My 2021 reading goals

Blog post where I talk about my reading related goals for 2021.

Hello there lovely reader! And welcome to the last post of my end of the year content. I can’t believe 2021 is just around the corner. 2020 may have not been the best year in general, reading wise it was the best year of my life. But more on that next month (or year) with my beginning of the year blog post series! Now it’s time to finish off 2020 by talking about my 2021 goals that have to do with reading.

Goodreads reading challenge

So for the past four years I had a Goodreads reading challenge that challenged me. In 2016 I started reading more and more and discovered Goodreads. Since I only discovered it like half way through the year I didn’t make a challenge then. But I did make one in 2017: to read 50 books. Since I only just surpassed that with 54 books, my goal for 2018 was also to read 50 books. But then I discovered audiobooks and read so much more, I ended up reading 78 books in 2018. So my goal for 2019 was to read 65 books, because I didn’t want to stress myself out too much by putting it too high. I surpassed that goal by reading 76 books in 2019. And then I thought why not challenge myself a bit more, so I put my 2020 goal at 75 books. When I put down that goal I could’ve never imagined the amount of books I would end up reading. I read over 100 books this past year, which is crazy for me.

Now you’d think I would want to challenge myself again. And I really do, but I don’t want to stress myself out. 2021 will be a very non-typical year for me. In the spring semester I’ll be doing a 10 week full time internship and I have to write a Bachelor’s paper. In the autumn semester I’ll be starting a master’s degree. My year will just be so unpredictable, that I’m not going to put my challenge too high. I decided to go for 55 books. I would put it at 52, for one book per week of the year, but I absolutely hate numbers that can’t be divided by 5 so I’m going for 55 to stretch it a bit. And we’ll see what my reading brings. Who knows, maybe I’ll read 100 books again, but this way I’m not putting pressure on myself to read.

Finish book series

I do feel like it’s a bit of a trend, but I’m really not good at finishing series. For some reason I always start a new series to then never continue on reading it, even though I really want to. I’m currently in the middle of 22 series I still want to continue but simlpy haven’t or couldn’t because I’m waiting for the next book to be released.

So it’s my goal to finally finish some of those series. Knowing me, I’ll still also start a bunch of series in 2021, so I’m hoping to end 2021 with 15 book series on my currently reading list. It’s an ambitious goal, but I really need to learn to finish series.

Change my book buying habits

I want to change my book buying habits in two different ways. Let’s start with the type of books I buy. So where to start? I’m trying to build some sort of a system to decide which books I should and which I shouldn’t buy. And I think I’ve finally come up with one that I’m going to be happy with, so I’ll be trying it out in 2021. Basically the rule is that I can only buy books that I can’t find anywhere. Sounds vague, so let me explain. So basically I have three ways to access books right now that are not my owned books:

  1. I have my library which has a great collection and it’s free so yay!
  2. I have a Storytel subscription and there is an amazing selection of audiobooks on there. They also have quite a few ebooks.
  3. I’m thinking of also adding a Scribd supscription. That’s also an audiobook and ebook service. I might try it out for free for two months and see if it adds a lot to my reading or not.

So those are three places where I can access a whole lot of books for free or hardly any money. But still I sometimes buy books that I can access via those places. So my rule is going to be that I can only buy books that I can’t access through the library, Storytel or Scribd. However, there are two exceptions.

Number one is my favourite authors/books. Basically I am collecting the books by my favourite authors and just my favourite books. I want to own those books because they mean so much to me. So I’m still allowed to buy my favourite (authors’) books and if I read a book that I end up loving (for example through the library) then I’m also allowed to buy a copy of it.

The second exception is related to language and preference. I prefer reading books in the language they were originally written in if I can understand that language. And I also learned that I can’t really read fantasy books as audiobooks because I just end up being confused and I can’t follow the story. So to give an example: I want to read the Ember in the Ashes series, which is an English series, but my library only has the Dutch translations. Storytel does have the audiobooks for that series in English, however it’s a fantasy series, so I know I won’t be able to follow it properly as an audiobook. So I’m allowed to buy the Ember in the Ashes series once I intend on reading it soon.

That’s also just going to be quite a general rule: only buy books when I intend to read them soon. I own a lot of books I still need to read, so there’s no need for me to buy a whole lot of books that will just end up sitting on my shelves for years.

Next to that I’m going to try to buy ebooks instead of physical books of the books I can’t access via any of the previously listed options, except from the books I’m collecting of course. I just bought a small tablet that I’ll be using as an ereader so I can quite easily buy ebooks wherever I can find them and I won’t be limited to only one website.

Now onto habit number two I want to change. That change is all about where I buy my books from. In the past couple of years I’ve been trying to find the cheapest places to buy books because I’m a broke college student. However, those places are not always very ethical. So in 2021 I’m going to try to not buy any books from Amazon (two expection, will talk about it later on) or Bol.com or any other mass retailers. I’ve discovered two amazing local bookshops around me and we also have a super good bookstore chain here in Belgium that I still want to support.

However, in 2021 I will still be a broke college student so I still want to find good deals on books. Especially on for example the books by my favourite authors that I’ve already read. I don’t really need a brand new copy of those books. So I can buy those second hand. There are a lot of places where you can buy books second hand: via Facebookgroups, Vinted, in second hand bookstores and even on Amazon. However, I’m going to try my very best to not buy any second hand books on there.

And the last exception on not buying from Amazon is other people’s wish list. If I want to buy someone a gift from their wish list, I will still do that.

And that’s it on my 2021 reading goals. I hope to see you all again next year on my blog!

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