goals, FF, but overall, I’d say you’ve done an amazing job! I think it’s admirable to set goals, but one should never beat oneself up if some of those goals go unmet. There, that’s my justification! As for 2018, it would seem you’re setting even more ambitious goals. Personally, I’ll be happy if I can write The End to this novel of mine — anything else will be icing on a chocolate cake!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha – thank you! 😀 I totally agree – although I set myself all these targets, I don’t really care whether I achieve them or not… they’re just fun to do! *geeky face* Ah, real life goals are different, though – hope the book-writing goes well in the new year! I haven’t set myself any real targets for next year yet – I must mull that over…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lots of successes in there – congratulations! I love that Winston Churchill quote. It’s always exciting when the TBR pile grows to the point of combustion so that sounds like a success to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha – thank you! No-one is more surprised than me that I actually achieved some this year! 😉 Yes, Churchill can always be relied on for a bit of inspiration when required. Hahaha – if my TBR spontaneously combusts, they’ll be able to see the smoke from the space station… 😉


  9. Congratulations! My TBRs have stayed at much the same number for the past few years – but at the end of this year it is higher than ever before. So much for setting a target to read 48 books – I’ve read 24!! It’s all the new books from NetGalley that are to blame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The whole year??? *faints* I thought about having a total book buying ban, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My excuse is I need to buy the books I need for my challenges, and I’m sticking to it! And, well, if one or two others happen to slip past, my conscience will just have to cope with it… Good luck, though! We’ll both achieve our targets next year, I’m certain! Well, almost certain… Well…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I never used to do challenges either, and experience has taught me that the only ones I stick to are the ones I create for myself. But until I can beat that review copy addiction, I have no chance of achieving anything! Except maybe the “Read Far Too Many Books at the Expense of Having an Actual Life” Challenge – at which I appear to be a natural… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like that you have specific numbers for your reading goals; I always write, “read more blabby blah.” I think I shall start working on a big, ambitious number-driven post…. NOW! I’ll tag you in it, too, for being my inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I love reading posts about other people’s targets and plans for the year. (Though I usually end up wanting to do all their challenges too!) I’ve only really set targets for myself for the last couple of years, and though I don’t take it too seriously whether I succeed or fail, I do find they concentrate my mind when I’m choosing which books to buy/request/read. I’m looking forward to your post… 😀


  11. 3/5 is impressive, Fiction Fan. Do not lose heart. And I am glad you are not surrendering. 🙂 You are going to smash all of those goals in 2018. Of course, you will. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha – I won’t! I don’t really mind if I fail at my targets – I mostly do them for fun, but they do concentrate my mind and (maybe) remind me about all the books I already have and want to read before I acquire more. Here’s to another great year of reading for both of us in 2018! 😀


    • Goodness, I hope not! I only read about 120-130 a year! Haha – no, there’s lots of crossovers in my figures, like lots of the backlog of review copies also count as going on the TBR in 2017, and some of the classics will also count towards the Great American Novel Quest and so on. Well, that’s the theory anyway… *rushes off to find abacus for recount*


    • Haha – I fail miserably all the time, but fortunately I don’t really care! 😉 I do find the challenges stop me being quite so butterfly-ish though and make me pick up some of the tougher reads – which often turn out to be the most satisfying…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely love your failure quotes – especially the first one – I’m pretty sure they apply to most of us book bloggers! 🙂
    I think you did pretty well. I’m impressed with your Russian Revolution and Around the World reading!


    • Ha – you can always rely on Churchill for a good quote about almost anything! Thank you – I was pleased overall with how my reading panned out last year. It’s extremely rare for me to stick to a reading plan even vaguely! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you did great and I love how diverse your challenges were. I am particularly impressed by the number of classics you read. I think I have only read one or two, not in 2017, but in my lifetime so far lol. All the best with your goals this year. Happy reading.


    • Thank you! I have enjoyed all my various challenges – they make me range a bit more widely than I usually do. It’s because of the Classics Club that I’ve read so many classics recently – generally speaking I find it too easy to keep leaving them till “later”…


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