2014 has been quite a good reading year for me. I read 80 books, which is 30 more than I had set my Goodreads challenge to, so that’s pretty awesome.
I did however discover something quite alarming recently whilst cleaning and rearranging my shelves and digitalizing my library on libib.com (AMAZING), and that is that I own more unread books than read ones.
And that is not okay.
Let me give you the hard solid numbers:
- I own 688 books in total.
- Of those books 107 are Cookbooks, Textbooks, Dictionaries and all that Jazz.
- Which leaves 581 novels, novellas, plays and the like.
- Of those 581 books I’ve read 286.
- That leaves 295 unread books.
HOLY MOLEY! 😭
I’m not actually ashamed of owning so many unread books since I consider my library a “working” library and not a “trophy” library, but still the number of unread books that are gathering dust on my shelves is frighteningly high.
That’s why I decided to set myself some reading goals for the new year, in hopes of cutting down my TBR. Now I’m not talking about eliminating all my unread books, because I don’t think I want to have only read books on my shelves (also that wish would be incredibly unrealistic given my high number of books I haven’t read yet), but I do want to turn around my ratio of read to unread books.
So my Number 1 Goal of 2015 is to Own More Read Than Unread Books
I will tackle this goal by doing various things. Firstly I’ve set myself a Goodreads challenge again, which is that this year I want to read 65 books. Also the following goals I’ve all set in order to achieve goal #1.
Goal #2: Read 100 Pages Per Day
I either read for hours straight or I don’t read at all. It’s all or nothing and that’s really something I want to change. 100 pages are not a lot for me. It’s basically the equivalent of one hour and there is always one hour available in a day for reading. Also I hope that this will prevent me from falling into reading slumps.
Like I said I either sprint read, or I go months with reading maybe one or two or no books at all and I hope that keeping my reading somewhat consistent will stop me from falling into either extremes.
Of course that doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing marathon reads. There are some read-a-thons I want to take part in (one of them – Bout of Books 12.0 – starting tomorrow – YAY!) this year and some reading challenges (the TBR Pile Challenge for example) so there will be some excessive reading going on. 😉
Goal #3: Read More Diversely
2014 has been a very fantasy and dystopian heavy year for me. It’s also been a year of reading more or less exclusively straight white American authors. And that has to change!
So I have some sub-goals for this section:
- Read at least one book from every genre that I own.
- Read at least 15 books by authors of colour.
- Read at least 15 books by authors, who are not from America.
- Read at least 15 books by Austrian or German authors. Or if the author is a non-German speaking author, read the German translation.
Yeah… I have to set myself a goal for reading in my native language.
THAT’S BECAUSE I HAVE NOT READ A SINGLE BOOK IN THE YEAR 2014 IN MY FIRST LANGUAGE!!!! 😱
I mean – what even?! I’ve only read books exclusively in English. I seriously need to change that, because I find that I’m starting to express myself in writing and reading better in English than my own native tongue and that is not acceptable! I furthermore have no clue about what’s going on in the Austrian literary scene and I want to be more informed about our own authors and their works.
So bring on the German! 👍
Goal #4: Cut The Binge Book Buying
When I started watching a lot of BookTube and especially when I started this blog, I went crazy when buying books. And by crazy I mean C-R-A-Z-Y!
On average I bought around 20 books every month and although I only by bargain and used books, that’s firstly a lot of money (which I don’t really have) and secondly a lot of books (which I’m not reading) so I really need to re-think my book buying habits.
I won’t put myself on a book-buying ban, because I’ve tried that in the past and that horrendously backfired. However I will be more conscious when I’m going to a bookstore or browsing online and I will only buy a book when I’m sure I will immediately want to read it.
Goal #5: Be Okay With Not Wanting To Finish A Book
In the past I’ve always forced myself to finish EVERY book I started, even though I realised in the first couple of pages that I really didn’t like it. I’ve always felt really bad and a bit like a failure when I didn’t finish a book, so no matter how much I hated it I always pushed through.
So this year I’ve decided to give every book 100 pages and if I don’t like it after those 100 pages I will put it aside and not feel guilty about it.
Goal #6: Purge The Bookshelves
This is by far the hardest goal to accomplish for me, because I have a very hard time getting rid of things. Be it clothes or shoes that I haven’t worn, bags I haven’t looked at and jewellery I haven’t bothered to untangle in YEARS!
It’s the same with books. My books are my most prized possessions, so the thought of thinning out the shelves and giving some of them away never even crossed my mind. I got rid of most of my childhood books when I was 14/15 and I’m still pining after them and kicking myself regularly for making that stupid decision.
But I have a lot of books sitting on my shelves that I bought on a whim or in a sale, chucked them in a corner of the bookshelf and never looked at them again. There are some of which I know I will never read, but still I can’t part with them.
I will make this an optional goal, but I will try to overcome my book hoarding tendencies and give away all the books I know I will never touch.
So these are my reading goals and resolutions for 2015. I’ve found two reading challenges that will definitely help me trying to meet my goals. The first one is the Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge and the second is the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. Both of those will force me to go out of my reading comfort zone a lot and I’m really looking forward to a more diverse reading year! I might start doing monthly wrap-ups to see how I get along with them.
Let me know about the goals you’ve set for yourself for this year and whether you’re doing some reading challenges as well. Maybe we can keep each other motivated! 😊
Have a wonderful year reading wonderful books, lovely humans!