2023 Reading Goals

Reflecting on what I read in 2022 the last few days has helped me figure out the goals I want to set for this year. Seeing several nonfiction books among my 2022 favorites reiterated that I need to pick up more nonfiction again, regardless of its unpopularity on social media. I read a lot of books in 2022 that I felt like I had to read and ended up neglecting a lot that I wanted to read. That is going to change as well.

From setting reading goals the past few years, I have discovered that setting numeric goals (other than an overall goal) can work against me. So, I will not be making any lists of 23 books to read in 2023 or doing the viral 12 books recommended by 12 friends.

My 2023 Reading Goals

  1. Read 125 books.
    In 2021, I met my goal of 150 books and read a total of 153. Last year (2022) was a really rough year for me. As a result, my reading suffered. I ended up reading a total of 93 books, after adjusting my goal from 150 to 100. I think it is possible for me to read 150 books in a year. But to avoid putting pressure on myself and to ensure I am enjoying reading, I am setting in the middle at 125 book. I like to meet my overall goal, but I try not to stress about it. Prior to the pandemic, I was not even reading 25 books per year. So any number above that is one to be proud of, personally.
  2. Focus on reading the books I already own.
    While there is nothing wrong with having a lot of books, I live in a New York City apartment and have limited space. And in this last year, the books have taken over. This is a goal I also set in 2022 that was quickly abandoned. However, this year I am dedicated to sticking with it all year. To more easily achieve it, I set a couple sub-goals to keep me focused.

    2.a. Keep book purchases to a minimum.
    With my discovery of Book Outlet, my book buying has greatly increased. It is just so tempting to purchase a book when it is at a great price. But I have enough books to last me at least the next ten years. So, unless I see a book that I have been really wanting, I am going to think at least three times before buying it.

    2.b. Read books that I buy within a month or wait to purchase them.
    I am guilty of preordering a book or getting a Book of the Month (BOTM) pick and then not reading it for months or years. To break this habit, I am going to aim to read every book I buy within a month of purchase. If I do not plan to read it within that time frame, I can wait to buy it. Not only will this help me reduce the number of books I buy, it will allow me to buy the books I really want later, when they likely have lower prices. Ultimately, there will be fewer impulse purchases.

    2.c. Read BOTM picks within the same month in order to get more the next month.
    I have a BOTM backlist of at least 80 books. (Mind that I have been subscribing to BOTM for at least 7 years.) There are so many BOTM selections that I received last year that I still am dying to read. To help me conquer the ones I have and limit new ones, I will not be ordering a new box unless I have read all of my picks from the previous month. I am willing to be a little flexible on this goal in that if I read the same number of BOTM books that were in my previous box but not the exact ones, that is also acceptable.

    2.d. Request fewer NetGalley books.
    I am guilty of going on requesting sprees after logging into NetGalley. I was especially guilty of it when I first joined. As a consequence, I have quite a few backlist books still waiting to be read and reviewed. To help conquer those and reach the lauded 80% reviewed mark, I am going to limit my NetGalley request to only my most anticipated books. I want to make sure that I am reading books that I want to read and not feel like I have to in obligation to publishers.
  3. Read more nonfiction.
    In 2021, I set out to read two nonfiction books per month or 24 total. I ended up reading 21 and had one DNF. In 2022, I set my nonfiction goal at 25. But as I previously mentioned, I disregarded my reading goals pretty early on last year. Instead of setting an exact number, I am going to try to be more intentional in my monthly TBRs and which books I read. Hopefully, this will allow me to not feel pressured to read certain books but also help me read more nonfiction as well.

In addition to these goals, I am going to keep up my practice of reading diversely. It is important to me that I read a wide range of books – both in terms of subject and author. I want to ensure that I encountering views and stories that are outside my own experiences and knowledge.

What are your 2023 reading goals?

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