New Year, New Reading Priorities

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Hi lovely readers!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2019? I’m hoping you’ll see a lot more of me in this space this year—and a lot more of my reading life. I didn’t write a lot of “reviews” last year (I use this word loosely because I tend to be pretty casual/ramble-y on this blog and share musings here and there instead of formal book reviews).

I want to share more thoughts on what I’m reading this year, mainly because it’s so fun to go back and see how a certain book made me feel.

So, in an effort to share more of my reading journey with you, here are my bookish priorities for 2019. I don’t really want to say “rules” or “resolutions,” because these are going to serve more as guidelines and priorities than rules. I work in publishing and my life is pretty full, so I want to keep my reading-for-fun life just that: fun.

That said, I do want to push myself, and I want to build habits that will flourish my reading life. So here are my reading priorities for 2019.

1. Read every day.

I’ve done the Goodreads challenge two years in a row (and I’ve won it both times!), but I think this year I’m going to focus on consistency over a number goal. My reading life can feel sporadic at times. I can go a week without picking up a book and then read four hours on a Saturday, and while that’s all fine and dandy (I love those chunks of time when I can tear through a book. It feels so luxurious to me now), I want to make reading a part of my daily self-care routine.

I want to unwind with a good book instead of screen time. I want to start my days with coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I want to create a habit for reading, even if I only read for five minutes.

I saw on Instagram the #betterreadschallenge created by @theguywiththebook, and this is pretty much exactly what I was aiming for. Basically, the objective is to read every single day of the year. Five pages, ten pages, one hundred pages, doesn’t matter. My hope is that I’ll obviously read for longer periods of time, of course, but reading every day should prevent me from falling into some reading slumps.

I’m aware that there may be some days I don’t read, but I’m aiming for progress, not perfection.

2. Read more backlist titles.

My TBR shelves are out of control. While this doesn’t really bother me to have a lot of unread books on my shelves, I do know that my next favorite book could be waiting for me, and I don’t want to let them sit for another two years if that’s the case! So, in an effort to read more backlist titles,

I want to try to read at least one book a month that’s been sitting on my shelves for more than six months to a year. Totally doable, right? I’ve already kind of started this habit in 2018, so I’m hoping this one will stick.

3. Set aside one “chunk” of reading time a week.

If I’m reading every day or nearly every day, chances are, I’m going to be going through more books than I am currently. But I know some days will really be five minutes before bed. So, to be intentional about some committed reading time—and to make sure I’m communicating this expectation to my friends and family—I’m going to try to set apart one night a week for a cozy reading night. No television. No activities. No complicated dinner recipes. No house work. Just me, some candles, music, and my book.

Again, this will most likely not happen every single week consistently, but progress, people. Not perfection.

My husband is committing to read more in 2019 too, and he’s down for a once-a-week reading night together. I’m really excited about this goal, because even though we aren’t chatting or catching up, reading together feels like quality time, maybe more so than Netflix. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me? I’d love to physically read the same book out loud with A, but we’ll see. I know that’s ambitious. ;)

4. Read more classics.

If you’ve been following the podcast or my bookstagram, you know that my dear friend Katie from @lifebetweenwords has been slowly turning me in to a classics reader. Well, kind of.

I’m planning on reading at least one classic a quarter with her and Hannah from @booknerdnative—and hopefully I’ll read classics more often than that. I love, love, love that I’ll have a somewhat regular buddy read with these gals. They are some of my very favorite bookish people.

5. Read more nonfiction.

I love nonfiction, and I’d say reading and loving memoirs was the catalyst for my reading life so many years ago. (Note to self: I still need to read Educated because apparently it is full of The Glass Castle vibes.) But even beyond memoirs and narrative nonfiction, I want to read more nonfiction: essays, biographies, etc.

I’m not sure I’m going to commit to an every month goal here, especially because I tend to edit nonfiction and so I like to read fiction during busy work months, but I am going to be on the lookout for new-to-me, wonderful nonfiction.

6. Read more diversely.

As always, I want to strive to read about characters, authors, and stories that are different than my own story, experiences, and background.

I want to read diversely, and I want to read more authors of color. I want to read more Own Voices Authors. I want to read books set in different countries. Characters who don’t look like me. Genres I wouldn’t normally be curious about. Reading diversely builds empathy. I want to encourage these voices to be heard, which are so often erased in the media. And after finishing Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves—an anthology of essays by black women writers—I am more convinced than ever that I need to listen more. I’m excited to make that a priority in 2019.

That’s the gist of it, my friends. I want to blog more, which is kind of a reading priority, but you get the picture.

What are your goals/resolutions/guidelines for 2019—reading or otherwise? I’d love to hear! x

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