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.
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! 😉 )
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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.