It’s a new year, and I am excited! I love New Year’s Resolutions, and I’m looking forward to all the goals I have for 2021.
Last year I had some big goals and plans, and while some were a success (yay!), others were… not. In my defense, it wasn’t the greatest year. But in any case, I have big hopes for 2021, and I hope it’ll be a better year for all of us.
Goals help me feel like I’m staying on track, and writing them down — and having people out there to hold me accountable! — makes them feel all that much more real. So without further ado, here are all of my book-related resolutions and goals for 2021!
Reading Goal #1: Read 60 Books in 2021
Until last year, I generally read about 25 books per year. But in 2020, I was on a mission to double that — mostly because there are SO many books I want to read! While the pandemic was definitely not fun, one silver lining is that it actually helped with my reading goal. Not only did I meet my goal of 50 books, I actually outdid it and read 63 in the year!
In 2021, I’m going for a comparable number. My conservative goal is to read 60 books, though I suspect I may be able to read more than that.
Reading Goal #2: Listen to 12 Audiobooks in 2021
Last year, I failed to listen to my goal of 12 audiobooks… but I did listen to seven, so that’s a start! This year, my goal is the same: to listen to 12 audiobooks. However, thanks to the trial and error I did last spring and summer, I think I now have a better idea of what works for me, which should make this goal more achievable.
Audiobooks don’t seem to be ideal listening material when exercising or in the shower — at least, not for me. But they do make chores a lot more enjoyable. My main plan is to listen to audiobooks anytime I have a lot of dishes to do. I’m also considering adding coloring books to my life, because self-care, so I’ll see if books and coloring make good companions, too.
Reading Goal #3: Catch Up on All 2019 BOTMs
Here’s a brand new goal for 2021… or rather, one I never wrote down last year but spent a lot of time thinking about.
I’m subscribed to Book of the Month, and I get one or two (let’s be real: it’s almost always two) boxes of books each month. But I don’t always keep up on actually reading those new BOTM books. In 2021, that shall change. Let’s break it down into three parts:
Part one is to catch up on all of my 2019 BOTM books. There are only nine unread ones, so that shouldn’t be too hard.
Part two is to catch up on (?) or make a serious dent in (?) my unread 2020 BOTM books. There are 39 of them, so I’m not feeling that optimistic that I’ll get through them all. But I’d like to read at least half of them. Yes, let’s go with that. My 2020 BOTM catch-up goal is to read 20 of the remaining books.
And finally part three: I’d like to read at least half of all the BOTM books I collect in 2021. Again, I’m trying not to be overly ambitious, but I also don’t want to fall too much farther behind. If I get too excited and buy a lot of books this year, this may prove challenging. But if I have chill and legit self-control, this could be a piece of cake. We’ll see what 2021 holds!
Reading Challenge #1: My Diversity Challenge
A lot of people, groups, and companies share unique reading challenges each year. While they can be fun — and I do plan to do some this year; see below — they also don’t always get at my personal reading goals. Last year I made my own reading challenge, and this year, I’ll be doing it again… with some slight improvements!
My reading challenge is all about diversity: in the identity of authors and characters, in the genre, and even in my own background with books. I noticed a few blind spots in my 2020 diversity challenge (apparently I never read books about or by Native/Indigenous people or set in Australia), so I’ve worked to make the challenge more encompassing.
Here’s a basic breakdown of it:
- International Settings Challenge
- Read 5 books set in North America
- Read 5 books set in Central America or the Caribbean
- Read 5 books set in South America
- Read 5 books set in Western Europe
- Read 5 books set in Eastern Europe
- Read 5 books set in the Middle East (Western Asia)
- Read 5 books set in East or Southeast Asia
- Read 5 books set in Western or Northern Africa
- Read 5 books set in Eastern or Southern Africa
- Read 5 books set in Oceania
- BONUS: Read 5 books set in countries you’ve never read a book in before!
- Character Representation Challenge (note: best to aim for #OwnVoices books!)
- Read 5 books with a black protagonist
- Read 5 books with a Latinx protagonist
- Read 5 books with an Indigenous protagonist
- Read 5 books with a Middle Eastern protagonist
- Read 5 books with an East Asian protagonist
- Read 5 books with a South Asian protagonist
- Read 5 books with a Biracial or Multiracial protagonist
- Read 5 books with main characters with queer sexuality (gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc.)
- Read 5 books with transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming main characters
- Read 5 books with main characters who fit within the asexual spectrum (asexual, graysexual, demisexual, etc.)
- Read 5 books in which the protagonist experiences a mental illness
- Read 5 books with a protagonist who is neurodivergent
- Read 5 books in which the protagonist has a physical disability
- Genre Diversity Challenge
- Read 5 contemporary fiction novels
- Read 5 historical fiction novels
- Read 5 romances
- Read 5 thrillers/horrors
- Read 5 fantasies
- Read 5 sci-fi novels
- Read 5 short story or poetry collections
- Read 5 memoirs or biographies
- Read 5 nonfiction books about social or political issues
- Read 5 other nonfiction books (about any subject)
- Bonus Diversity Categories!
