Happy New Year Readers! Last year was a chaotic mess but we made it to 2021 and I wish you all the very best for the year in all your reading endeavours and otherwise. However, please continue to be vigilant and look after yourselves as we continue to contend with the worldwide pandemic. On a brighter note though, today’s post is all about setting achievable bookish goals for yourself this year in order to get the most out of your… bookworming??
I’ve come up with 5 user-friendly resolutions that I myself will be implementing in my routine and that I hope you will find useful. I decided to share only 5 resolutions, not least of all because wracking my brain for a sixth proved to be fruitless, but also because I believe that having an exhaustive amount of targets can become counter-productive and overwhelming, thereby reducing your (and my) chances of achieving them. That being said, here are 5 Achievable Bookish Resolutions to set for yourself in 2021;
- D.N.F (Did. Not. Finish) More – Simple, right? (And hopefully not overly anti-climatic). This suggestion is nothing new and has been championed by many more prominent book bloggers than I in the community. I am merely adding my voice to the already loud, pulsating throng of clamours urging readers to desist from continuing to read books that add no enjoyment to their lives until the end. In fact, for all those that still need reminding of this, I am probably foremost.
- Less Is More – Another no-brainer to be sure, but still I encounter those who feel inadequate because they cannot manage to read over 100 books in a year like some of our more hardcore reading chums. Remember that everyone has different circumstances and these feelings of inadequacy is not conducive to enjoying books. Instead of reaching for gargantuan goodreads targets, set yourself a goal to read a fewer amount of inspiring books rather than a lot of books that are average.
- Ditch Book Buying Bans – This suggestion comes from a place of well-intentioned deprivation many readers will know well, myself included. As such, even I have subjected myself to the self-affliction that is, the dreaded Book. Buying. Ban. 🚫 See my blog post I broke another book buying ban. Here’s why The thing is, these initiatives rarely ever work for most of us and often leads to even more impulse buying… or is that just me? Especially now during such an anxiety-inducing period of uncertainty, depriving yourself too much can have harmful effects.
Research in almost all areas of deprivation from sleep to finance has proven that this approach can severely affect your mental well-being. Rather than imposing a draconian, joy-sapping ban, try challenging yourself to only buying a set amount of books a month or every other month. If it’s two books a month and you’ve met your quota, the next purchase on your radar will have to wait until the following month. Try this for a set timeframe and then review as needed if something isn’t working.
- It’s Time For A New Genre – This next suggestion is particularly geared towards readers who aren’t keen on branching out into reading genres that are commonly viewed as ‘daunting’, dare I say non-fiction? This year, try including one non-fiction book in your familiar canon of YA fantasy and dystopian thrillers. To help you with this endeavour, I have a growing source of non-fiction recommendations, all neatly compiled into a handy booktube playlist.
- Reach Out – This resolution goes out to my fellow book bloggers, but can equally be applied across different niches. I’m talking about networking. This can take many forms, including collaborations, guest blogging and group readathons. It can be an excellent way of grounding yourself in your chosen niche and creating future opportunities.
For example, I once reached out to an established book recommendations company called LoveReading UK and asked them to feature my blog on their website. They then sent me the Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and invited me to take part in a book tour, which led to the very feature I had asked for. Though it can be difficult to pointedly ask for things, especially from persons or companies with considerable influence, challenge yourself to do just that at least once this year.
Check out my LoveReading review here!
Honourable mention! – This year focus your reading on BAME and LGBTQIA literature.* If there’s anything we’ve learnt within the book community in recent months, it’s that reading can be political and influence others, therefore reading inclusively has a big impact. Click the image below to read about Own Voices recommendations.
You may have noticed that I have endeavoured to offer suggestions that focus on scaling things back i.e. be content to read fewer books, read one non-fiction book this year etc. That’s because I find that making small incremental changes can have potentially far-reaching effects and can lead to establishing habits that will eventually result in much more substantial changes, or indeed achieving much more than what you bargained for. Good luck if you intend try out any of the resolutions suggested in this post.
*BAME – Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic / LGBTQIA – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenger, Queer, Intersex, Asexual