2018 Reading Challenges

Earl Grey Editing, 2017 Reading Challenges

If you’ve been following me for even a short time, you probably know I’m a sucker for a reading challenge. Some of the ones in which I participate are seasonal or only run for a short time–such as the Bout of Books challenge which starts today. However, I usually sign up for a couple of year-long challenges, just to keep things interesting.

2017 Challenge Wrap-ups

Regardless of any other challenges I sign up for, I always have a personal reading goal. Last year, it was 100 books. Since I set a personal best of 117 books in 2016, I thought this would still be a bit of a stretch. However, I’d finished 50 books by mid-February, mostly thanks to judging for the 2016 Aurealis Awards. I revised up to 150 and had made 181 by the end of the year.

For the annual Goodreads challenge, I committed to 100 books and logged 177.

Then there was the 2017 Australian Women Writers reading challenge. I committed to reading 25 books and reviewing 15. I read 66 books and reviewed 25, both up on 2016.

Lastly, I had a couple of other small personal challenges. I wanted to take a year off worrying about Mt TBR (not that it was keeping me up at night) so I could feel more free to read whatever I wanted. I committed to making at least one trip to the library every month and reading at least one piece of fan fiction.

I was very successful with my library goal and ended up making at least a couple of trips every month. It helps that my local library is awesome–easy to use and with a great selection in my preferred genres.

I was less successful with the fan fiction. I managed every month except November and December, but it was always a bit of an effort and the pieces I read tended to be on the short side. I suspect romance novels fill the same niche for me as fan fiction does for others. Live and learn.

2018 Challenges

Once again, there are all the usual suspects. First up, my personal goal for this year is to read 125 books. Honestly, I had a hard time trying to decide what seemed reasonable. 2016 & 2017 were both record years and I find it hard to judge if they mark a permanent change in my reading or whether they are outliers. I expect this year will give me the answer.

For the annual Goodreads challenge, I’ll be aiming for the same.

I haven’t signed up for the Australian Women Writers reading challenge this year. I don’t feel I need to increase my reading of this demographic and maintaining current numbers doesn’t seem like much of a challenge.

Instead, my focus will return to shrinking my Mt TBR. I’ve done a little culling (more on that in my TBR report at the end of the month) and would like to have the pile down to 330 books by the end of the year. I have no idea if that’s realistic, but I guess I shall find out!

To help me with this, I’m signing up for Beat the Backlist challenge. Thanks to Ju for pointing me to this one. I’ll be aiming to read 52 books published before 2018. It is perhaps a bit conservative, but I’m also mindful of over-committing myself. I’m always so optimistic in January!

What about you? What reading goals and challenges are you participating in this year?

 

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8 Responses to 2018 Reading Challenges

  1. Ju Transcendancing January 9, 2018 at 2:23 am #

    Excellent goals! Good luck with them 🙂 I am also happy with what I’m reading of Australian authors, but I love participating and contributing to the reviews for said authors, so I like the challenge as one of my mainstays.

    • Elizabeth January 9, 2018 at 7:46 am #

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing how I go.

      I was thinking I might continue to link my AWW reviews, even if I’m not actively doing the challenge. It’s a good community and I don’t want to lose touch entirely.

      Good luck with your reading challenges this year!

  2. Jenny @ Reading the End January 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

    Good luck with the culling! I am planning to cull a good five to ten books from my home this year, either by rereading them and discovering I do not want to keep them, or by reading them for the first time and discovering I do not want to read them. I think I can do it! It’ll make me feel better about the, I dunno, like 100 books I bought in 2017.

    • Elizabeth January 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

      You can do it, Jenny! 5-10 books seems a nicely achievable goal. Which reminds me that I listened to your guest episode on Radio Free Fandom the other day. I am a goal nut and it was such a fun episode.

      I’ve already done some culling, but I have an overly large Maybe pile. It’s going to involve some rereading, so it’s nice to know I’ll have some company on that front!

  3. Kailana January 9, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    My reading last year was terrible, so crossing my fingers this year goes better.

    • Elizabeth January 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

      Good luck! Some years can be such a struggle, so I hope this year proves kinder for you.

  4. Melissa January 9, 2018 at 3:57 pm #

    I’m sticking with 20 – same as my goal for last year after reading only a shocking TWO books in 2016 and only a handful more than that in 2014 and 2015. I did hit 20 in 2017 so I was pleased. This year I hope to dig into some bigger books starting with Katharine Graham’s autobiography – I’ve always admired her tremendously. It’s a massive book but I’m slowly chipping away at it!

    • Elizabeth January 10, 2018 at 8:27 am #

      Nice work on meeting your 2017 goal! Keeping the same one for this year seems like a good idea, especially if you’re planning on tackling something massive. I hope you enjoy the book!

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