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2019 Goals And The Previous Year

A photograph of the lake at Hever Castle, with row boats on the water

At the beginning of what is now the previous year, I set out one ‘main’ goal as well as a few other ideas that were more wishy-washy. The main goal was ‘read as much as I comfortably can’.

‘As much as’ is technically an easy goal, because there are a lot of notions that can be applied to it, but with what was a busy several months in 2018, I almost feel I achieved this goal far better by reading less but perhaps more widely and for enjoyment, than in other years when the same goal was reached but with a bigger number of books.

It’s incredibly true, somewhat unfortunately I feel, that I didn’t get to as many new books last year, particularly as I do now have a small stack of review copies that I didn’t cover in any way at all, but there was a benefit in terms of getting through books I already owned, getting to books or authors I’d wanted to read for a while, and reading more books than usual in my preferred genres.

This year, I’m setting the ‘comfortably’ goal again, just with a few more caveats:

  1. Keep reading favourite genres but also put a priority on review copies I let linger. At first I thought to name specific books here, but I think that’d be more hindrance than help.
  2. Keep reading classics, with an emphasis on re-starting and completing Vanity Fair. Having now read Mitchell, Gabaldon, and Dickens, I really shouldn’t be having so much trouble with the idea of just getting it done.
  3. Read a novel or two by Charlotte Mary Yonge.

The last goal is two-fold – for one, it will aid my classics statistic, but more importantly, it will complete the goal I set in 2017 to read the five literary Charlottes I had identified. In 2018 I read two Charlottes: Smith (Emmeline, 1788), and Lennox (The Female Quixote, 1752 – June, according to a contemporary literary journal I found during my research).

In terms of 2018’s statistics, I didn’t do as well as I hoped but did do better than usual. I would like to up my diversity, classics, and (hopefully) translation numbers. I’m still reading far more women than men, which I’d like to do something about. The big difference to my statistics compared to other years was my use of the library. Eight out of the 39 listed books were from the library and I came to really appreciate how borrowing enabled me to read new, and slightly older, popular, books.

As it currently stands, I’ve carried over Monica Ali’s Brick Lane from where I left it on page 81 at the start of November, together with the eternal Thackeray. I’ve made a firm decision not to return to Ali until I’ve completed one new entry to the list so that everything feels fresh; my current read is Susanna Kearsley’s Season Of Storms.

Do you have reading goals for this year?



January 8, 2019, 7:35 pm

My goals are to read four classics this year, about 8 backlist ARCs I requested in the past and never read, and finish some books from last year that I went crazy for but couldn’t fit into my reading calendar.


January 12, 2019, 10:29 am

For my reading goals this year, I would like to continue to make more time for re-reading old favourites, as well as reading more new-to-me books by my favourite authors. I would also like to get fully back into The Classics Club with my second list. Good luck with your goals, happy reading and I hope your enjoying A Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley :-)



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