DISCUSSION: My 2018 Reading Goals

December 20, 2017

Today’s more of a “discussion” post than my usual content, but I wanted to tell you guys about a few of my 2018 bookish/reading goals! This does include my Goodreads challenge, but most of my goals are a little less concrete than that.

1. Goodreads Challenge

My Goodreads challenge for this year was 104 books (2 books per week), and I beat that back in the summer, so I wanted to up the ante a little this year. I originally considered really challenging myself and setting my goal for 200 in 2018, but realized that this will be the first year since 2013 that I’m taking summer classes. Summer is usually a time when I get a lot of reading done, so that might hurt my numbers a bit. Ultimately, I decided on a goal of 150.


2. My “Must Read” List

Towards the end of this year, I realized there are a lot of books that have been on my TBR – and on my shelves – for way too long. They aren’t books that I want to unhaul, but I keep forgetting about them or putting them off! A lot of them are recommendations from friends and family members that I keep being asked when I’m going to read, too… whoops. ?

To (hopefully) fix this issue once and for all, I’m making a list of 24 (2 per month) “must read” titles for the year! Some of the ones I already have on my list are…

  • The Rising – Brian Keene (mom’s rec)
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adam (fiance’s rec)
  • The Hobbit (because DAMMIT I NEED TO FINISH IT)
  • Throne of Glass (because why haven’t I done this already)
  • Six of Crows (see previous comment)

Every month, I’m going to try to pick two books from the list and knock them out with my other reading!


3. Finish Those Series!

Yep, you heard me. I have quite a few series that I’ve started but left unfinished – like Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which I keep swearing I’ll finish and it keeps… not happening. I also have a few ongoing series that I need to catch up with, like The Bone Season! They’re already sitting on my shelf, anyways, so there’s no excuse not to chip away at them before I start a million new series.


4. Request Waaaaaay Less ARCs

I have an ARC addiction. No, really. I have a spreadsheet dedicated to my ARCs, and if you saw the number of ARCs I have that I haven’t reviewed yet, it’s genuinely shameful. I want to work towards requesting less, catching up on the backlogged ones I have, and building myself up with publicists so I stand a better chance of approval when I request the ones I really want.

I’m going to start with a few new requesting rules for 2018, like…

  1. If it isn’t interesting enough to pre-order, it isn’t interesting enough to request.
  2. If it isn’t the first book in a series you haven’t started yet, JUST SAY NO. (This should be common sense but you’d be surprised.)
  3. No more contemporary titles unless they’re diverse AND sound legitimately unique. (I’ve become so weary of the contemporary genre as a whole, bar a few fave authors.)
  4. Try to avoid the hype! There are so many ARCs I requested in 2017 just because they were really hyped, and I ended up being unimpressed with most of them, honestly.


5. Book Bans

I’m on a book ban right now, and I plan on leaving it in place until the end of January. Then, instead of placing a big BookOutlet order or something, I’m planning to just pay off all of my pre-orders! Then, I’m going right back onto a book ban and I’m going to try keeping it up for a few months at a time. I did a quick count, and I personally purchased over 200 physical books this year – that’s not including ebooks, ARCs, trades, or gifts that I received. The shelves are filling up fast and I don’t have room for another bookcase, so I have to chill out a little (a lot).


6. Looser TBRs!

Over the last several months, I’ve gotten into the habit of creating monthly TBRs for myself that are 15-25 books long. Not only does it put way too much pressure on me, it also leaves no room for mood reading, which I really miss, if we’re being honest. So, other than ARCs that are releasing soon, I plan on leaving my monthly TBRs pretty free.


That’s it! Those are my 2018 reading goals. As you can see, they’re more rules for how I read rather than what I read.

Do you have any 2018 reading goals, or rules you’re putting into place for yourself? If so, I’d love to hear them! I’d also love to hear any tips you have for sticking to my rules in the coming year.


More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

Leave a comment
    1. I should really make similar rules for myself, but I doubt I would stick to them. The ARC one is especially good. I hate that I requested too many early on that don’t really interest me now. And they are just sitting there. I am pickier now, but I still request so many. But like you, I want publishers to realize that they can trust that I’ll read and review the books they send me.
      Great post!

