Totally Achievable Reading Goals for 2019

I was really excited to formulate my reading goals for the year. You all may know that I am a reader and blogger who dislikes sticking to lists and needs a lot of freedom in my book choices and in my blogging life. So I don’t make formal monthly TBRs because I know that just doesn’t work for me. But the goals I am aiming to achieve this year are so viable and doable – I am already getting started on them!

Goal #1: Read more books from the New Books shelf at work. I work in a small public library branch (actually, I just got a promotion, more about that later!) My regular patrons are always asking me, as they stand in front of the New Books shelf, “What have you read lately that’s good?” And of course, I immediately blank out and have to scrounge for titles. This is partly because I read so many backlist titles and also because my reading tastes don’t exactly line up with the tastes of many of my patrons. To that end, I am committing to reading at least 6 books from that range of shelving – and to trying some genres that I normally don’t read, like Inspirational (Christian) fiction, Romance, and gentle “Women’s” Fiction. (I don’t really like that genre title, and I don’t know if it’s a valid designation, but it seems to fit a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience that makes up a large portion of my regular patrons who need recommendations. Maybe I should call it “fiction centered on women characters.” That’s kind of wordy. Anyway, you get my gist.)

41tj7urm1sl._sx323_bo1,204,203,200_Goal #2: Read The Count of Monte Cristo – finally! So I’ve already started on this one! I’m at page 100 of this 1400+ page behemoth. And guys, I’m really enjoying it! It’s so readable. My way of reading this while also reading other things is to read 100 pages a week. I’ll knock it out in a few months, and I’ll write some reader’s journal-like impressions of each section I complete.

Goal #3: Read more poetry. Last year I started off dabbling in some poetry, but I didn’t finish a whole collection the entire year. Sad face. If I can read 4 books of poetry this year, I’ll be happy.

Goal #4: Read more from my own bookshelves. Last year I did a good job of reading my own books, but I kept buying more, so my total number of unread books actually INCREASED over the course of the year. This year I am following along with The Unread Shelf Project on Instagram, where Whitney gives us prompts to get us reading our own books. This month’s is to pick a book off your shelf that you HAVE to read by the end of January or else you have to get rid of it. Motivation! My January book is Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. I’ve started reading it and so far I like it, yay!a1ndiwiiwql

That’s it. I don’t want to make my 2019 reading feel like homework, so I’m happy with 4 goals. I am confident I can achieve them, and even if I don’t, I’ll at least have fun trying. Hey, if you have any poetry recommendations, lay them on me. I’ve checked out Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa. I know nothing about her but Kendrick Lamar blurbed her book, which intrigued me, and it’s one of the newer poetry books added to our library system.

Do you make a list of reading goals for the year? Or do goals just seem like too much pressure? Let me know in the comments.

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46 thoughts on “Totally Achievable Reading Goals for 2019

  1. I tend to like poetry that is more about creating a feeling or an image (almost like a teeny story) than abstract stuff, so here are a couple of recommendations for non-abstract poetry:

    It’s Probably Nothing by Mickey Myers (smaller book). Review: https://grabthelapels.com/2015/05/06/its-probably-nothing/

    Good Poems, edited by Garrison Keillor (a larger anthology)

    Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion, ed. by Pasha Malla & Jeff Parker (smaller book). These are poems made out of quotes by famous athletes. Both funny and fun to read.

    Any poetry collection of Paul Laurence Dunbar (my favorite poet)

    The Erotic Poems by Ovid

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  2. I can’t wait to hear what you think about Cork Dork, I’ve read some great reviews of that one and thinking about picking it up!

    Good luck on your goals, they sound doable and meaningful too! Also seconding your idea of reading a big book slowly, I started doing that last year with long histories (like the Rasputin one I just reviewed) that were intimidating me otherwise. It’s such a perfect way to tackle a longer book. Hope it’s a great reading year for you!

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  3. For the first time in 5 years of blogging my reading went totally awry in 2018 which I blame in part on my insistence in reading my own books at the expense of truly engaging with those upcoming books so this year I’m aiming for a better balance.

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  4. I don’t make many goals anymore, because I rarely follow through on them. I’m a flighty reader. That said, in general I’d like to read more off my shelves this year, and I’d like to tackle some of the longer books that have been languishing there.

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  5. I don’t make any goals, ever, as I got burned out on that with the “comprehensive” literature reading list for my PhD oral exam.
    Better you than me with that inspirational stuff. Ugh. I live in a region of the country where that is extremely popular. Also Amish romances–we have an entire shelf of them at the local Walmart (which has a picnic table in a little grove of trees on one side where the Amish tie up their horses).
    I love reading poems, as you know. Have you read Maggie Smith? This is one of hers that got quite famous a few years ago:
    Good Bones
    BY MAGGIE SMITH
    Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
    Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
    in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
    a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
    I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
    fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
    estimate, though I keep this from my children.
    For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
    For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
    sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
    is at least half terrible, and for every kind
    stranger, there is one who would break you,
    though I keep this from my children. I am trying
    to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
    walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
    about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
    right? You could make this place beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I have read that Good Bones poem! I love it! Thanks for reminding me about it.

