Reading Challenges & How I'm Sticking to Them in 2019! [#Project14Lists no. 10]

December 27, 2018

(image credit goes to Shealea!)

This is my TENTH post in the #Project14Lists series, hosted by Shealea at That Bookshelf Bitch! You can find more information here, as well as a thread of my posts for the event here.

Previous #Project14Lists Posts:
1. Winter TBR
2. #Short-a-Thon: Graphic Novel/Manga Goals
3. 2019’s General “Life” Resolutions & Goals
4. 2019’s Reading Resolutions & Goals
5. 10 TV Shows I Want to Watch in 2019
6. Random Bookish Facts About Me!
7. 10 Movies I Want to Finally See in 2019
8. 2019 Releases I WISH I Could Find Under My Christmas Tree
9. 24 Books On My 2019 TBR

Today’s #Project14Lists post is…

Reading Challenges & How I’m Sticking to Them in 2019!


Unlike the vague goals I detailed in a previous post, these are specific challenges.


In 2018, my goal was 150, and right now, I’m over 300. I decided to lower my reading challenge to 100. That’s enough to help keep me on track, but low enough that I don’t let myself cave in to any pressures to sacrifice my mental health for my reading numbers.


If you saw my sign-up post last month, you already know about this one. The New Release Challenge is a year-long challenge devoted to reading 2019 releases! My original goal was to hit “enthusiast” level (101-200 new releases), but I’m lowering that to aiming for “veteran” level (61-100).

3. READ 5, BUY 1:

There’s a great Google Doc you can reach here, made by Luna. The goal is simple: read 5 books for every 1 you buy! I’m actually tweaking this a little bit to say I can only buy unread book for every 5 I read; for books I borrow from the library and adore, I’ll still purchase a couple of those per month.


I want to read 100 books next year that I own(ed) before January 1, 2019. If I can hit this goal by Christmas, I’ll probably allow myself a big Boxing Day order from BookOutlet, or something!


This is easily my most overwhelming challenge: I want to catch up on all of my pre-2019 ARCs while still staying on top of my 2019 releases, too. To accomplish this, I counted it up, and I’ll need to read an average of FOUR (4) pre-2019 ARCs per month—which is less than I thought it would be, but still feels like… kind of a lot? ?


How the hell am I staying on top of these challenges?


I’m going to place reminders around my desk—namely, I’m going to invest in a small whiteboard to keep on the wall by my “current reads” shelf!


I usually sign up for things and then don’t mention them again on here until they’re over, so I’m going to start giving challenge-specific updates in each month’s wrap-up!


I want to start using twitter threads to keep a running update on my challenge progress! I’ll be pinning these to the top of my bio for anyone who wants to peek, but they won’t go live until closer to the 1st.


If you’re not on Litsy, you should check it out—it’s like Goodreads and Bookstagram had a stress-free, quiet baby. My favorite thing about Litsy is how low-key it is—nobody really uses ‘themes’ or staged photos—which makes it really easy to post quick updates for challenges! My username is @howlinglibraries and I follow back!


This is the method I am most excited about: I’m going to tack a “challenge updates” post to my menu here on my blog, where you can check back at any time to see RECENT UPDATES to my reading progress! You won’t get a notification every time it’s updated, but I will post a reminder in each month’s wrap-up and TBR. The post will be coming some time in the next few days, so keep an eye out!

Are any of these challenges interesting to you, or do you think any of these methods could help you? Let me know!


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

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

    1. So glad you are giving Read 5, Buy 1 a try! Looks like you are going to have an awesome reading year. The live update page is a great idea, I always have a problem remembering all the lists I want to keep up with throughout the year. This year I did make a page in my Bullet Journal, so hopefully that helps me a bit.

      1. Thank you, it’s a great idea and I’m really excited to try it (though realistically I know in a few weeks I’ll be grumbling to myself about it lol!). I love the bullet journal page idea, I hope it helps! ♥

    1. I’ve been working on crafting my own 2019 reading goals and your list and organization is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing with us! 😀

    1. I will be joining you on this challenges too, its in line with all i have planned for next years reading challenge ..need to get that TBR list down.

    1. I love keeping a low Goodreads goal. Thanks for the Google docs link. I’ll look into that. I have some loose buying rules, and I’d like to make them a bit more solid this year so I’m reading what I’m buying.

      1. It’s a great idea, Jen! I almost made my goal even lower but I feel confident that I’ll hit at least 100, and I figured anything less than my 2018 goal is an improvement on the “going easier on myself” front for the new year. 🙂 What are your loose buying rules, if you don’t mind me asking?