      1. Thank you so much! I honestly sat down and thought long on hard on these. I tried to go with rules that I felt like I could feasibly enforce without going too overboard! That’s how I am, too – I’ve requested many that I just no longer really want to read.

    1. Great post!! You’re definitely way “stronger” in managing your TBR list than me!! The only sort of ban I can put myself on is that I can’t spend more than a certain amount every month but I’m aloud to buy as many secondhand books as I want (the thrift shop were I live sells books for 0.7euro a piece, that’s no money!)
      200 books is amazing!! I really hope you make it! This year my goal was 70 and I read 100 books so far! But next year will probably a bit more busy because a lot will change (I have to finish my master thesis so I can graduate and then I can go find a job). Because of that I’m going to play it safe and set my goal for 2018 at 75.
      Great post!

      1. That’s a great ban, though! I’ve thought about doing a dollar amount limit for myself, too, but I learned earlier this year that I seem to do best with outright bans. I only allow myself to make exceptions for group reads in Life & Lit, or if I read a book in a series and it ends on a cliffhanger and I need the next installment RIGHT NOW, lol!
        Thank you! 100 is amazing – congratulations! And good luck on your graduation and job hunt!

    1. “STOP REQUESTING ARCS JUST BECAUSE THE COVER IS PRETTY!” Hahaha, that basically sums up my goal for 2018 😀 You’ve 200 paperback copies of your own? That’s so cool! This might sound really weird or I don’t know what, but I haven’t ever bought a book. Either someone gifts me or I keep lending from my cousin or friends…am I being a disgrace to the book bloggers? 🙁 Anyway, your goals are super cool and I hope you get them all ticked off in the new year! <3 <3

      1. LMAO it’s so true though! And yeah, I bought 200 physical books this year. It’s too much, lol! I don’t blame you, though – I need to find a happy medium. You definitely are not a disgrace AT ALL! Thank you so much and happy reading <3

    1. Great goals!! I’m all about finishing off series ^_^ That was my main Reading Challenge this year and I’ll continue it next year 🙂
      I’ll also try to stop requesting so much from Netgalley, but that is mostly for my own sanity and not so much a goal/challenge!
      Another big one is trying to not just read certain genres: fantasy, but reach out too and check out more popular contemporary books as well and make sure I”m reading more books with diverse authors and themes to keep my reading well-rounded.

      1. Thank you! I’ve been REALLY bad at finishing series in the past, so I’m hoping to really stick to that rule.
        Ooooh, very cool goal on branching out! I think I pick up a pretty wide variety of genres but I will say that I want to branch out to adult fantasy in 2018 instead of only limiting myself to YA fantasy.

    1. I’m planning on writing up my 2018 reading/blogging goals before the end of the year, so reading over your list has been really helpful for thinking about what I might want to do! When I first joined Netgalley I didn’t understand how it worked so I ended up requesting LOADS of books that I’m still trying to get rid of 6 months later! I’ve already restricted myself to only requesting (wishing for) the ones I really, really want so that’s something to definitely carry on!
      Also, opposite to you I’d quite like a goal to actually buy more books. I’m always worried about money so I usually end up stopping myself from buying a book I really want, only to end up spending it on rubbish anyway, so I’m going to treat myself next year – although probably not quite close to the 200 books you bought 😉

      1. Awesome, I would love to read your goals! And yes, I feel you. I binge-requested when I first joined NetGalley, thinking I would get turned down for most of them; lo and behold, I actually was approved for most of them and now some of those old ones are STILL unreviewed! I feel so bad about it, lol!
        Ooooh, that’s a great goal for you then! I hope you’re able to find a happy medium – that’s what I’m aiming for! ?

