Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2014

fireworks2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2014.

Since I already wrote my resolutions post for 2014, I thought I’d focus here on reading and blogging goals for the year. Resolutions are more like a long-term vision, or a promise to myself to do things differently (or just plain better). I see goals as more of a work plan: Things that are concrete, attainable, and a bit more down-to-earth. Maybe.

Here are some simple action items I’m shooting for in 2014:

1) Stop buying hardcover new releases unless I’m sure I’ll read them right away. It’s embarrassing to look at my shelves and see the books that I just HAD TO HAVE the second they came out… and then never got around to reading. I want to kick myself every time I see my still unread hardcover editions of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer… especially now that their paperback versions are imminent.

2) Avoid Goodreads grade-inflation: While writing my year-end wrap-up post, I noticed that I had a lot more 5-star books in 2013 than in previous years. I don’t think it’s that I read so many more out-of-this-world incredible books — it’s just that my ratings have done a slow creep upward. When I started using Goodreads, I gave 5-stars only to the absolute best books, the ones I’d put on my “favorites” shelf and keep there forever. Maybe I don’t need to be quite that exclusive, but I do need to be a bit more selective about my 5-stars and which books get them.

3) Rethink Flashback Friday format: I started Flashback Friday as a regular weekly feature well over a year ago, and while I have a few regular participants, it also hasn’t caught on as much as I’d hoped. I still enjoy doing it, although sometimes it feels more like work and less like fun. I’m trying to be more organized this year, and I’m coming up with lists of books to feature ahead of time, which should take some of the last-minute pressure off. If I can stick with it, I want to shake up my own habits a bit and use Flashback Friday as a mechanism for reading older books, not just writing about ones I’ve already read. More to come on this, as I think it through. Meanwhile, I’d love to get some input!

4) Related to #3, make time to read some older books. I’ve been wanting to reread some books from my reading past (like Rebecca, To Kill A Mockingbird, and more), as well as exploring books that I really should have read years ago — or even in my childhood! — but never did. I have a feeling that if I don’t give myself a timeline and schedule for these, it’ll never happen.

5) Also related, make more time for the books already on my bookshelves. Are we sensing a theme here? I have so many books that I haven’t read yet. Seriously, if I didn’t acquire a single book in the coming year — whether bought or borrowed — I still wouldn’t run out of reading material. And that’s just sad.

6) Catch up on graphic novels. I keep buying new volumes in the series I follow, but I haven’t been reading them (yup, there’s definitely a recurring theme), and now I have a backlog. I need to catch up on several volumes each of Buffy, Angel & FaithFairest, and The Unwritten.

7) Finish up a series (or two) that I left in the middle: I read the first three books in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, really enjoyed them, but somehow ended up wandering off and never coming back to the remaining books. I’d like to at least read a bit further in the series, if not finish the whole thing. We’ll see.

8) Reach out and explore: I’d set this goal for myself a few months ago, so this is really just a reminder to myself that I should be making more of an effort to visit new-to-me book blogs and keep exploring the blogosphere.

9) Look into blog/tech options: I promised myself that I’d keep my blogging to a no-cost or lost-cost level — this is a hobby, after all! Still, I thought I should make another effort to investigate what’s involved with self-hosting and look into some of the cool tools I see other bloggers using.

10) Stop worrying about the numbers. I’ve gotten better about this, really. I’m trying not to get sucked into thinking too much about stats, page views, followers, etc. Lots of great people have stopped by my blog this past year and made funny, insightful, thoughtful comments or engaged in great conversations. Quality over quantity! I notice that I’ll go along for a while feeling pretty good about how things are going… and then I’ll go visit a really well-established or well-known blog, realize that they get the number of page views in a day that I get in a couple of weeks, and suddenly my good, happy, contented blogging mood is just blown. So, my goal for 2014 is to stay positive, keep things in perspective, and not focus on statistics!

