I still can’t believe that we’re in the year 2023. We’re only about a third of the way through the month. That’s so early! I feel pretty excited about my reading year for the first time since 2020. There are soooo many releases coming from some of my favorite authors and they’re going on tour again. Ahhhhh.
As I look at other people’s 2023 goals, I’m noticing a trend of readers who want to read as much of their own books as possible and who want to get back into fantasy. Interestingly enough, I share some of those goals as well. Is it because we all acquired so many books due to pandemic buying and now we finally have the brain power to give them the attention they deserve? And in terms of reading fantasy again, I wonder if more people went a little out of our comfort zones these past few years like I did. Between 2020 and 2021, I got into more thrillers, and the year after that I started reading more horror. Now I feel like my brain is read for SFF again!
I feel pretty good about the fact that I achieved most of my 2022 Reading Goals. The only one I didn’t put forth intention effort toward was swapping my screen time for reading time. I’ve been spending less and less time on social media but I’d still like to retrain my brain to focus on reading books instead of scrolling on the internet. To be fair, times were rough and sometimes all a girl wants to do is check out.
1. Read as much of my physical TBR as possible.
My goal is to read at least 50 of my owned books or backlist TBR, even if I don’t have the physical copy. I’m hoping to borrow everything else from the library. I’m also trying to limit myself to buying 25 books this year so I can stay on top of my TBR. I feel like my reading list is never ending because I keep discovering new books. But the consequence of this is that I end up with books on my shelf that I needed to read 3+ years ago. I’m already spending the first quarter of the year trying to get through those books that I’ve been meaning to read for years before I move on to my newer books.
2. Catch up on backlist adult fantasy series I started.
I’m currently in the middle of six adult SFF series. Thankfully, it’s not more than that and I’m not counting any brand new series that got released last year. The reason I have a back log of SFF is because the last three years were bleak as hell and I couldn’t find it in myself to read anything grimdark. Here are the series I want to catch up on:
3. Read more tomes: books that are over 500 pages.
Every year I make this goal and every year I slowly but surely increase my number. In 2020, I believe I read one tome. In 2021, I only read two. Then in 2022, I almost read three (Damn it, Babel). This year, I hope to read six tome-sized books. Luckily, this goal ties in with catching up on my SFF as you’ll see.
4. Make reading Black, Indigenous, and Latin American literature a priority.
Part of the struggle I’ve faced recently is that there are not enough BIPOC authors in the genres I read most avidly, such as adult dark fantasy, horror, and thriller. You might say, “But they exist! They do write fantasy/horror/thrillers!” I know, I know. And I’ve been getting my hands on as much of these books as I can, but BIPOC authors are still underrepresented in the speculative fiction department, especially in the adult market. They have increased in popularity among YA literature, but I don’t read YA as much as I used to. BIPOC authors are very much in the forefront of literary fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction/fiction—genres I read the least. That being said, I still want to continue making an effort to diversify my reading every year.
- Read 6 books by Black authors.
- Read 6 books by Indigenous authors.
- Read 6 books by Latin American authors.
- Read 6 books by Asian authors.
5. Start reading V.E. Schwab’s backlist.
I have read almost all of V.E. Schwab’s works with the exception of her backlist young adult series. My goal is start either Monsters of Verity or The Archived series. On a side note, the author is coming out with her spin-off to the A Darker Shade of Magic series but my overall experience of it was 3 stars at best. I’m looking forward to any of her future projects not set in the ADSoM world though. She’s been my favorite author for awhile, so I think reading her older works while I “wait and see” if I’ll like her new stuff is a good plan.
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