Things I Want to Change to Have the Best Reading Year Ever

The new year is the most excited I get all year round for reading. I start writing out plans six months prior to January of books I want to read next year. That's how much I love the start of a new year. I love creating lists. I'm a planner. And I'm a dreamer. I always have big plans with my reading and have lots of personal goals I want to achieve. I think this last year more than any other I've been more aware of how I overwhelm myself with plans. Yes, there are books I want to read and personal projects I want to complete. But constantly planning and overthinking gives me less time to read. That's why this year I've decided to change things up for the better. I want to have the best reading time I've had in ages.

No More TBRs.

I stopped creating TBRs at one point last year but it was a lie. I still had one on the side that I was keeping that always frustrated me. There are so many books I want to read that I overwhelm myself. And then they are on that list for so long that I get bored looking at them so I read a random book that is usually meh.

I've been taking longer reading lately because of work-life balance and too much YouTube. I'm slowly trying to read more physically as well because audiobooks have taken over my life. Audiobooks are great but I sometimes think I am forcing myself to listen to them to finally get another book read. Creating such long lists of books I want to read just makes reading a chore. I am not going to read as much as I did at 18. I can't read everything just by adding a book to a list so I might as well get rid of the lists altogether. I do have a caveat that I have a want-to-read list but it's on Storygraph and I can pick and choose what to read if I want. I'm not creating a set list where I feel like I'm forcing myself to read through books I may not be in the mood for. That brings me to my next point.

Allowing myself to mood read.

I don't mean picking an audiobook to listen to just to have something I'm currently reading. I mean discovering or rediscovering a book online or in the library that looks really good. Picking that book up. Then reading it. I mean going through my own bookshelves or on Storygraph to look at book summaries and choosing one that looks good. Not because I have to read something but because that sounds like the perfect read for me right now.

I think knowing about so many books coming out is ruining the joy of discovering books. When was the last time I went to the library or bookstore and picked up a book I've never heard of? I know I am still very likely to choose one I have heard of. However, it would be nice to just look around and choose one on the spot that sounds absolutely amazing.

No challenges.

Ugh. Challenges. The planner and dreamer in me love them. But seriously, I'm not going to complete half of them at least. It's not like I've never completed challenges it's just that I only happened to have completed them when checking at the end of the year. Or I am forcing myself to read a certain type of book that I just don't want to read right now. It limits my options and I never get back into reading a type of book because I am forcing it. I am a stubborn being who doesn't like to be told what to do even by herself. It's a frustrating personality trait but it is true.

I do have reading goals I want to achieve. But only a few. For example, I want to read books in Spanish and I know if I don't actively work on it I'll forget about it. But, I can't make it a challenge. I have to say I'll read 20 pages on Sunday then reevaluate the next week. I can't be doing challenges because they do the opposite every time which is make me not want to read a certain type of book.

Reading widely.

I really want to read books written by authors from a country other than America. I want to read big books especially high fantasy. I want to read classics. I want to read every genre even ones I am not used to like historical fiction. I want to get to those books that I desperately want to read but I know will always take me longer than my usual read. I'll never set this up as a challenge. But I want to make it a focus where I give those books that I usually don't pick up a chance.

For the last two years, I've felt like I've been missing something with my reading. I want to be reading more fantastic books that blow me away. I want to read more "high brow" books that make me truly feel something. Although I will always be searching for another great romance I can forever gush over. I've been stuck in mediocreville for a while now. I want to go after books that are highly loved in all types of genres. I don't want to get stuck reading only YA even though there are still some good ones I want to get to but most of them leave me disappointed. I just want to take some chances and not let the potential fast pace reading take over for other slower paced books that I might fall in love with.

DNFing more than ever.

I DNF'd a lot of books last year. I am so glad I did because it was something I've been needing to do for a long time. I do wish I would DNF faster honestly. I'm usually 100 pages or even halfway through a book before I DNF it. I need to stop reading books faster if it's feeling meh. That way I don't feel like I wasted my time and/or I have to finish reading the book. Even though I DNF'd a lot this past year there are some on my list of books read that should have never been on there. It's not only that I may not like a book but maybe I'm not in the mood for it so I'll pick it back up again later. Again not forcing myself to read is the key to my success in having this be a great reading year.

No preplanning reading posts where I want to read certain books and discuss them.

I do this thing where I say I want to read books from my brother's shelves for example. I've done something like this before and it was fun at the time but now.... not so much. If I over plan my posts I just obsess thinking about books I "need" to read. I make reading a chore and that's not what I want. And I usually never end up reading those books so what is the point of planning?

Reducing my currently reading pile.

I take out so many books from the library and I never read even half of the books I take out because it's just too much. I know myself and I know I am such a mood reader. If I am interested in a book I need to read it right away or it won't get read. So reducing my loans at the library has been very helpful these past couple of months. I still have a lot of books out but those are picture books because I am a children's librarian. If I have one to three books out from the library or from my own shelves piled up to read next that ratio to read will be a lot better. I might not read all of them but maybe I read one and it'll be the one I am most interested in.

NetGalley has to stop.

I've got to stop with NetGalley. I always get too many at one time and read a few but then I still have ten more I won't get to. I thought it would be good for me to pick up middle-grade books since I am a children's librarian but I am not at that point where I want to read everything no matter what. Again, I'm not 18 anymore where I inhale books and have time for all of them. And not only that. I loved the majority of the books I read at that age but I am so much more of a critical reader so if I don't like a book I want to stop. NetGalley doesn't really give you that option.

To read or not to read.

This is the one goal that contradicts itself. I want to dedicate time to reading. For example, I want to be able to say one week okay let's try to read 30 minutes a day for five days in order to create a good reading habit. However, there's nothing wrong with breaks. I don't want to worry about having to read all the time but I also want to make time for reading. It makes sense in my brain. Basically, I want to make reading a habit when I feel like I am in the reading mood. When I am not in the mood then just don't read. It's difficult for me to realize that I am not going to read as much as I want to. Maybe in another part of my life but I've been having a hard time of it personally for a few years and I need to be kinder to myself. I am going to read less this year but that's okay if I enjoy all the books I finish.

Image by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Are you making any changes or plans with your reading this year?


back to top