2016 Goalwar – Back to Business
  • Posted:
  • January 12, 2016

Hello folks. It’s that time of the year, the time when I set a standard for my reading…and, as a result, begin pushing the boulder up the hill.

So, here’s the boulder for the year.

1. Read 130 books – Which sounds like a lot, but it’s not the best I have done. In the last few years, however, I have been writing (and editing) more, which takes up a lot of time for me. We’ll see how close I get or what sticks. I have already had a few book busts this year, so I am already experiencing disheartening failure. So, we’ll see.

And, just for kicks, here’s the stats from the last few years.

2010 – 153

2011 – 137 (Writing project 1)

2012 – 127 (Writing project 2)

2013 – 108 (Writing project 3)

2014 – 92 (Writing project 4) *Year I Moved*

2015 – 120 (Writing project 5)

2. Read an even mix of older and newer books – as a bookseller, I tend to fall into the Read The Latest And The Greatest Thing all the time. It’s hard to go off the upcoming pile – you have no idea how hard. I feel guilty whenever I read anything older than a few months. Hell, I feel guilty whenever I leave an ARC sit until its release date month.

It’s a bookseller thing, of course. That said, professional guilt is pervasive and I would like to learn to let some of it go.

So yeah, for every new book that I read I would like to read an older release date book, and by that I should say least year and back, just for ease-of-keeping-track’s sake.

3. Read more Science Fiction – Like, actual Science Fiction, not fantasy, which  I usually default to almost always.

And not only YA scifi.

Really Krys, not only.

I have this fantasy (har-har) of falling in love with Space Opera, like a deep abiding love affair where I lie abed for hours exploring far off galaxies in my imagination. Mostly, this stems from a life-long obsession with Star Wars and a great love for the recent film…but I digress.

Read more (actual) (adult) Science Fiction, Krys. Really.

4. Middle Grade – Read more middle grade. Period. I have so much that I want to get to and I find that if I can’t figure out what to read this is a good default for me.

Read more middle grade.

5. Poll challenges – I did a series of polls here recently for several genre books. I need to read all of them (and finish the last two polls) to fulfill this challenge.

I will update this as I get those last few polls done.

6. Hall of Shame Classics – This is a thing that I suggested at work, that we pair-off and read a few classics that we have always meant to read and still have not. I found a few co-workers who have yearned to do the same thing, hence the Hall of Shamers. I am currently reading 1984 by George Orwell, which I should have read twenty years ago and didn’t. This gives you an idea of what I am going for.

7. Give up while the getting’s good – This is a hard thing to do some time, but I am learning to give up when a book that I had high hopes for is sucking. I actually just did this the other day with a book I was really looking forward to that just was not doing anything for me. It’s hard to say why this is a goal to work on, but it is. Believe me, it is.

My general rule is 75 pages. I might need to shorten that to 50. And I need to learn to let go of a high expectation book at my stringent 75 page cut off. It’s just not worth it.

8. Read more per day – I usually read about two hours per day. I would love to make this three hours. We’ll see if I can do it.

Three hours per day could be the difference between 100 books a year and 130. It really could.

9. On a related note, I also want to edit my own drafts as well as write a new project in December. I now have five projects going…and that’s a lot of editing. We’ll see how that impacts my actual reading.

Maybe I will even submit them to a lit agent this year.


I think that may be it. If I have any other thoughts, I will add them here.

Well, other readers, what are you focusing on for your own personal challenges this year? How are you feeling about the ones that I am setting for myself?

Happy reading!

– BP

– Follow the Reader –






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Elizabeth F

2016-01-12 13:58:45 Reply

Your goals look realistic. I especially like the read more Science Fic NOT just Fantasy. So true. Also, with the Classics we should have read…I try to fit in at least 1 a year, which is still pretty pathetic. 1984, though, I’ve read a couple times…my missing classics are Bronte,
Dickens, Tolstoy, Austen (yes, I have never read Pride and Prejudice, though do own 3 versions on DVD)…that era book. I am also not a fan of Modernism so am missing many many of those. My children have read all these and more.

My goodreads challenge is 59 this year. I made the 58 for last year JUST.

Do you watch TV? My husband always says he has no time to read, yet he watches TV most nights. That is when I read for a couple hours (I work FT).

I am torn about what to do about long time series I read. Like the Sue Grafton. There is what 3 left? But I never liked them much and I like them even less as they go along. Why do I keep reading?? But Janet Evanovich, I love the Stephanie Plum series and will read them forever.