          1. It’s not super user friendly, sadly – and I don’t know if you’re in the FB group, but the guy who’s in charge of it now seems to have no interests whatsoever in making it more “approachable” for newbies. ? Then again, I have a lot of opinions on the way he interacts with people in general, so I’ll just be quiet…

            1. Dooo iiiit lmao. He’s not a raging douche or anything, it’s just some of the stuff he says is so weird. Like me and some other people were talking about how unless an announcement is pinned to the top of the feed, we might miss it because we follow a lot of people, and he basically dismissed us and was like “the longer you’re on the app, you’ll learn to narrow your feed” or some shit. Like bruh?? I’ve been on the app 2.5 years?? MAYBE I JUST LIKE PEOPLE? (Okay that’s a lie but anyways)

    1. i wanted to do number 3 this year but i couldn’t do it. (‘: i’m definitely going to use twitter threads the most for my reading challenges.

    1. This is such a good idea to keep on top of things! I could never – largely because the amount of books I read is SO SMALL these days. I’m just glad I read more than 10 books this year? I hope it all works out for you!

    1. These seem like pretty achievable goals, and you have helpful ways to make sure you stay on top of everything. Good luck with your 2019 reading and goals!

    1. Love how you are gonna keep track of your reading next year! That’s one of my goals as well so these are good suggestions. I have to check out litsy as well!

    1. Ooh I love this post, your 2019 goals! I think my Goodreads goal will be 100 too!
      I also use reminders around my desk and they really helps me, so hopefully, it will with you too!

    1. I love all these challenges — and your ideas for sticking with them! 🙂 I also plan to lower my goodreads goal for next year. I’m just barely going to hit mine as is and definitely want to prioritize my mental health — and reading quality — over the amount of books read.

    1. I like the idea of Twitter threads and a ‘live update’ page to help with public accountability! I keep a page for challenge updates but I never reference it. I think it’s a good idea to include it in a monthly wrap up post.

      1. Thank you!! That’s going to be the hardest one for me, I think. It was originally meant to be not buying ANYTHING until reading 5 but I know I won’t be able to resist those $2 kindle sales. Plus with borrowing from the library I know there will sometimes be a book that I love so much I just HAVE to get myself a copy of. So I figured limiting my new physical purchases was an okay compromise!

    1. I actually like the sound of “Read 5, buy 1”. Especially since it’d give me a way to “justify” buying books once the kid’s born? Although I might do something more along the lines of putting a certain amount of euros in a jar for every owned book I read? I haven’t made up my mind yet.. Basically because I have no clue if I’d stick to it, haha.
      As for the 100 off your shelves: You should totally make Terry reward you in some way as well! Like! He should be EXTREMELY proud if you manage to read 100 of your pre-2019 books and show it in some way! 😛
      YES TO THE UPDATES PAGE!! I’ll definitely be one of the people checking that one out once in a while – hopefully, haha.

      1. I like the euro jar idea!! I thought about doing something like that but never could settle on a price amount that I was happy with, so I just did the R5B1 thing instead. The only thing is that I’m not including pre-orders that I placed before 2019, or kindle sales, but I’m still being sparing with those kindle sales (I think I’ve only bought 2 this year and they were both books that I owned later books in the series to, so I couldn’t read the others without getting these? If that makes sense ?).
        I do love a good reward system! 😉

        1. I’m going to think about it some more. Honestly, I think I’ll only settle on a price amount once I know how much I’ll be able to read after the little one’s born? If I can read way less than I can now, I’ll be more inclined to use a higher amount then should I still be able to read 10+ books a month, haha. :’)
          Definitely makes sense! I plan on only ordering FC’s of ARC’s I loved and sequels I already read the previous books of but that’s it. Oh, and books by authors I love. I’m going to try and not buy all the debuts because of raving reviews. It’ll be a challenge but.. we’ll see, haha.
          We bookworms need some kind of reward system! If only to ease the guilt towards all our unread books.. :’)

          1. The funny thing about the reward system is that it gives us MORE unread books. ? If only I could convince myself to make my reward something I actually need and never get around to buying, like “a new pair of work shoes for every 20 books read” or something.

            1. Yeah, that doesn’t even SOUND as a reward.. Or maybe you should go all “I can only dye my hair once I’ve read x books”. Now.. THAT would work.
              OMG I CAN USE TATTOOS.

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