2019 Bookish Resolutions

Posted January 3, 2019 by Francesca in Front Page, Random Thoughts, Under the Covers / 8 Comments

It’s that time of year where we all make lists of what we want the new year to be like.  And just like with every aspect of our life, we all have reading goals.  Some more complicated than others.  I looked back at what I wanted my 2018 to look like and I only had 2 goals.  One was to read more genres that I had neglected like thrillers and the other was to read more new to me authors.  I didn’t do so good with that.  In 2017 I read 15 thrillers and in 2018 I only read 10.  I did discover some new to me authors in 2018 but I don’t think I took as many chances as I would’ve liked and this time around I’m actually putting numbers to my goals.

This year I also got a little fancier with my digital reading log (which I’ll be posting all about it later this month).  I’ve been keeping a Google Spreadsheet with tons of formulas that accumulates data and shows me tables comparing the different years I was using.  But this year I actually switched to a Database system called AirTable and created charts as well with my information and I’m so excited I wanted to share some of that with you because that will also play a role in how I try and choose what I read in 2019.

Here’s what my 2018 looked like….

Monthly Totals

It was interesting to see that in 2018 my LGBT reads went down.  Usually that’s my second highest genre percentage and now it’s actually in the number 4 spot.  That does mean I read more Paranormal Romance and Historical Romance which I wanted to do so yay for that.  But I feel like I wanted to take away from Contemporary Romance and that actually went up instead!  In 2017 I read 37.8% Contemporary Romance and in 2018 that went up to 41.1%.  I’m considering that a fail and something to rectify in 2019!  I am happy with the balance I kept between reading Traditional and Indie published books.  With a small slice for Small Press.

While I know I always read mostly on ebook, I wanted to try and read more audiobooks.  I also failed at this.  In 2017 I listened to 59 audiobooks and in 2018 that went down to 55.  And then there’s the ratings.  My chart shows the biggest slice for 4 star reads, however you can see the next two big slices are for 3 and 3.5 stars.  That takes up the big majority of my reading.  The 5 and 4.5 slices are almost negligible all the way at the end.  This is one of the things I really want to turn around in 2019.

I am determined to get that average rating for the year past the 3.5 that GoodReads always says I have in my Year in Books (see below).

Find yours by logging into your GoodReads account and going to this link

 

So now that I’ve analyzed my 2018, I’m ready to set some goals for 2019!

GoodReads Goal – Set to 150

I generally go over that as you can see on my stats graphic below.  But the thing about the GoodReads Challenge is that it gives me anxiety every time I fall behind and I log on and that little Challenge tracker tells me I’m X amount of books behind schedule.  A lot of times it’ll make me read shorter books just for the point of catching up.  Or just continues giving me anxiety until I come out of a slump.  So the past year and again this year I’m setting a goal that I know I’ll achieve and anything past that it’ll just be an added bonus.  Is that cheating?  Maybe.  Does it make the challenge pointless?  Possibly.  But does it cure my anxiety?  Definitely!

Find yours by logging into your GoodReads account and going to this link

A Numbers Game – 250

So playing off of the goal above, I am challenging myself to something that will actually be harder to hit.  As you can see, I used to read A LOT more in years prior.  I think in part that’s because my audiobook consumption has gone down quite a bit.  But I see a pattern where one year I drop and the next I go a little higher.  So I’d like to test that theory in 2019 and since it was a “low” year I’ll be shooting to hit the actual target of my reading in 2017 which was around 250 books.  The only reason this is 2 separate goals is the anxiety I mentioned before 🙂 So I have a “fake” GR goal and an “actual” challenge goal.

In Death Series

This is the year I challenge myself to actually start the In Death series by J.D. Robb.  I say it every year but I never actually make it a thing.  So I decided the way I’ll do it is to read (listen most likely since I have a few audiobooks already) one book in this series per month.  Starting off in January with NAKED IN DEATH which is the first book I pick up this year because I’m hoping to start off the year with a higher rating than my first book of 2018.  Obviously I won’t finish the series this year because it’s a million books long.  But if I read 12 books in it I’d feel like I’ve started making a dent in it and it’s honestly the only way I’ll probably read a long series like this nowadays.  If anyone has been wanting to start this series, feel free to join me with this!  I’ve wrangled Suzanne to do it with me already. 😉

Old Series Catch-Up

I hate that I’ve neglected so many beloved series and now I’m several books behind because I never make the time for them.  So I’ve picked a few that I’d like to focus on catching up (or finish since they are completed series now).  The ones I’m starting to tackle are: The Princes Trilogy by Elizabeth Hoyt, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones, Imriel’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey and Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews.

Start a New-to-Me Older UF/PNR Series

I have so many urban fantasy and/or paranormal romance series on my TBR that I never got a chance to start way back in the day.  I’d like to take a dive into at least 1 of those series.  On my short list of options I have The Nightkeepers or Final Prophecy series (it’s called two different things on GR and Amazon) by Jessica Andersen which sounds amazing because it involves Mayan mythology.  This one may be a little tricky because it seems to be out of print.  Anyone know what’s going on?   I have 3-4 print books on my shelf so I’ll be ok to start it.  And the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price which I had put aside then because it seemed like no more books were being published and the series had been left in limbo so I didn’t want to start something that I knew would leave me hanging.  But this year the author got back to it and I’m excited to read it.  It sounded really good when I saw the author at a panel at Comic Con.

