Top 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 & Faith, Fairest, 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!
Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!