Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Reading Goals

This year's emphasis: Buy what you read, read what you buy.
I used to feel bad about the amount of money I spent on books in a year. Think of what that money could do for the starving or for my church or for my family. But you guys, I'm done feeling bad about that. Here's the thing, every book I buy supports one of the things I value most: authors, books, literature, art, words. If I get my books from the library, I'm being frugal for my family, but I'm doing nothing to support the creative lives of those who write what I can't. So therefore, I'm going to buy what I want (staying within my book budget) and give what I don't wish to re-read to libraries and bookstores for other readers to discover. It's part of putting my money where my mouth (and heart) is.
My 2017 Reading Goals:

1. Re-read Sense and Sensibility.
Each year I read a Jane Austin novel, and having completed them all last year, I'm starting over again this year with my first Austin read. I am so excited for this!
2. Read We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, vol. 2.
I read volume 1 in 2015, and I'm excited to delve into volume 2 this year. The first volume changed my life and gave me new spiritual understanding. I look forward to seeing how volume 2 will challenge me.
3. Read 50 books carried over from 2016.
That's right, 50. Go big or go home, baby! This isn't as lofty as it might seem since my TBR is so long I can easily find 50 books I'm dying to read. But I'd also like to clear off some older items from the list that I'm a little less excited about.
4. Read 25 books published in 2017.
Last year I finished 42 books published within the year, but it was an exceptional year for new releases. I'm trusting in the law of supply to find at least 25 new books that excite me this year.
5. Read 10 (pre-selected) high-profile books.
There are so many books that "everyone but me" has read. It's time to try them and see if the raves hold up for me. To show you how gung-ho I am about this goal, four of these titles are on my January reading list: All the Light We Cannot See, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and Wonder.
6. Read 10 chunksters.
This goal appears each year. It keeps me honest and provides a good challenge. I have a lot of exciting options for this goal, including several presidential biographies.
7. Read 10 contemporary novels.
I finished 16 contemporary novels last year, and for someone who didn't read fiction up until a couple of years ago, that's quite the accomplishment. I'm not sure I'd need to have this goal anymore, since it was originally designed to force me to read fiction, but it gives me something to shoot for.
8. Read 10 books about presidents, first ladies, first families, the White House, or American history.
This wasn't on my list of goals until just a little bit ago. I finally realized that if reading about history was one of my absolute favorite things, it should be a goal. It's something I would have done naturally, but I like seeing the goal there anyway. I have a feeling I'll read way more than 10.
9. Read 10 children’s books.
This shouldn't be too hard. I've found I really enjoy children's literature.
10. Read 1,000 poems.
This is a goal from last year that I enjoyed completing so much I brought it back for a second year.
11. Read 100 books.
This is the general goal I set every year. Anything over 100 is gravy.
12. Read 50 picture books.
I always surpass this number, but I like having the goal to remind me to actually sit down and read them, not just hoard them for "someday."
13. Complete 5 mini-challenges.
This is something I just put on the list this morning, believe it or not. I've pared down my list of goals quite a bit from last year, and I was afraid I'd lost some of the whimsy of the multiple small goals of last year. Some challenges include:
  • A book about sports.
  • A book that will likely rile me up.
  • A re-read.
  • A novel set in contemporary America.
  • A book with a person’s name in the title.
  • A seasonal book.
  • A book of haiku.
  • A reading curveball (book I’d not normally read).
  • A humorous book.
  • A huge book from 2016.
  • A book with a pink cover.
  • A book with a strong sense of place.
  • A whimsical book.
  • A book about or set in the south.

A look at what I'm excited to read this year:





  1. "A book that will likely rile me up." I love it! I hope you choose that as one of the mini-challenges because I want to see which book you choose for it. Great goals, as always!

    1. That one intrigues me most, too! I've already chosen a book for it to read in Feb. I might read more than one, though, as a lot of ideas have come to me.