I’m sure I could go on and on with things I need to improve or change, but this feels like a pretty reasonable starting place!

What are your top goals for 2014? Wishing you all a wonderful year!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!


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35 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2014

  1. What great goals 🙂 I also need to stop worrying about stats as well. I need to finish series I’ve started as well. Good luck!

  2. That are some great goals. I think a lot of us struggle with unread books on shelves. I am planning to read a few of those too.
    I totally understand your feeling at point 10 but if I look closely at some of the blogs I totally love and are bigger I do realize they put way more time and often money in their blog. Seeing that I ask myself first if I have that time to put in my blog or the money to put in the blog and the answer is no and than I go back to loving all the people who do visit ;).

    Good luck with all your goals this year!!

    • Thanks for the great reality check! You’re right, of course — I suppose if I had a lot more time or $$ to invest in building my blog, I’d see a big upswing, but that’s not really what I’m about! I’m glad you pointed it out so well! 🙂

  3. As one of your semi-regular FF fans, I hope you keep the meme.
    I often found inspiration for a FF as I was reading the latest book by an author. I’d remember their earlier books and feel compelled to blog about them. I guess this meme works best for bloggers who like the personal journey approach to blogging.
    Good luck with your plans 🙂

    • Brona, thanks! I love the way you put it, “the personal journey approach to blogging”. That’s a lovely thought! I will keep FF (and I always look forward to your posts) — I’m just trying to figure out a) if there’s a way to “grow” it (b) if I really care whether there are many participants or a few and (c) if there’s a way to enrich my own approach to writing and enjoying my FF posts. I have to keep thinking about it a bit more, but I’m definitely not dropping it! And hey, it’ll be back this Friday!!

  4. Great resolutions! I have many the same myself!

    I also want to get into more tech-y stuff like self-hosting but the cost is a deterrent? And I don’t know graphics and website design so that will be another source of cost 😦

    I also want to learn graphic design, website design and coding but I don’t know where I learn 😦

    • Well, that’s my problem — I know enough to do what I’m doing now, but not enough to really advance. And I’m certainly not a design person, so I hit a big wall when it comes to graphics, etc. I’m going to keep trying to play with options this year and see if I can find any low or no-cost ways to enhance what I’m already doing…

  5. I have the opposite problem with 5 star ratings – I need to stop guarding them so strictly! I mean, last year I only gave 5 stars to the Runaways series, the first Hitch-hiker’s Guide book and the eleventh volume of the Yotsuba&! manga. I just think I read a bit randomly last year, and tried some hyped up YA books that I didn’t end up liking very much (e.g. Divergent, Legend).

    My 2014 resolution is related to this; I chose 10 high fantasy novels that I’m pretty sure I’ll like and will read them this year.

    • Do you already have a list of the 10 fantasy novels you’re planning to read? I’ll swing by your blog to see — sounds intriguing! I’m definitely in favor of random reading, although lately I’m pretty wary of the big-hype books.

      • Yeah, I think choosing 10 books would still leave enough time to read randomly if I want to. 😀 I think I’ll just have to read more adult stuff, or just stay away from the more hyped up YA books. Some of them just start to feel like repeating what I’ve already read in other YA books.

        • I agree. Maybe that’s why I’ve more or less stopped reading YA dystopian fiction and supernatural/paranormal — it kind of starts feeling like just more of the same.

  6. Looking forward to what you’re going to do for Flashback Fridays!

    I feel like I’ve never properly looked into the whole stats and figures business. I have that Site Stats plugin on my WP but I never bothered looking at the large scheme of things/how many people are actually visiting my blog. Maybe it’s better that way, I don’t know, lol.

    Re-reading is definitely a big thing for me this year. And staying my hand on requesting at NetGalley and buying books just to focus on the stack I do have right now 🙂 Great list! Best of luck completing your resolutions 😉

    My TTT

    • Thanks, Lianne! I’m not stopping Flashback Friday, but I’ll be trying to figure out changes both for my own posts and the feature in general, I think. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please let me know! So you do self-hosted for WP? Have you noticed any big advantages over the free WP? Every time I start looking into it, I end up overwhelmed by tech-speak.