Read 3 Non-Fiction Books

Every year I try to go for 2 non-fiction books.  I tend to gravitate towards self help or memoirs.  I’d like to up that a little and challenge myself to 2 self-help books and 1 memoir.  I have a few on my list that I may snatch up or I may just grab one that catches my eye in 2019.  I tend to do these on audio much better than physical copies or ebooks.

Audiobook Lover

I feel like I’ve neglected my love of audiobooks in the past few years.  I think in big part that’s due to ARCs and review commitments but I would really like that to change.  My audio TBR is entirely too long and I always buy more and read less.  I’ll continue being a member of the Audible Romance package and I’d like to challenge myself to 2 audiobooks a month from the package.  If I fall behind I’ll try and make up for it the next month.  That will not only make the program worth it but it’ll get me reading more books that I’ve been meaning to for a while.  Plus it’ll bump my audiobook total for the year, hopefully.  Would hitting 100 audiobooks be too outrageous?

New to Me and Debut Authors

I’m putting actual numbers down this time around.  I’d like to try at least 10 new to me authors in different genres and 5 debut authors.  I’ll include debut novels that were released in 2018 because I have some that I’d really like to get off my TBR that I was excited for, so I’m sure they’ll be releasing their second book in 2019 but I’m still counting those as debut.  And the new to me will all be established authors that I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t and they’ve been lingering on the TBR. Feel free to drop your recs in the comments below!

Reading Challenges and Read-a-thons

You guys probably already know by now, but we are hosting Romanceopoly and I’m so excited to do this challenge and actually use it to clear some of the books on my TBR.  In conjunction with that I’ll be participating in Tackle My TBR hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads.  I feel there will be a lot of overlap between Romanceopoly and Tackle My TBR but I’ll also use that as a guide for the audiobooks I choose as part of the Audible Romance in choosing things I’ve wanted to read for a long time based on when I added to GoodReads.

I’ve never really participated in readathons on YouTube or social media.  It’s always seemed like a fun way to get things off your TBR and since we are hosting 2 this year as part of Romanceopoly, I’ll definitely be participating in my first ones this year.  But I’d like to do at least one more aside from our own.  Maybe it’ll be a Christmas themed one at the end of the year.

Be More Social

And my last one isn’t a reading resolution but a bookish related one.  I’m the biggest lurker on social media.  Whether that’s just hitting the like button on an Instagram picture or just watching a video and not liking the video or sometimes even not subscribing to the channel because YouTube knows me so well it’s shows me the videos anyway.  I’d like to be more active in commenting instead of lurking, which is tough for many reasons.  But that’s why it’s a challenge and I’m hoping I can find a way to make it better in 2019.

 

So there you have it, that’s my 2019 bookish resolutions!
In case you missed Suzanne’s, you can find it over at Frolic
where she did a guest post with her 2019 resolutions.  Just click here.
What are some of yours?

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Francesca
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Francesca

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
Francesca
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Elyce
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Elyce

Francesca, I loved this post. Really admire your dedication to reading and setting goals. I just wanted to mention that the font on the pie graphs comes out very small. The graphs are fabulous and I love the colors. But if you make the font of the writing a little bigger it will be easier to read. It also could be my ancient browser which I have not upgraded in quite a while… so take that with a grain of salt! Also, I think it’s admirable that your average rating is 3.5. I find a lot of books on Amazon… Read more »

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

O M G! I love your graphics. The mathematical/logical part of my brain is swooning. I agree that doing challenges stresses me out so I set personal goals in my head and do my best to meet them. I would like to read more contemporary romance as I have a tendency to avoid that genre and definitely tackle my tbr pile.

JenM
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JenM

I love those graphs. I keep a record of all my books in excel but my summary is not by genre and this is inspiring me to go back and add a genre tag so I can graph them by year.

As for my goals, I don’t usually make bookish resolutions, but my main goal this year is to read more nonfiction. Last year I wanted to read at least one a month but only managed six total for the year. This year I’m again shooting for one a month.

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

That’s funny how your numbers go up and down like that. Sorry you didn’t hit your thriller numbers. Those goals look doable and offer up a bit of wiggle worm, too. That’s funny that you are picking the In Death series this year b/c that was my series focus last year. I did the same thing of one a month, too. I do it with a different series each year and it really helps me to catch up or finish older new to me series. 🙂 If you are looking for good holiday readathons, there is the TistheSeasonathon hosted by… Read more »

Amy R
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Amy R

I am highly jealous and very intimidated by your graphs and charts, you are an inspiration in the book goal and tracking department.

1. I have increased my GR goal to 300 from 250 as I was able to complete around 392 last year thanks to listening to audiobooks at work.

2. I would also like to try and read/listen more via my library, KU and Audible Romance package. In 2018 I utilized my library a lot but even though I used KU and Audible RP I can do better and maybe find more new to me authors.

denise
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denise

Read more of what I want.

Timitra
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Timitra

Read books that I have on my kindle and stop being distracted by new releases!
Read more new to me authors!
Do more reading challenges!

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[…] few weeks ago I posted my reading resolutions for the year, which included my graphs and stats for 2018.  I had requests for showing how I keep track of my […]