Bookish Resolutions for 2018

I don’t usually set any resolutions for myself but this coming year there are a couple of things I want to achieve in my reading life. As such it felt prudent to write this down so that future me cannot pretend to have forgotten these plans.

Read 100 books.

This is the number of books I tried to read the last few years and it is the one that works for me. I think reaching for more would be counterproductive but I also don’t want to read less.

Read at least one author’s complete work.

I am super bad at finishing, well many things, actually. There are very few if any authors I have read everything of but I want to remedy that next year. I first planned to read all of Lidia Yuknavitch’s books – but some are near impossible to find. I think I might finish David Mitchell’s work instead.

Keep writing reviews for every book you read.

2017 was the first year I actually wrote reviews for every single book I read (for fun – the ones I read for my thesis do not count) and I love it. It gives me so much more clarity and I can better talk about what I thought about a book than before. Plus, I find that I enjoy books even more now because all those little things stick out more.

Read more women; especially WOC.

I usually gravitate more towards books written by women. This year I read around 60% women – and I want that number to be higher. Not because of any agenda other than me usually prefering those books. That does not mean I won’t read any male authors but it will mean that I will try to take the author more into account.

Read some of the books that have been on the TBR forever.

I think this is something we all do: we buy books and they are new and shiny and then we get distracted and read other books instead. I recently organized my shelves and have over 70 unread books there, plus the NetGalley arcs I still have to get to and … suddenly that’s around a 100 books which means it would take me a year to get to all of them. I need to priorize differently next year.

Only request books if a) you really really really want them and have been looking forward to them or b) you have reviewed all other ARCs you had.

This fits together with the above resolution. I absolutely love that I sometimes have the opportunity to read books for review but I have also found that NetGalley has an effect of “want want want” on me. All the books on my least favourite books of the year list were arcs – which means one thing for sure: I will have to be more selective. I have been really good about this the last few months and I am planning on sticking with this selectiveness.

Finish at least one unfinished series.

As I said before, I am not that good at finishing series. So I will aim at finishing at least one of the ones I have started. Which one that’ll be I will keep open for now because I am such a mood reader.

Read only YA that comes highly recommended*.

I have been struggling with YA this year, and last year if I am honest. I do not want to quit reading YA altogether but I want to read a lot less and only the ones that are beyond brilliant.

* Please do recommend me brilliant YA novels. I usually don’t do well with love stories – so YA with less of a focus on that would be greatly appreciated. I also dislike stories where people don’t use their words.

Read more Science Fiction**.

I hardly read Science Fiction but I really want to. So I will remedy this next year. The last couple of years I always had a genre I wanted to read more of that year (one year it was non-fiction, the next year short stories). I loved how that broadened my reading horizon and I am eager to keep doing this.

** Again, recommendations welcome. I like Science Fiction that is more sociological than technical. And I get bored with long descriptions of fighting. Also, I want to read Science Fiction written by women.

Read more novellas***.

Again, I want to broaden my reading horizon. I have hardly read any novellas and want to remedy that.

PS: Does anybody know if the English definition of novella is the same as the German one?

*** Please: Recommend me great novellas! All genres welcome.

What are your bookish resolutions? (if you have any that is)

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35 thoughts on “Bookish Resolutions for 2018

    1. I am so bad at finishing authors’ complete works and that is stupid because there are some that I have liked everything I have read.
      I am currently especially looking into reading more SFF written by women of colour; I just really like different perspectives.

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      1. I have only two of his books left – because I struggled with The Thousand Autumns of Jakob de Zoet and put that aside. But next year will be the year I think! I mean, we agree that he is very much brilliant.

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  1. These are all great resolutions! I’m raising my reading goal a little bit from what I read last year, but only because I didn’t read a ton at the beginning of the year in 2017. I definitely also want to read more books written by WOC, so I might make that one of my resolutions as well!

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  2. These are great goals! I try not to focus on the # of books I read (but I do get ambitious). As for YA, I didn’t have the best of luck with them, but one that did stand out to me was I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. I, as well, am always trying to read more books by WOC. Great post!