    • Well… I hate to say it, but those were goals of mine last year too, and I didn’t do anywhere near as well as I’d hoped. But I guess we should keep aiming high!

  7. These are some really great resolutions! First off, NEVER EVER lose sight of why you do this. Blogging should be fun! It should never feel like a chore. Same thing goes for reading. Trust me, I know it’s hard not to feel the pressure (we all do) and not to constantly compare yourself to others, instead, focus on the new discoveries and friendships you’ve made while doing this. It definitely helps with the whole “keeping things in perspective” thing, for sure.

    And when it comes to books… I’m trying to make a more concentrated effort to giving new authors and older books a try. It’s easy to be distracted by the newest, shiniest thing. I’m trying to remember that older books and debut/indie authors need some love too.

    Best of luck with your goals! I know you can do it!

    • Oh, thank you! I definitely appreciate your words of wisdom. The perspective thing is hard to maintain, but important to remember. It’s funny, because in real life I’m a pretty content person and I don’t make a habit of comparing myself to others — but put me in the blogging world and I suddenly see numbers everywhere! I’m actually enjoying myself a lot more these days and making an effort to read what I really want to read, not what I think will get me the most page views. It makes me a happier person! 🙂

  8. I struggle with the stats thing too, but I try to remember that that isn’t why I am blogging. And I also buy hardcover brand new books that I HAVE TO HAVE and still haven’t read them.

    • It’s so hard! Books have always been my downfall when it comes to impulse purchases… I see it, and I have to have it! 🙂 I’m never going to stop buying new books — but hopefully I can learn to stick to the ones I actually have time for and/or will start reading immediately, rather than the “get to eventually” books that just sit there and gather dust. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Ugh I have to tackle the books I already own myself as well, I have many unread books in my shelves it’s crazy. Some are even 3-4 years old, which is even worse!
    I hope you succeed with these 🙂
    Happy reading!

    • Thanks, Ula! I tend to pull out books that have been sitting there a long time and donate them if I’m no longer interested — but the problem is really about all the ones that I own and want to read, but just never seem to get to!

  10. Those are excellent goals. It seems like we all have so many books on our shelves that we neglect. I hope we can show them some extra affection this year.

    I can tell you self hosted doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is an initial investment. You already have the domain name so all you would need is hosting. We use Hostgator and they had a really cool deal where we got 3 years for about $100. Though if you do move to self hosted, you really really should consider buying the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin. We love this so much!

    Can I ask that you update our That’s What HE Said meme link in your directory to our new blog domain name? Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for the info! Was it hard to make the switch? I’m feeling very intimidated by the idea, but I know I should at least investigate. And I’ve had the UBB plugin is amazing! I’ll update your meme link this week — can you please tell me what it should be?

      • It should be

        And I really liked your goals. I have the same problem of even if I did not buy another single book in I would still not run out of reading material. Also, I was check out your Flashback Friday Meme… I didn’t know you did one. Of course, my email has not been notifying me of stuff lately and I need to figure that out. Oh! And I have the oopsite problem on goodreads. The longer I have been blogging the tougher I am on books it seems. I have less and less 5 star reviews than ever before. Not sure if I am pickier or if I have been reading review requests instead of what I really would pick for myself. Thanks for sharing!

        • Thanks for the updated web address. I switched to your graphic w/the new address as well. I hope you’ll jump in for Flashback Friday sometimes! Thanks for your comments. I think we all end up trying to find the right balance between review books and the books we read for ourselves. It’s a treat when the two overlap, that’s for sure!

  11. Well as you know I struggle with not caring about the numbers as well but so far this year I’ve been doing pretty well. Of course we’re only just over a week in and i’m only just back at work tomorrow but still! 😉

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