    1. These are all super good goals! And I always believe in you and know you can complete them all! Also, just a heads up because I don’t see many people talk about it, Red Rising has a lot of triggers for rape/attempted rape! But nothing too graphic or anything, but just a heads up. The trilogy is honestly very worth powering through that book, imo! So, if you find yourself not in love with it, I promise, the next two books are SO much better.
      I wish you all the luck and happiness in 2018! Happy holidays, beautiful! ❄☃?xx

      1. Thank you so much, beautiful! I totally appreciate it! Also, I totally died over your comment because I was SO CONFUSED until I realized the mix-up might have come from me mentioning The Rising – it’s an indie (I think) zombie book my mom loves. Red Rising is also on my TBR, though, and I had no clue about the trigger warnings, so thank you so much for that! It means so much to me that you let me know about those. <3 I love you!

        1. LMAOAOOAOAOAOAOAO! I’m done. I’m telling you, The Hazel Wood is now taking away my ability to read. I AM SO SORRY! Hahaha! But I love you so much! ❄☃?xx

    1. These are awesome goals! Every year I say that I am going to finish the series that I have started but that just never happens. I do not know what it is about series but it is very rare that I actually complete them!

    1. Oh man, I totally feel you on 3 & 4. I, too, have a bunch of series that I’ve started but never finished that I want to make a priority in 2018, AND I want to catch up on my backlog of ARCs that I requested but have yet to review. I think I’m going to “borrow” your rules because it turns out that I was hitting that request button for pretty much the same reasons you did, haha.

    1. Sound like you have some well thought out goals! I am with you on the buying less, though bans would probably not work for me. Good luck with them all!

    1. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote here. I adjusted my GR reading challenge for next year, and try to only request ARC’s that are MUST READs. I also want to give myself time for mood reads, just being able to pick up a book without a second thought should be more than a novelty in 2018. I also want to pick up a new author each month, I want to find a few new authors to love. Fresh blood etc. 😀

      1. Yes, exactly! I feel like I never get to mood read or just pick up books on a blind whim anymore, and I miss those days, so I want to get back to it. 🙂 Good luck and happy reading in 2018!

    1. Finishing series is a huge goal for me in 2018 also. I have many YA fantasy series on the go, but I also want to finish the Narnia books, and an amazing manga series called With the Light, which is about a Japanese family with a son who has autism.

    1. Oooo, I hope you like H2G2 (erm, Hitchhiker’s Guide). It’s a bit chaotic at times, but honestly the randomness throughout just makes me laugh. Rob McKenna and Wowbanger are THE BEST and they don’t even come into the series until … book 4 I think? Idk, that one is BEGGING a reread for me.
      I love your 150 book ambition. I’m setting my goal at 52 books again this year and will up it accordingly when I beat it. 😛 I read more this year than I ever have before, and I’m afraid I’ll hit a slump and drop back to a book a week!

      1. I really can’t wait! I love the film, and my fiance swears the book is even better (though I guess that’s usually the case, isn’t it? lol). I don’t think I’ll prioritize reading the entire collection in 2018, but they’ve been on my TBR so long that I’ll honestly be happy even if I can get through the first 1 or 2 parts!
        Oh, I don’t blame you! I haven’t read this much since I was a teenager. I’m worried about the same thing next year, honestly.

    1. Your goals are awesome! I need to do a “must read” list and I know it would overlap with my “finish the series” list (BTW: I always say I will finish the series. I am the worst!). I have been doing weekly TBRs and I find that I am mostly able to stick to them. Good luck with all your goals.

    1. Read without pressure! I think that will take all the fun out of reading! ARC is not that bad! I am just starting with that but I have a lot of book I own that should be read! but fair enough to reduce the amount hmmm I will try not to go crazy there! I have to finish series that I started… and that was not in my 2018 plans XD such a bummer XD
      I hope you like my blog and I will totally keep an eye on yours!

    1. I have a huge problem with reading books just based on the cover… I really need to cool it with that. Luckily, I don’t have toooo much of a problem with ARCs anymore (I’ve realized that if it’s not something I’m super sold on, I usually don’t like it), but I’ve DNFed so many books the last few months that I’m not sure what I’ll even like anymore!

      1. At least you’re DNFing books instead of wasting time on them, though, right? I’ve decided one of my other 2018 resolutions is actually to DNF more books instead of trying to push through when I KNOW I’m not enjoying them.

        1. Definitely true! It’s no fun at all to push yourself through something you’re not enjoying.

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