Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Yearly Wrap Up & 2018 Reading Goals

2017 was a very weird reading year for me - the first few months of the year were really terrible, I read maybe 20 books total. Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with 20 books, but when you are someone who has read 100 books a year for 6 years... it's a bit discouraging. However; after I wrote the New York Bar in July my reading picked up exponentially and I eventually achieved, and greatly surpassed my Goodreads goal - this year I've read the most books I've read since 2012! I read 134 books this year, which is amazing and I'm extremely happy with it. 

However, despite reading so many books in 2017, I also noticed that my average rating for books was pretty low this year - as you will see by my stats listed below, the average rating I gave was 3.4, and I think I only had 10 or so 5 star reads. It really makes me wonder if I read a lot of mediocre books this year, and if I maybe need to start being more willing to DNF books that don't interest me so I can focus on books I really enjoy.

So here are my reading statistics for 2017:  

No. of Books Read: 134
Average Book Rating on Goodreads: 3.4/5
Longest Book I Read: Lord of Shadows, 701 Pages
Most Read Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult 
No. of Classics Read: 7
No. of Non-Fiction Read: 8
No. of YA Read: 73
No. of Non-YA: 61
Favourite Book/Series of 2017: The Diviners by Libba Bray
Biggest Surprise of 2017: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Biggest Disappointment of 2017: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Worst Book of the 2017: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choski

With all of this fresh in my mind, now I want to go through my Reading Goals for 2018

1. Read 100 Books - I feel like this is an easy goal, as I've been consistently setting it for myself since 2010
2. Read more non-YA books - while I feel like I am almost at 50/50 for non-YA and YA reads, I think next year I am going to aim to read more non-YA than YA for probably first time ever. I am noticing that my YA ratings are going down significantly in the past couple years, and I think this may be due to changing reading tastes, and possibly a bit of YA fatigue. It takes a lot for me to really enjoy YA fantasies anymore, and so I think maybe trying other non-YA genres may help me to learn to appreciate YA again, and also appreciate a variety of other novels. 
3. Read 10 Non-Fiction Books - I have so many biographies and history books just sitting in my TBR pile at home and I would really like to get through some more. While I read 8 non-fiction books in 2018 I'm hoping to read a few more, and perhaps even surpass my goal of 10. The only problem with non-fiction books is I find they take me a lot more time to read, so I may have to read less books in order to read more of this genre
4. Read 12 Classics - I think aiming to read one classic a month is a realistic goal. I would really like to read all the classics I have on my bookshelves at some point. 
5. Finish the works of Jane Austen - I read 2 Austen books in 2017, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, which means I only have to read Mansfield Park to finish off Austen's completed works!
6. Be More okay with DNFing books - as I mentioned above, I noticed that my average rating is getting pretty low (almost 3 stars) and I am worried that I am not reading books I enjoy as much as reading for sheer volume. While I will still keep my goal at 100 books this year, I am also going to try and become more comfortable with DNFing books I am not enjoying, so that I can try to focus on reading books that I think will be 4 or 5 star reads. This may mean not finishing every book I've started (which is going to drive me crazy) but I think it will also help me avoid the months long reading slumps that I've been getting into the last few years. 
7.  Read more diversely - I am aware that I am terrible at reading diversely and that is something I would really like to change in 2018. I started buying more diverse books in 2017 and I'm hoping it will help me enjoy some new YA books outside of my traditional fantasy-favourites (which all  tend to be straight and white, and they get very tiring after a while) 
8. Read more Male Protagonists - this is a personal choice! Ever since I was a little girl I gravitated towards novels narrated by female protagonists. Not exclusively mind you, but I waited ages to read Harry Potter because 9 yr old me didn't want to read a book told by a boy. I've definitely kept this weird little quirk through the years and I want to try and break it because I think it is really limiting my reading potential. At the same time though, I am wary of a lot of male authors and male points of view because some of the books I have read have had absolutely TERRIBLE depictions or descriptions of women. 
9. Read different genres - In 2017 (and most years tbh) I've focused on fantasy, historical Fiction and YA as the main genres that I read. I think focusing on such genres may be contributing to some of the book fatigue I feel when I'm reading. I've been finding it harder and harder to get into fantasy worlds - and maybe that is because I am reading so much of them. in 2018 I would like to diversify the genres I read - perhaps by reading some horror novels, more mystery/thrillers and even throwing in some contemporary books (which will be a struggle because I hate contemporary!) 
10. My last reading goal is more of a resolution, but it is the hardest one by far - I am going on a book buying ban. Outside of the gift cards I received for Christmas, the books I am gifted over the next year, and any free books I receive - I will not be buying books. Starting this blog has made me realise that on average I purchase upwards of 40 books a MONTH. That is ridiculous and not feasible if I am every going to read through my TBR. So no more kindle daily deal buys, no more bookoutlet. I am going to try and get through as much of my TBR as I can in the next year and I will not be buying any books if I can help it!

So those are my reading goals for 2018! I think it's a bit ambitious, but I think ambitious goals are the best way to push yourself to achieving something! What are your reading goals in 2018? And do you have any recommendations based on my reading goals of books you think I absolutely must read in 2018? 

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