A Reasonable Reading Goal for 2022

You have a job (or two or three)? Check. You have a family or other responsibilities? Check. You have bills to pay, things to move, things to do? Check. You’re an editor, or working on your own book, or reading manuscripts for a publisher? Check. Does this time of the year stress you out with all these unreasonable goals everyone sets for themselves? Also check.

Okay, maybe the last sentence just applies to me. But every new year I swear I over-reach on what I want to accomplish within the next twelve months. That’s why, instead of making true resolutions, I decided to completely overhaul my writer’s life. The same will happen for 2022 and my reading goals.

I used to maintain a giant list of every book I read. As a new blogger I felt I needed content, and it worked for the first few years of this site when it was anotherhartmanauthor.com. After last year’s rebrand to chocolateandpaper, however, that was one of the things that needed to go away. Not only did maintaining such a huge list begin to stress me out, but it was beginning to take way more time than I had patience to maintain.

So into the trash bin those pages went, and “decluttering” that section of my site felt so incredibly good. It was one of the last remaining ideas from when I created this place in 2016. Let a bygone era remain bygone. Why continue to maintain something that’s not reaching fellow book lovers to begin with?

Speaking of those reading lists, I just kept to Kindle’s stats, as messed up as they can be sometimes. There seems to be a glitch in Amazon’s famous app where, after reading a lot of books, it likes to switch book covers with the wrong titles, or show you read the same book twice when you know for a fact you did not. Or, or or. Let’s take a look first at how I did in 2021.

How Did I Do For 2021?

Did I reach my goal within the first five months of 2021? Yes. Did I think I was in a race with the rest of the book community? Also yes. And I did not like that feeling. You see, I have this problem. I’ve had it since childhood. I see everyone else around me being successful at something, and I feel the need to shore myself up and try to beat them at the game. Most of the time, I don’t. Every once in a while I realize I’m doing something just for clout, and I don’t like that either.

While reading 120 books in one calendar year is great and all, I found myself finishing books I didn’t like right from the start, or skipping over majorly boring sections just to get to the end. Or reading only with reviewing in mind.

One thing that I do find frustrating about the Amazon Kindle app is that it absolutely loves repeating books in its recommendations lists. It goes, “Oh, you read one book from this genre? Here’s everything with the exact. same. story line!” *sigh* Amazon’s algorithm doesn’t like suggesting something completely new. I’m gonna have to rethink my reading habits overall for 2022!

All that needs to change for 2022. I need to read for enjoyment again. Books aren’t my business. I’d like them to be, but I’m just not that type. I need to fall in love with stories again, and that’s why this post is titled the way it is. Let’s look now at the reasonable goal I’ve set for myself for 2022.

The Number for 2022.

Even though reading on my lunch breaks at work was exactly how I reached 120/100 for 2021, I’ve decided that all things books needs to slow down in 2022. Don’t get me wrong – I love books. Now that I’m writing again, I gotta plan ahead and stick with the plan. So here’s the ebook plan:

Fresh, clean, ready to go. And I plan on filling that list with different genres. I’m going to try to read more non-fiction as well, but I’ll be researching those authors beforehand to make sure our values align first.

Will I review these books or put them in any “My Last Five Reads” posts? Perhaps, but I’d like to rethink that part of my blog first, as my reading habits are about to become much more regulated. Maybe regulated isn’t the right word – I’ll think of something else later! Now let’s take a look at what book buying will look for me with a No-Buy Year.

What the No-Buy Year Will Look Like for Books.

I think it’s safe to say this: I have plenty of books. So many, in fact, that I keep donating small piles of them to my local libraries to control the madness. Many of the donations were stories I’ve read before, or the genre just didn’t interest me any longer. Now, thankfully, I’ve got a manageable, curated collection ready to be devoured.

As such, I will not be purchasing a single book in 2022. Unless, of course, a writer friend’s book comes out that I really really want to read.

There are all these funny book memes about “your shelves are full. what did we talk about?” and the other person responds with, “buy more books!” After spending the majority of 2021 changing my mindset as well as my purchasing habits overall, that meme just makes me sad. We don’t need to be constantly fed stories. We are allowed to have our favorite authors and wait patiently for their next book to come out.

With recommendations EVERYwhere, I’ve come to realize that I really can’t support everyone I’d like to monetarily. What I can do is help spread word of the stories I truly enjoyed. Because that’s what reading should be about. Speaking of reading, let’s get to it! Happy 2022, everyone.