      Yeah, I think I’m gonna go with a contemporary “thriller” type of inspirational book rather than the Amish kind. They’re so popular though! Not something I’m terribly interested in.

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  6. Great goals! Sounds like you are already well underway. Congratulations on the promotion! I look forward to hearing more about it. As for poetry, I can go on a and on. If you have not yet read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, it is amazing and important. Also I recently read Tracy K. Smith’s new collection Wade in the Water. She is currently the U.S. Poet Laureate it that gives you any motivation 🙂

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  7. Woohoo! A promotion! Well done! 😀 Your goals look great – a nice mix of old and new. I feel I’ve been losing touch with new releases too, so am trying to make sure I read at least some of them this year. I don’t read much poetry, but I loved Ted Hughes’ collection, Birthday Letters – it’s from about twenty years ago now and is his response to his relationship with Sylvia Plath and her suicide. I found them deeply moving and, of course, being Hughes, beautifully written.

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  8. Fun goals for the year! I read The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged) when I was in high school and loved it! Love the movie too actually. I can’t wait to hear what books of poetry you enjoy–hoping to feel inspired to read more poetry myself 🙂

    Happy reading!

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  9. The only ‘list’ or goal I have is the Goodreads challenge. Beyond that, I’m really boring and read new releases shortly before they come out. So, yeas, my reading is pretty regimented. I took all of December off to read only backlist and library books and I loved it! The problem is I read so much but did not write. So, it’s a conundrum- needing content for your blog but not wanting reading to be a chore.

    p.s. Hello, fellow librarian! I’m ‘retired’ now, but volunteered in tech services at my local branch in Portland absolutely loved it. Libraries are one of my favorite places on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think reading a lot of new releases is boring at all! Everyone is different, and it would be boring if we all read this same things!

      I never want my blog to become a chore. If it does then it’s time for a break. 🙂

      Hi there! I don’t feel exactly comfortable using the word librarian to describe myself because I don’t have a Masters degree. However, I’ve worked in public libraries for 19 years now, and I just became a Branch Manager of a small branch, so I guess I am one by default? I agree, libraries rule. 🙂

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  10. Congratulations on your promotion! I’m excited to hear more about it, especially since I work in a library now, too!

    It’s such a good idea to read different genres from the new book shelf. A woman at our library does that, but I still haven’t done it. I’ve decided I’m more cut out to be the library’s CanLit “consultant”. Haha! Really, that’s just code for ‘I want to just keep reading what I want’! 🙂

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  11. Congrats on your promotion! Interested in hearing more 🙂

    I am the type of person the thrives on goals and TBR lists. I actually didn’t set many goals for 2018, and I think it was a mistake. I didn’t have anything to keep me motivated. That is definitely changing this year! I’m working on my 2019 goals post now, and will hopefully get it posted later this week.

    I can say that two of my goals is to NOT buy new books (aside from books from author events to get signed and special occasions like my birthday and Christmas) and to read good chunk of my physical TBR. I want to read at least 30 books that I purchased before 2019! Wish me luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on the promotion. In case I haven’t mentioned it already, I love your job. I like how you plan to read more new titles so as to be able to recommend them to the other readers. All the best with your goals, Laila.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay totally achievable reading goals! I cheer you; I support you. I’m trying to be easier on myself this year when it comes to reading. Best intentions, at least.

    I personally enjoy listening to poetry read to me rather than reading it myself. Therefore, I reach for poetry audiobooks. In the last few years, I’ve mostly listened to children’s poetry, like Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. But these are the poetry audiobooks on my current TBR: Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices by Walter Dean Meyers and The Poet’s Corner: The One-And-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family edited by John Lithgow. Both books have many narrators. The best poetry audiobook I’ve listened to this point is Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work. It covers 1888-2006 and has audio quality concerns, but wow. I found some amazing poets I love to read now.

    Even if you don’t review them, I’d love to hear about your Library Hauls with the New Books books you’ve checked out. I’m curious as to what you are picking up, why you are selecting to read them, and perhaps who you’d recommend them to. I’m just intrigued!

    Good luck, Laila. You can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t consider poetry in audiobook form for a while, either. One of my friends who is an apsiring poet recommended I try audiobooks to get a better understanding for the sound and feel of the words. For many poems, the visual aspect matters, yes, but I believe the way poetry sounds is always the goal.

        I hope you find some poetry you love!

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