Yes, it’s that time of year again.
Start of a New Year. The Christmas decorations are down, the fridge is (finally) empty, and 2019 has walked itself out of the door whilst 2020 has waltzed on in. Time for a new year, filled with new books and new bookish resolutions.
To be honest, I’m not really setting myself ‘resolutions’ as such. I did away with making New Years Resolutions once I realised that all they did was hit every single one of my anxiety buttons at the same time – never a good way to begin anything, let alone commence a new year.
But I do like to spend a little time at the start of the year thinking about what went well in the last one, and what I would like to get out the one ahead. And that applies to my bookish life as well.
As I mentioned at the top of my Books of the Year 2019 post, I had a pretty good reading year last year. I exceeded my Goodreads goal by some way, took part in some fantastic blog tours, and continued to expand the blog and chat to some lovely bookish folk on Twitter.
And, really, I just want to do more of the same in 2020. I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 52 again (one book a week for the year), and I already have some brilliant blog tours lined up in January and February.
That said, there are some things that I would like to change about my reading life.
Firstly, for example: Buy Less, Read More
I’m definitely feeling a little swamped by my TBR at the moment. Between the books I’ve bought, ebooks requested on Netgalley, books sent by publishers for blog tours, books lent to me by friends, books borrowed from the library, and books I have to read for my PhD, I have more than enough to keep me reading for the entirety of 2020 and beyond. And I really do want to read these books. There are so many great titles sitting neglected on my shelves.
Fortunately, the aforementioned PhD also means finances are officially tight so buying less and reading more will definitely help me on a number of fronts. I can finally get to some of the brilliant titles that you lot have been raving about on Twitter and Goodreads, and there’s less chance I will one day be found buried by the weight of my own TBR pile.
Also, and this brings me neatly to my second change, reading my backlist will allow me to Improve My Netgalley Feedback Ratio.
My Netgalley ratio is currently at a woeful 36%. A requesting spree earlier in 2019 left me with a backlist the size of my arm. Given that I’m really picky about what I read on Kindle (as I hugely prefer reading in hard copy), this was simply poor decision making on my part.
But, again, I requested these books for a reason. And I’m sure there will be Netgalley titles that I want to request in 2020. But in order to do so, I’ll need to get that feedback ratio back to a decent number. I owe those books a read and a review. My Kindle is great for carrying around with me so I’ll be trying to always have a Netgalley book on the go for when I’m out and about.
This also into my third – and final – plan for my reading life in 2020 which is to Be More Selective.
With the best will in the world, my reading time is limited. My PhD is in English Literature so I have a lot of reading to do for that. Add in other work, socialising, family time, and other hobbies, and I really am limited in how much time I can devote to books and reading.
So instead of trying to read all of the things, I want to give myself permission to be more selective. As a book blogger, it can be really easy to get bookish FOMO – to feel left out of the conversation if you aren’t reading the latest title or raving about the newest prize shortlist.
But we cannot read everything. And sometimes trying to read everything takes the enjoyment out of the books we do read. So I want to make sure that, before I request a proof, sign up for a blog tour, or make that impulse purchase in a bookshop, I take a few moments to think about whether I really will read that book. And read it soon, not some unspecified time in the distant future.
Needless to say, permission to DNF is also firmly ensconced in this aim. I’ve never been too bad at putting down books but I am pretty bad at admitting I’ll never go back to them. So this year I want to allow myself to say ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ to a book more often and just move on to the next one.
So those are my bookish plans for 2020! What are you hoping to do in your reading life this year? Are you trying to broaden your horizons by reading new genres? Are you competing in any reading challenges for the year? Do let me know in the comments below or come and say hi over on Twitter!
And, until the next time…
Happy Reading x