Reading Goals: Then & Now

Hi friends! I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, where I will post a daily blog post all month. That’s 31 blog posts! I look forward to reading other people’s blogs who do this challenge with me. I also really appreciate the likes and comments on my posts. I promise to respond to every single one of them! Thanks in advance for reading. 


As many of you may know, I’m a big ole book nerd, so I wanted to start the new year by reflecting on my reading life over the last 12 months. I had high hopes and managed to check a few things off of my bookworm to-do list.

  • More library visits: I borrowed more books and saved a lot of money. I’m there so often now that the woman at the drive-up window recognizes me. I don’t know her name, but she always greets me with a smile and grabs my books off the reserved cart before I can get out my library card. She also knows I’ll ask for the latest issue of Book Page, a free library magazine with many recommendations. Most libraries carry them; just ask!
  • Discovered a new indie bookstore: We vacationed in Bar Harbor, Maine, in September and stayed at an Airbnb located a few blocks away from Sherman’s Books. I hung out there almost every night after a long day of touring, perusing their shelves that reached from floor to ceiling, talking to the friendly staff, and supporting their business. If I could have found a way to hide myself in that bookstore overnight, it would have been amazing.
  • Summer book project: I reorganized the bookshelves in my house. Now, I have curated shelves in the office, bedroom, and living room. I also cleaned out my kids’ shelves and got rid of several thick SAT guidebooks. The shelves all look so nice, and it has been a joy to rediscover the books I forgot I owned.
  • Book blogs: I wrote many book reviews last year and learned that several readers learned about some great books from my posts. In fact, some of my highest open rates were from my book blogs. If you want to read them, search for “book report” in my blog search bar. And stay tuned for my December book report coming soon. 
  • No Book Buy July: Between borrowing books at the library, organizing my shelves, and refraining from buying books for a month, I enjoyed the books I had instead of buying new ones. It wasn’t easy because I’m always looking for the “it” book that everyone is reading. Plus, July was Amazon Prime Day, where the books were super cheap. And yet, I didn’t buy one book and lived to tell about it.
  • Book stats: I completed 34 books this year. My Goodreads goal was originally 40 titles last January, but then I reduced it to 35 and then again to 33 as the year went on.

2024 Reading Goals

  • Number of books: Today, I set my book challenge to 40 books, hoping to finally reach that magic number.
  • Backlist books: I signed up for the Backlist Book Challenge where each month I read a book or two published in a specific year. Preferably, the books I pick are ones I already own. January has been assigned the year 2012, so I will read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and a nonfiction book still to be chosen.
  • Track my books: I downloaded a Google spreadsheet from the women who host the Currently Reading podcast. I want to dig into my reading habits a little more this year, such as where I get my book recommendations, whether I bought or borrowed it, and why I liked or didn’t like specific titles. The more details I provide, the better I’ll know myself as a reader at the end of 2024.
  • Buy less and borrow more: When I buy a book, it has to be from Audible or an indie bookstore, not a big box store or downloaded to Kindle. This way, I’ll have to go out of my way to get to the store and buy it. I will also only buy physical books if there is a long wait at the library or if no one has it and I must read it by a certain date (like for book club). I will keep in mind that I have plenty to read already and learn to tune out the hyped books that everyone is talking about. This is going to be my hardest goal, but I’m putting it out here and willing to give it a shot.

How was your reading year? What bookish goals are you setting for 2024? Let me know in the comments.

XO,
Elisa

7 comments on Reading Goals: Then & Now

  1. Nadya
    January 2, 2024 at 3:58 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m also a bibliophile and LIVE this post!! I grew up being read to and crewing library visits!
    My daughter found tall bookshelves on FB Marketplace after I moved to Rose Cottage,
    so they’re pretty well organized. She also introduced me to our library’s online Libby network and access to audiobooks – what a great option! And … I adore our local Indy bookstore (Third Street Books in McMinnville) where I do get several each year, and I began ordering from Thriftbooks for those second hand treasures i ‘need!!’
    I likely read at least 2 books a week – and snippets of others.
    I guess I’m in 3 bookgroups (!) Sister Circle – books on spirituality with a female slant, Native Voices reading indigenous authors, and a whole church year long read: Seasons of Wonder!

  2. Victoria+Juster
    January 2, 2024 at 10:50 am (2 months ago)

    I got some great suggestions from you in 2023, looking forward to your 2024 ideas!

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2024 at 11:15 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks, Victoria! My December Book Report is coming soon.

  3. Tamara
    January 2, 2024 at 4:49 am (2 months ago)

    Happy new year, Elisa!
    Looks to me like you’re making it harder to have access to books (your last bullet point) while 40 ist a high number, but something tells me you’re going to be just fine.
    As for me, I reached my unspoken goal of reading one book in 2023 ;-))) It was a Christmas gift from Colin, and I enjoyed it. Wait, That’s not even true, I actually read two books, one was the Soulmate, recommended by you. That was also in 2023, right?

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2024 at 11:16 am (2 months ago)

      Happy New Year! You are right. I am purposely making it a little harder for me to buy new books. This is because I have an impulse control problem in bookstores – LOL! I could seriously read 40 books from all the great titles I already own. But, I’m sure I’ll break the rules at some point. I can’t always help myself.

  4. Karen
    January 1, 2024 at 9:42 pm (2 months ago)

    One of my goals in 2024 is to read a book per week. That may be a stretch but I’ll give it my best. Thanks for your ideas and keep reading!

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2024 at 11:17 am (2 months ago)

      I thought about doing that as well. Who knows – maybe I’ll exceed my goal this year. Good luck to both of us.