This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is about our bookish goals for 2023. I wrote about this already in this end of year post, so this will be more of a summary.
2022 was a stressful year, and my initial impulse for 2023 was to make things easy and not do challenges. But as I do nearly every year, I came to these conclusions:
- Challenges and blog events are great ways to connect with the blogging community around books I want to read anyway.
- Challenges and blog events are only as much pressure as I make them, since I don’t need to complete every one if life gets in the way. Plus, planning, organizing and list-making actually make me less stressed rather than more. I’m guessing many of you are the same.
- Challenges and blog events give me that extra push to read books that aren’t the latest hits or at the top of my library wait list, and often those books are some of my favorites. Last year, some books I loved that I read for challenges were Rules of Civility, The Song of Achilles, Quiet, Before the Ever After, and The Book of Hope.
My primary goal is to read more books about other countries. So I’ve set up my TBR Pile Challenge list to include all books set in other countries, and I’ll also (loosely) participate in The StoryGraph’s Read Around the World Challenge and similar challenges at The Reader’s Room and Literary Voyage. I’ll be tracking my reading around the world on this page. I’m already off to a good start, as this month I read books set in Cyprus, Hungary, and Australia.
I’ll be returning to many challenges I did in 2022, including the Gaia Nature Reading Challenge and the Nonfiction Reader Challenge, and you can see that my approach is to layer these as much as possible so books can meet multiple challenges. I’m adding one that’s very low pressure: the 52 Book Club, which is basically 52 unique book prompts. I don’t expect it will influence my reading much but seems like a fun way to categorize the books I read. I’ll track my progress on this and other challenges on my 2023 Challenge page, and also on StoryGraph.
For blogging events, the ones I do every year are the 20 Books of Summer and Nonfiction November. I’d love to do a few read-alongs but realistically don’t have much time to fit those in. It’s pretty hard for me to fit my reading schedule to someone else’s calendar, so I tend to sign up for things where I can choose what I read and when. I know there are always monthly events about reading other countries, so maybe I’ll participate in one or two of those (please share if you’ll be hosting one!).
For blogging, as I noted last month, I mainly want to stay on top of writing reviews, ideally at least one a week. When I get stressed, reviews are usually the first thing to fall off, since they require more time and thought. My goal is to keep a pretty even mix of book reviews, discussion posts, and lists. I’ve been playing around with keeping a monthly calendar of blog tasks and posts, so I’ll see if that helps.
Finally, I want to continue with my personalized book recommendations. I’ve enjoyed thinking about what individual readers might like to read, based on their likes and dislikes. It was definitely challenging — it’s easy to recommend books to readers who have similar tastes, or who I know well, but it’s more difficult to recommend books for those with really specific interests. I hope those recommendations were useful and would love for anyone who received them to share this service more broadly. I saw an increase in requests the last few months so I’m feeling good about that.
Those are my goals for the year. Thanks to those of you who host challenges and events, as that’s something I know I don’t have the time to do well. I look forward to reading with you in 2023!
Good luck with these goals.
Thanks, and same to you!
Have fun with your challenges!
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-goals-for-2023/
Thanks Lydia, good luck with your goals in 2023!
Sounds like you have a good set of goals. I like your understanding of how reading challenges enable you to meet larger goals, like blogging and blogging community connections and finding books that aren’t necessarily top of mind. Best wishes for a great, stress-free reading year!
Thanks Jane, if it can’t be a stress-free year at least it should be a stress-free reading year, right? Thanks for being a regular here, I always appreciate it!
I love doing 20 Books of Summer! Good luck with your goals ❤️
Good luck with your goals as well! Summer is my favorite time of year, I’m looking forward to it.
All the best with your goals
Thanks for visiting, and I hope you have a happy 2023!
Wish you the same
I definitely want to do better when it comes to reviewing! I wish you luck with all your goals and challenges.
Thanks Lark, and good luck with your 2023 goals! I’ll also be following your Backlist Reader challenge, but I don’t have a formal list or a process for tracking those.
I can appreciate your goals – thanks for the visit and the tips on more info for my read around the world effort. I’ll need to set up a tracking page for that. I have one to follow my challenges but since the read the world just occurred to me, I haven’t set that one up yet. I imagine most of us empathize with your reviewing goals – I do. I decided that it’s okay if they aren’t long and super analytical or detailed. I’ll write as much or as little as I want to, and that will be good enough. Why do we tend to build all this stress and timeframes into something that’s supposed to be fun???? I need to relax. 🙂
I feel like we have a lot in common Terrie. I agree about not making something stressful that’s supposed to be fun. On the other hand I do like to plan and be thoughtful about things so I have to balance that. Enjoy reading the world, I look forward to seeing what you read!
Reviewing really fell by the wayside for me last year, so that’s something I plan on doing better with this year. I’m not off to a very good start, though. Ha ha. Good luck with all your goals!
I guess reviewing is hard for most of us! It’s not like it’s our job or anything. I’m happy if I review about a quarter of what I read – I mostly review ARCs and any book that really spoke to me or I think people might not have heard much about. Sometimes I love a book but don’t really feel I have something new to say about it. Thanks for visiting, and good luck with your 2023 goals!
I agree with all your reasons for doing challenges – as long as we don’t pressure ourselves unnecessarily, they can help us to diversify and be more conscious in our choices. I’ve joined StoryGraph this year and am doing the Around the World Challenge there too (although I may not end up reading books from those particular countries).
I really appreciated your recommendations – I read Inheritance and Home Fire last year and they were both terrific. What should I link to or promote if I want to spread the news about your service? Plus, if you want to recommend anything else to me, I’ll read it as long as I can get it without undue expense!
I like StoryGraph but wish it was easier to find people on it – you can find me at curlygeek04 if you want to connect. Like you, I’m not really planning to read their entire list of countries, but I’ll certainly post my books there as I read them. I’m so glad you liked both of those books!
If you want to share, you can link to my recommendations page at https://thebookstop.wordpress.com/request-a-personalized-book-recommendation/. Thanks!
Good luck with your challenges and goals!!
Thanks Cindy, and same to you!
They seem like great goals, good luck with them!
I like the way you outlined all of this. I’ve never approached reading challenges with the mindset you are. I really like that. We’d all probably do better if we’d map out our blogging goals. Thank you for sharing your.