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  3. I’m still working on my resolutions post but we have so many of these in common. Especially reading more books I already own and requesting fewer netgalley ARCs. Also, you mentioned working on a thesis, I wasn’t aware you’re doing that! What are you studying? I’m so impressed you’re able to read so much and work on a thesis at the same time.

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    1. I really hope to be more selective when it comes to requesting arcs – I have read so many mediocre NetGalley books this last year…
      I am doing my PhD in sociology. The advantage of the German system is that I have a normal job at a university that allows me to work on my PhD simultaneously without having to worry about funding – otherwise I don’t think I would be able to focus on the thesis and reading for fun.

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      1. Same here, I’m resolving to only request ARCs that had already been on my radar, no more ‘ohhhh that looks cool, click request.’ I always find my worst books that way, when will I learn??

        That’s so great! Sociology must be a really interesting subject. And that’s amazing that you’re able to work at your university. Also can I ask where in Germany you live? One of my best friends is German and I spent some time visiting her a few years ago and I absolutely love your country. I need to start Duolingoing again so I can say more than ‘ich habe zwei Katzen’ whenever I go back.

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      2. Yes! I read so many books I should have known I wouldn’t love but I couldn’t stop myself from requesting. I have done better the last few months. Let’s see how long that’ll last.

        I do love sociology (obviously) and I am so glad I have the opportunity to keep doing it for a few years longer.
        I mean, there really is no sentence more important though, is there? (I always respect people trying to learn that weird language of mine… )

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      3. Very true, it actually is the most important sentence in any given language. And I actually love learning German! I really wish I’d taken a class in college rather than having to rely on self-teaching, because it’s definitely the most difficult language I’ve ever studied, but I’ve always been really good at grammar so I enjoy the challenge. I haven’t studied in a while though, I got lazy 😦

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      4. I am not that good at languages (English is an exception), my French is appalling considering I studied it in Highschool for 5 years, and I don’t think I could ever learn a language on my own. German has the advantage of rules that really usually apply (unlike English with its 10000000 exceptions to any given rule), plus the pronounciation is pretty straight forward.

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      5. Have you been studying English from an early age? I’d honestly never guess you aren’t a native speaker.

        My self-teaching has basically involved Duolingo, watching youtube videos by a very annoying German girl (I quickly gave up on that), watching German movies with subtitles, and having my German friend laugh at me as I attempt to pronounce Eichhörnchen.

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      6. Thank you! I studied English in school for 9 years … and I did my university education in the UK, so five years. I don’t speak as often now as I would like and I am writing my thesis in German so writing reviews is my way of not losing my proficiency.

        I tried duolingo for Spanish, but haven’t kept up with it – plus for me the actually speaking part is the most difficult (when I was still a lot better in French I could read and analyse literature [had to for school] but could not order a pizza for the life of me).

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      7. That’s what my other German friend did – studied English at school and then went to uni in London. I swear her English vocab is better than mine. And that’s awesome that you have an English-language hobby. I don’t even want to think about how much Italian I’ve lost since I lived there, I just have no excuse to use it, ever. Do you read any of your non-school books in German, or all in English?

        Ditto the complete inability to order a pizza in virtually any language I’ve studied. Why does speaking have to be 500 times harder than reading and writing?

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      8. Last year I only read one (fun) book in German, which is an absolute shame and something I will have to change at some point. There are so many great German books I have not read. Plus, I sometimes find that my written German sounds a bit odd – and then I realize it is because I used an English turn of phrase. My supervisor does not find that as funny as others…

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      9. I have a lot of German lit on my TBR but I haven’t read much yet, though I really want to change that this year. Maybe one day I’ll be able to read some of it in German, but for now I’ll stick to my long-term goal of MAYBE being able to read Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen some day. And that’s so funny, I find linguistic things like that fascinating.

        Also, did I ask you where in Germany you’re from? You definitely don’t have to answer, I’m just curious if it’s near anywhere I’ve been.

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