Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

"Tope Ten Tuesday" in a white font mimicking handwriting on navy starry skies

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

This week is all about bookish goals! This is going to be a mix of reading goals and blog goals. I’m not sure I’m going to reach 10, but we’ll see how far we get.

1. Reach my Reading Goal

This one is a bit of a cop out as I always set my reading goal about 40% below what I think I’m going to read, because I don’t want to stress out about reaching it. However, it’s still worth mentioning I think – not to mention that I am waiting for the year when my reading plumets due to life. Hopefully it’s not this year! (I’m not including the number because I think comparisons of books read it unhelpful due to different life circumstances and reading speeds between people.)

2. Reach 4.5k monthly views on my blog

My current monthly view is about 3k, a little more. I figure a 50% increase over a year is a reasonable goal. It’s going to mean thinking a bit more strategically about how I use social media and cross linking, as well as positioning for google search hits, but that feels doable.

3. Read more widely

For the last several years (since I started tracking reading stats intensively), speculative (fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia) has accounted for 75-85% of what I read each year. It has been decreasing a little, thanks to my book club (which has only read one speculative novel, PIRANESI) but I think I can do better.

Maybe a decade ago, my major genre was historical fiction and I do still love it, I just drifted away because it’s not as big in YA, and I switched to fantasy when I discovered YA as it started to take off. Now I’m drifting away from YA into Adult, I’m starting to read more historical fiction, go back to that (SFF is still my largest genre.) I want to make a conscious decision to pick it up more.

4. Read 50% UK-authors

I love supporting UK-based authors. This is my local writing economy after all, and also these books rarely get as much publicity as US titles, even from our own publishers (who are, understandably, more likely to publish UK-authors than other publishers abroad.) It means there are so many underhyped books that can slip under the radar, and I want to seek them out.

In 2022, I read 43% UK authors (or Irish – our publishing industries are often intertwined) so 50% is a reasonable goal based on that, I think.

5. Get onto the Titan publicity list

I’m not quite sure how to even start going about this one (how to contact/if they do periodic calls for new sign ups), but I’d like to end up on their blogger list this year. I like a lot of what they publish, and it seems like I’m at a stage with my blog where I can probably actively try to get on lists (rather than hope and get on by semi-accident.)

6. Read more non-fiction

I usually read a lot more non-fiction (in the double figures) each year than I did in 2022. I have a lot of books stacked up on my shelves and simply not reached for them this year. So I’m going to aim for at least one a month. I reckon they’re all going to be history, because that’s my favourite non-fiction field.

7. Keep my NetGalley shelf to no more than 40 unreads

I started 2023 on exactly 40 unreads on NetGalley (thanks to a last minute read!) I struggled in 2022 to keep atop of my review copies, both digital and physical, partly because so many great books (and I know I am so lucky to have been able to get my hands on them) and also because of life.

A major difficulty I hadn’t run into before was reading digitally. That was so hard because I was suddenly having to read a lot of papers for my masters (which are pretty much all online now, and many are online only.) My brain just saw reading digitally as work and so didn’t want to do it in leisure time. Having started a PhD in Autumn 2022, I can’t see that changing any time soon.

What will this mean? Being more thoughtful about what I request and also making more of an effort to carve out time to read digitally in a way that makes it feel more fun. I would love to get my NetGalley shelf down to 20 or fewer, but I don’t know how realistic that is going to be alongside non-NetGalley (digital and physical) review copies and the fact I will inevitably request more of the super exciting titles.

8. Average page count of 400 pages

This is a really dumb goal and the one that I probably won’t reach at all (because Middle Grade exists and I like it! Also bonus content short stories!) but I was a tad disappointed to have an average page count of 385 last year, because it felt like it didn’t reflect the long books I read.

I suppose the better way of phrasing this would be “find some chonky books to read this year,” and given there is a super chonky prequel to THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE coming out soon, there is hope for that…

9. Use the library more

I now live only a few minutes’ walk from the library, and I want to use it. Libraries are underfunded and at risk due to deliberate government policy, so getting books from them supports both authors and a vital service for the community. I think it will be particularly useful for book club books as they’re not the sort of thing I’d usually pick up!

10. End this blog

If we’re honest, this isn’t a goal but a dream (because it’s entirely beyond my control, which automatically means it can’t be a goal in my definition.) However, it feels worth mentioning.

The reason I’d end the blog is because I’d got an agent for writing (possibly be one stage further.) That is very much not something I can control – I’ve done what I can to achieving it that year (I have a book on query) but there’s a lot of luck and right timing involved, hence it’s a dream beyond my control. Still, that is the big thing I’d love to happen this year, so why not say it? Plus, it feels right to end this list on the acknowledgement that this blog may not continue into the distant future. (I have spoken more about this here.)

I made it to ten despite my doubt! What are your bookish goals for 2023?

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

  1. I think @Sarah_Mather_15 on Twitter is still Titan’s press officer if that helps. I get sporadic emails from her (and their comics person) but that’s from when I met their publicity person at a con eons ago, and she just added me, so I don’t know how they add people these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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