For the last week, all I keep hearing about is people’s resolutions for the new year. That doesn’t just mean personal goals relating to health or career success; it also extends into the book community. I’m on Goodreads, I’m subscribed to Book of the Month, and I’m a member of several book-related groups on Facebook, and book lovers are all sharing their reading goals and picking reading challenges to try out in 2020. It all seems like good fun, so here I’d like to share my own book-related goals, plans, and resolutions for 2020.
Reading Goal #1: Read 50 Books in 2020
For the last few years, my goal has always been to read 25 books per year, which is an average of one book every two weeks. It’s a comfortable pace for me, but this year I want to read more, in part because of my rapidly growing TBR bookshelf. (Yes, I have a whole bookcase dedicated to the books I haven’t read yet…)
This year, I’m aiming to read 50 books. That would be one book per week, with two weeks of wriggle room – especially important during the busy holidays. If most books are around 350 pages, my daily goal is to read 50 pages. And truth be told, I’m not the fastest reader, so that balances out to about 90 minutes of reading each day.
I love reading, and do so as much as I can, though life does have a way of taking up my precious reading time. Let’s hope that this year isn’t too hectic, and maybe by reading during breakfast (like I used to do in school), I’ll be able to keep up!
“Reading” Goal #2: Listen to 12 Audiobooks in 2020
In addition to reading 50 books, I also plan to listen to 12 audiobooks this year – one per month. My mom bought me a Kindle for my birthday in 2018, and last year I finally started listening to my first audiobook on it. But…. then my husband and I bought a house and that audiobook got put on hold.
On New Year’s Eve, I decided to continue on with it, and with that, I made it a goal to listen to one audiobook each month this year. I have probably 15 audiobooks waiting for me, so even if I outdo this goal, I’ll have a few backups ready. And who knows, I might keep collecting audiobooks during the year.
With this goal, I don’t expect or plan to listen to my audiobooks every single day, but I will squeeze them in during other activities. When I go to the gym a few days a week (one of my non-bookish goals for 2020!), I’ll listen to an audiobook as I work out. While I do dishes, I can listen to my audiobook. Normally those activities get music for my listening pleasure, but this year I’ll mix it up and opt for the audiobook some days. That way, this goal won’t take up more of my time, it’ll just make good use of the time as I already spend it.
One final note on audiobooks: For whatever reason, I prefer to actually read fiction. But listening to the audiobook of nonfiction sounds perfect to me. So this goal will mostly – entirely? – be devoted to nonfiction. Which is great, since I’ve hardly read nonfiction in the last year. Time to keep learning!
Reading Challenge #1: My Own, Personalized Challenge
I’ve seen numerous reading challenges around. Sometimes they’re fun (read a book with a green cover! read one with the number 20 in the title!); sometimes they’re genre-specific (read Lord of the Rings! read George R. R. Martin!); sometimes they focus on the classics (read Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre!).
None of the ones I saw fit my own personal goals, though, so I decided to make my own challenge. You can download it below. Feel free to copy and paste so you can edit it to fit your goals and interests!
As you can see from my 3-page challenge, I plan to read a mix of old books and new, familiar authors and unfamiliar. I love books to take me around the world and introduce me to characters who are both similar and different from me. Likewise, I love to read from authors who come from different backgrounds than me. Reading – fiction and nonfiction alike – is a great way to learn and explore, and that’s what my challenge aims to draw out.
Reading Challenge #2: Book of the Month Challenge
The only other reading challenge I plan to take part in is the Book of the Month challenge. On their recently-launched app, they feature a 2020 reading challenge above your bookshelf of purchased books.
Their challenge is as follows:
- Book Boss: Read a total of 12 BOTM books
- Genre Genie: Read 5 BOTM books from 5 different genres
- Debut Darling: Read 3 BOTM book debuts
Last year I joined Book of the Month in January, and I read 10 of the books I bought. Reading 12 this year should be an easy task, especially since I already have so many on my shelf, and I’ll certainly be getting more throughout the year.
Reading books from 5 different genres should also be a piece of cake. I love a range of genres, and I tend to bounce between styles every month or so. Plus, if I’m reading 12 books – see Book Boss, above – then this will be done with ease.
Debut Darling is the only one I can’t predict. But if there are intriguing books coming out this year, I’ll buy them, regardless of the author. In fact, some of my favorite books I read last year were debuts: A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum; The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar; The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides; The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I’m sure 2020 will bring a host of dazzling new authors.
Book Buying Resolution: Read 2 Before Buying 1
Perhaps my toughest resolution for 2020 is a limit on how many books I buy. In the last couple of years, I’ve drastically increased my own library, but I can’t keep up with all these new books. My TBR pile turned into an end table, then from that transformed into an entire (skinny but tall) bookcase.
My husband helped me develop this book-obtaining addiction. He knows how much I love books, and takes me to Barnes & Noble far too regularly. But now he’s getting worried about my out-of-control unread collection. Even my sister and mom are trying to step in.
So to take action and catch up on actually reading the books I buy, I have a new rule: I must read 2 books before I buy 1. If I want to get a BOTM box with 3 new books in it, I’d better have read 6 books in the month prior to that.
This will be a tough one for me, but I’m determined to stick to it. Truth be told, that’s why I decided to double my reading goal for this year! 50 books read means 25 new books – I’d better choose wisely!
ABC Content Plan: Blogs & Reviews
Enough about reading and hoarding books. Let’s discuss writing about them. Indeed, that is the whole point of Amanda’s Book Corner (or, as I call it, ABC). I theoretically started this website three years ago, but I only started actually writing for it last year.
My first ABC writing goal is to catch up on all my book reviews and, moreover, stay up-to-date on my book reviews. January will be the major catch-up month (the holidays took up way too much of my time, okay?), but from February onwards I should be able to publish new reviews within one day of finishing the book.
My second ABC writing goal is already in motion: publishing regular blogs! I’ve planned to do monthly blogs since I started ABC, but it wasn’t until this here blog post that I actually put that plan into action. This blog is the first of at least 12 to come in 2020 – and actually, I have a couple more January blogs I plan to push out, so the year total may be closer to 15. Surely I can find an hour or two each month to write a blog, right?
Writing Resolution: Write a Full Draft of My Book
Speaking of writing, I’m writing a book. Or at least, I was. I have several novel and nonfiction ideas and outlines, but I’ve never had enough time (read: made enough time) to actually write them. In August 2018, I actually sat down and started writing a novel – the idea for it had just struck me one day while I was in the shower, and I knew I needed to write it. But a somewhat productive month went by… and then nothing. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how the book should end, and thus I didn’t know how to develop it.
On the morning of New Year’s Eve just a few days ago, the ending struck me (again, when I was in the shower). I feel more optimistic and prepared to write this book than I have in over a year. So I’m putting it out there: 2020 will be the year I write and complete the first draft of my first book. I expect 2021 will be devoted to revisions and trying to get it published, but this year is all about writing that first draft. Wish me luck!
So my 2020 reading goals, plans, and resolutions are:
- Read 50 books
- Listen to 12 audiobooks
- Complete my own reading challenge
- Complete the Book of the Month reading challenge
- Buy 1 book only after reading 2
- Keep up on ABC reviews and blogs
- Write the full draft of my first novel
What book-related goals to do you have for 2020? Let me know in the comments!