- Read 5 translated books (any language)
- Read 5 debut books
- Read 10 new-to-you authors
- Read 10 authors you’ve read before
- Read 10 books on your TBR from 2020 or earlier
- Read 10 books that came out in 2021
- Read 5 classics
Feel free to join me in this diversity challenge! Of course, you can change the numbers to better fit your reading habits 🙂
Reading Challenge #2: Book of the Month Challenge
Last year, I succeeded in completing Book of the Month‘s first ever reading challenge. The challenge this year is the same, and I’m confident I’ll be able to achieve it for the second year in a row.
To make this a bit more challenging, though, my 2021 super goal is to complete the challenge on both of my BOTM accounts. (Yes, I have two; don’t judge me.)
As with last year, the challenge is divided into three parts:
- 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
Reading Challenge #3: Additional Book Challenges
I mentioned that there are tons of fun reading challenges out there, and several 2021 ones have captured my interest! I’m currently planning to do the following five challenges:
- Book Riot’s Read Harder 2021 Challenge: This one has 24 prompts, and I plan to do most, but not all, of them.
- 2021 Book of the Month (BOTM) Book Club Reading Challenge: If you’re a Book of the Month subscriber and are part of this Facebook group, this challenge is to read 52 different BOTM books. I’ll do my best to complete all prompts!
- 2021 Book of the Month Club (BOTM) Members Reading Challenge: Again, this is for BOTM members. If you’re part of this Facebook group, the challenge is to read 24 different BOTM books, and I’m aiming to get through them all!
- 2021 Reading Women Challenge: This challenge calls for 24 books (plus four bonus prompts for the advanced readers out there). For this one, only books written by women or authors who otherwise identify with feminine pronouns count. I’m planning to at least do the first 24 prompts.
- 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: This challenge has 40 main prompts, plus an additional 10 for the ambitious readers. I plan to do most of these prompts.
Are there any reading challenges you’re doing this year? Let me know which ones you’re most excited for!
Book Buying Resolution: Read More Books Than I Acquire Each Month
Sadly, I failed on my 2020 goal to read two books for every one that I buy. So this year I’m making it easier on myself: I must simply read more books than I acquire every month. (Maybe excluding my birthday and Christmas… I can’t control the gifts I might get.)
But in all seriousness, whatever number of books I acquire in a given month, I must read at least one more than that in the same month. Whether I buy just two books and thus need to read three, or if I buy eight books and must therefore read at least nine, the only requirement is that my reading outpaces my buying.
The ultimate goal behind this, of course, is to decrease my TBR. Ideally, I’d decrease it dramatically and read far more than I buy, but in these stressful times, I’m not sure I can commit to that. At the very least, I hope my TBR at this time next year will be at least 12 books lower than it is now.
By the way, I should consider seriously limiting how many books I’m allowed to get each month. I’m also thinking I should try to read at least half of all books I acquire each month. I’ll see how these work out in the first quarter. If they go well, I’ll try to extend them throughout 2021.
ABC Content Plan: Blogs & Reviews
One year ago, I was a bit behind on my book reviews. This year, I’m happy to say that I’m currently all caught up! My goal is to continue writing my reviews within a day of finishing each book.
I’m also committed to publishing monthly posts highlighting new books coming out that month. I kept up on it in 2020, so I think it’ll be doable in 2021, too.
Finally, the hardest one for me: I plan to write regular blog posts each month. I only did a few last year, but this year I’d like to publish at least 12 of them. And these blogs may tie in to my next new goal…
ABC Content Plan: YouTube Videos!!
Yes! I’ve never really done video, but my ultimate goal for 2021 is to launch my Amanda’s Book Corner YouTube channel! In the past year, I’ve become a big fan of so-called BookTube channels, and it’s a format I’m excited to try out.
In the next month, you can expect to see my first couple of videos. It’s kind of bare now, but you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here now. I’ll start uploading videos very soon! Wish me luck!
Also, if you have a book-related YouTube channel, I’d love to see it! Share it in the comments 🙂
tl;dr: My nine reading goals, plans, and resolutions for 2021 are:
- Read 60 books
- Listen to 12 audiobooks
- Catch up on all 2019 (and half of all 2020) BOTM books
- Complete my diversity reading challenge
- Complete the Book of the Month reading challenge
- Complete additional challenges I’ve found – just for fun!
- Read more books than I acquire in 2021
- Keep up on ABC reviews and monthly blogs
- Launch ABC YouTube channel and release monthly videos!
What book-related goals to do you have for 2021? Let me know in the comments!