Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Goals: Book-related and Personal

I'm a couple days behind on starting my resolutions, but better late than never, right?  I've made more book-related goals than personal goals this year, just because I'm still debating the efficacy of setting goals for my life like "get more healthy" that are hard to meet and setting specific goals like "walk five days a week" that make me feel like a failure when I inevitably mess up.  It's not that I'm NOT setting personal goals regarding health and fitness, it's just that I haven't decided exactly how I want to do that yet.

Of most interest to my Reader Friends will be my book-related goals, so I'll post those first:

1) Number-wise, I'd like to read 130 books in 2013, just like last year.  I feel like it's an achievable number that allows me to read the books I want, not trying to fit in as many as I can.  At the same time, it's high enough that I have to challenge myself to read more than I watch TV, which I need.

2)  Browse more.  Every month I'm going to go to the bookstore and buy a book that I haven't heard of anywhere before.  Nothing that is on my TBR, nothing that I saw on GoodReads or that was recommended by a Nestie.  One book a month that I found just by spending some time browsing the bookstore in person, not online.

3)  Fewer books published in 2013.  I read too many 2012 released in 2012 and neglected older books that I probably would have enjoyed more.

4) Along a similar vein: be more selective in what I read.  So after tallying up my reads from 2012, I went back through and marked all the titles that I had absolutely no feelings about.  A few were books that made my least favorite list, but many were books that I gave favorable or at least mediocre reviews.  My criteria for marking was whether or not that book made any impact on me at all - did I particularly enjoy the plot or characters, did the writing make me think (even if I thought it was bad), and could I come up with any feeling,  positive or negative about the book.

Sadly, I marked 28 books (22 of which were for review) on my list that I had no thoughts or feelings on.     They were a fine enough diversion, but they didn't really even inspire dislike.  The plots and characters were generic and didn't leave a lasting impression.  They were totally generic and interchangeable.  That's not good.

I expect some disappointments in any reading year with a few books, but this year 20% of the books I read were unmemorable and, let's just say it, a waste of time.  If the story is so generic that I don't remember it less than a year after reading it, it's too generic.  It just reinforces to me that I need to be more selective.

Fewer books accepted for review and fewer spontaneous reads.  More books from my TBR, more books that are vetted by other reviewers, more books that I specifically choose, as opposed to books that I choose on a whim based on an email from a publicist or author because they sound "ok".  I'm only going for "amazing" this year.  

5) Shelve all the books.  Luke doesn't know about this one yet.  But we have a serious book clutter problem.  I mean, Luke knows that part, obviously, but he doesn't know that I plan to tackle it completely this year.  By the end of the year, it is my goal to have no books piled on the floor or stashed in the closet.  Seeing as how we currently have books on the floor in the master bedroom, office, guest room, and living room and my closet has more books than clothes, this will be a major undertaking.

6) Keep going with the Presidential Challenge.  Six presidential biographies over the course of the year.

7) One book in my Best American collection per month.

And on a personal note:

1) Complete the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.  In addition, throw away, store, and donate everything I don't use regularly.  Everything.  Get rid of stuff that isn't serving a purposes.  If I forgot that it exists, it isn't special enough to keep.

2) More time with Luke and the pets, as always.

3) Less comparing of myself to other people.

4) Fix up our downstairs doors.  Something is off with our back porch door alignment and we're going to need a contractor to come look at it.  I've been putting it off way too long.  This is the year.


  1. I will bow to your awesomeness if you complete the 52 week organization challenge. I tried that last year and I lasted exactly 3 weeks. May the odds be ever in your favor!

    I love your reading resolutions too. Being relatively new to book blogging, I am starting to realize how many of my ARCs end up being just "eh". Not on the bad list, but not on the great list either. I need to inch back to reading what I want to read, because that's what usually brings me to amazing things.

  2. I'm trying to be very selective this year and also go for amazing. There are way too many books I've heard are amazing to spend time reading all the review books I've been reading. And like you said, so many are pretty generic.

  3. I like number #2 a lot. Not only will it broaden your reading, browsing is so fun.

  4. I love your resolution to browse more. I always feel so far behind on my reading, and since I stared reading so many blogs, I keep adding books to my list of recommended readings. It's been a long time since I've scanned the shelves and picked up something just because it caught my eye. I used to discover such great books that way!

  5. I am nixing all but the most amazing review books this year too.

    And yay for the Presidential Challenge making the list! :)