{2015 Goals} Bookish goals for the new year

I’ve been thinking about this post for a few weeks now. In the past, I’ve always said things like, “I want to read more”, but this year, I’m heading into the new year with SMART reading goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Photo 2014-12-31, 4 05 21 PM

So here are my bookish/reading goals for 2015, in no particular order:

1. Read these five and these five books from my TBR stash.

I’ll only be reducing my stash by ten books, but I wanted to make this a goal I’d have a chance of meeting (especially since I didn’t even touch my TBR stash in 2014), so I chose books I really really really want to read. Setting myself up for success is a good thing!

2. Read 96 books.

I’ve never set a quantifiable “number of books I’m going to read” goal before. I thought about making it 52 books – one per week – but I wanted to challenge myself a bit more. Especially since, if I get on a reading streak, I have no problems reading a book every day or two. It’s just that I don’t give myself the time for reading streaks all that often.

So I decided on 96. My first pick was 80, but 12 doesn’t divide evenly into that, and I wanted a monthly target. So then I thought, okay, 84. That would require seven books a month. But I’d like to challenge myself a little more. So I decided in the end on eight books a month, or 96 books in total.

3. Visit at least four of Toronto’s second hand bookstores.

I’m going to work off BlogTO’s list here. Ideally I’d love to visit all twenty stores on the list, but that’s not realistic. I decided on four, one per season, but I may end up visiting more. I’m not sure which ones I’ll visit, other than The Monkey’s Paw, because I really want to try out the Biblio-Mat book vending machine there. Plus they stock mostly odd, obscure and forgotten titles – which sounds absolutely delightful to me!

4. Listen to at least three audiobooks each month, or 36 audiobooks in total.

I’d like to get in the habit of listening to an audiobook every night before bed, both to give my eyes a rest and also because I’ve noticed my mind’s tendency to wander unless the book is absolutely riveting, and one of my other goals is to practice the no-thought of stillness so I figure listening intently to an audiobook would be a good way to at least practice keeping distracting thoughts at bay.

I go through periods where I listen to more audiobooks than I read in ebook or print format, but I’m not at all consistent. Overall, I think I’m probably already listening to one or two audiobooks a month, so I figure three will be a challenge that’s neither too easy nor too hard.

5. Read two nonfiction titles each month.

This goal is linked with the audiobook goal, as I intend to listen to at least one non-fiction title per month, and maybe more. I love fiction, but I also like the learning that happens when I read a good nonfiction book. Also, I intend to keep myself motivated this year by reading productivity and creativity books, so I might as well make it into a goal, right?

6. Learn to read, understand (and hopefully love) poetry.

This is a skill (or taste?) I never really acquired in school, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve come across poems that I love, but on the whole, I certainly don’t go out of my way to read poetry. And I’ve never studied the mechanics of either understanding or writing poetry. I’d like to change that in the new year. Last year I bought Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook so I’ll start my “studies” with this book. Other books which I’ll probably turn to are Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry and Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters.

7. Read more books from the library.

I can’t really quantify this particular goal, since I’m never too sure what holds I’ll receive from the library each week. And it’s not that I don’t borrow a lot of library books, because I do. My problem is that most of the time I return too many of them unread. I’d like to change that in the new year, which means that library books will automatically move to the top of the to-read list when I pick them up.

8. Read a short story a day.

I can’t believe I forgot to include this in the first draft of my post! Hope it won’t jinx my intention to read a short story a day.

And not really a goal, but just for fun: 52 Bookish Things to Do in 2015

I’m not signing on for any reading challenges in 2015, but Popsugar has come out with this Ultimate Reading Challenge and I’m going to use it as my list of 52 bookish things to do in the new year. I’m printing out this PDF and using it to check-off books as I read them. I’m also not going to try to read books that match the items on the list. Instead, I’m going to check the list after I finish a book, to see if I can check anything off. I think it will be fun to see how many items I have checked off by the end of 2015!

popsugar reading challenge


So these are my bookish/reading challenges for 2015. What are your bookish/reading challenges for the new year?

14 thoughts on “{2015 Goals} Bookish goals for the new year

  1. Kate @ Midnight Book Girl

    I love your goals! Although… I’m taking a break from the library so I focus on my tbr books. I really need to make room for BEA 2015 books, and that means decluttering the ones I have. Plus, I suck at returning things on time. I saved the pic of the 52 book challenge too, and I think I can do it! Good luck to you and all of us too!

  2. Jemi Fraser

    Those are some awesome goals!!! Especially love the bookstore one – love bookstores!
    I don’t read a lot of poetry anymore either – did more of that in high school. One poet I loved is Margaret Atwood – her book The Circle Game really made me think and wonder.
    Wishing you all the best in 2015!

  3. Suey

    I think I’ll be doing that same approach with that awesome fun reading challenge list. Just see how it all shakes down as I read. Love your goals! I need to just try some audio books. I’m so leery of them! And you have 20 secondhand bookstores there? LUCKY!! We might have two maybe. Maybe we have more and I just don’t know! I should look into it!

  4. Trish

    Great goals Belle! I especially love the one about visiting some of the local second hand stores. And the checklist from Popsugar! Hope you have a great 2015.

  5. Teddyree

    I love your goals Belle and thanks for the reminder, I really need to get back to my fantastic local library this year. Might check out that list from Popsugar, I do like how you’re using it. Happy New Year, I hope 2015 is all sorts of wonderful for you :)

  6. Bernadette

    Wow you’ve really put some thought into those goals. I’m still mulling mine over but some re-thinking might be in order – at the moment they’re lacking specificity. Thanks for the guidance, look forward to reading of your progress.

  7. Iris

    Happy 2015 :-)

    Wow, I really like your approach to the TBR-pile. It sounds like it might be the best way to actually check books from the TBR list, and not feel embarrassed by everything that’s still on there. I wish I had thought of it!

    I also hope to read more nonfiction this year, though I have only challenged myself to read 1 book a month, which will be a big change for me as it is.

    And I like the imaged challenge, though it looks incredibly tough!

  8. Beth F

    Oh I love that check list — so fun. And I was thinking of a short story a week (not a day!), but ended up not setting any real goals at all.

  9. Pingback: 2015’s Bookish Goals | Reactions to Reading

  10. Susan

    I love your challenges, especially the making time for poetry. One suggestion I have though, is to go to the library or used book store and find a book of poems that look interesting. Or go online to poetry foundation and read some random poems. You’ll find one you click with, and that’s when you can start reading more poetry. I found it was something I had to feel my way into, and I thank heaven for Mary Oliver and her Wild Geese poem! Don’t worry about reading a poem right, it’s more about responding to the poem as you read it. There is no right way to read a poem! lol though I have Mary Oliver’s Handbook now too as I am writing poetry and learning more about writing it, also :-)

    I like that 52 books challenge, and I LOVE the visit the used bookstores challenge. I need to do that here!! So many of ours are closing this past year, and I love used book stores.

    Have fun with your challenges, Belle, this year :-)


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