Why I’m “Only” Aiming to Read 75 Books This Year

To a lot of people (particularly non-book bloggers), 75 books is still a ton and I definitely acknowledge that. So please don’t feel bad if your goal is 10, 25, or 50 and that feels like a lot to you! We all have different numbers to aim for. πŸ™‚

In previous years I read up to 150 books, so when compared to that, 75 does feel like a drop down.

If I look back on 2012 and 2013, part of me was eager to devour everything in sight. Reading a high number of books was exciting. Maybe I thought it was ‘cool’ to be able to say I read 150 books in a year. As a result, I had a lot more low ratings, which kind of makes sense. The more books you read, the more likely you’re going to find ones you enjoy less.

Now I’m more focused on quality than quantity

But in 2016 and for 2017, I’m less focused on reading tons of books. Instead, I want to read good books. I want to really love every single book I pick up. I’ve decided I’d rather read fewer books but have a lot of 4-5 stars, than read more books and end up with more 1-3 star ratings. I want to focus in on the books that sound truly awesome, rather than ones that sound like they are “maybe okay”.

These days, I’m not as goal oriented

  • I don’t want to force myself to read new books only (versus re-reading old favourites).
  • I don’t want to insist that I read x contemporary books or y fantasy books.
  • I don’t want to control where I get my books from (review copies vs purchased).

These days I’m just so, whatever. I want to read what I want, when I want without making myself feel bad or guilty if I’m straying from some arbitrary goal.

  • If I want to request from NetGalley, I will.
  • If I want to re-read Harry Potter twice instead of finding new books, I will.
  • If I want to only read contemporary books for six months, I will.
  • If I want to read 20 books without reviewing them, I will.

My only real goal is going to be to enjoy myself. I set my Goodreads challenge to 75 books, but I mostly just set that to track progress out of curiosity. If I only read 50, that’s fine. I’m not fussed about the number, I just think it’s fun to see a progress bar, even if I never hit it.

Just to reiterate: if you have set tons and tons of goals for yourself, that’s absolutely fine. I’m not saying that’s bad, it’s just not what I want to do for me this year. πŸ™‚

Have you set bookish goals this year? Why or why not? How many books would you like to read in 2017?

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. It looks familiar, I have seen that with many other book bloggers. I still plan to read around 100, even though I exceptionally only hit 95 last year.
    But like you, every year I’m more and more picky at the quality, so I plan to refuse even more books proposed by publishers, and be super careful at what I request on Netgalley for instance.
    This year, I will no longer participate in zillions of reading challenges (I usually did around 12 a year), to focus only on The Classics Club (my 2nd year in it), and my TBR, like so many other bloggers!. I also want to keep time every month for a “wild range read”, meaning, picking whatever book attracts my attention on a shelf during one of my numerous visits to my awesome public library.
    And oh, I want to take more time to write reviews!!
    I have already finished 6 books this month, and thoroughly enjoyed them all, so I think this will work out well.
    Good luck and have fun n your 2017 year of reading!

    1. Sounds like you’re off to a great start, Emma! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed all your books this year. So far I’ve had great luck too. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m cutting my reading list, too. 22 (my favourite number!), to be exact. Last year, I read too many books and neglected my copywriting business. Like you, I’ll be focusing on quality over quantity. πŸ™‚ Here’s to a spectacular 2017!

    1. That’s great Priscilla! Good luck with your 22 books and your copywriting business. πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve ‘only’ set a GR goal of 52 this year. I don’t keep very thorough ‘records’ of books I’ve read, etc. Have signed up for too many reading challenges, because I like them. Quality must be a watchword this year, because I DNF’d a book last week, and I hardly every do that. I was at 50% and even though I had time invested, it just wasn’t worth it to continue.

    1. Aw sorry about that DNF. πŸ™ That’s always so disappointing, especially if it’s a book you were really looking forward to and/or thought you’d love.

  4. I no longer set book goals. I just read when and what I want to read. I don’t like the stress of goal numbers anymore, being it followers, commenters, or books reads. I just like doing whatever the hell I want.

    1. Yesss! I’m totally pro “whatever the hell I want”. Even my “goal” of 75 isn’t really a goal. It’s basically just an arbitrary number because although I don’t care if I hit it, I do kind of like being able to keep an eye on how many I’ve read just for funsies.

  5. It is interesting that you don’t care about meeting your goal and just reading this year, lots of people are doing this same thing this year. I myself set Goodreads also just to track but my main reading goal is to read the books on my bookshelves and to keep or donate, when I donate that is the only time I can buy books, and it is based on how many I donate. So enjoy reading what you want when you want. Happy 2017.

    1. Thanks Leann! I definitely want to focus on reading the books I already have as well. I think that’s a great goal. πŸ™‚

  6. I’m going for 52. In the past I did exactly what you said, read a lot more but I wasn’t able to remember half the books I read. These days I try to spend time with the books I like, slowly savoring instead of speeding through.

    1. Yess that’s exactly it! It’s kind of sad to read so many books and not actually remember most of them. πŸ™

  7. I am focused on reading books for 2017. period. My boys read, but I realized that I should be reading books for me, not just for them. So I signed up for a reading club at my local library. Thanks for sharing this post, Ashley.

  8. This is the exact same attitude I took a year or two ago. My blog posts are little fewer than before, but “whatever”. I just didn’t feel like reading 175 books… and I didn’t. This year I think I was below 50. I read about 100, but there were a lot of re-reads in there. It’s freeing or something to just DO WHAT YOU WANT instead of what you think other people expect.

  9. I applaud your less stressful goal! I agree, there’s no judgement in wanting to read more books or fewer books each year or even tracking them. I think books should be savored not read and tossed like dirty laundry. After I read a few good books, though, I get this craving to read everything – give me more books, more cookies, more!!!

    My goal this year is to read 75. My goal last year was 50 and I beat it. I haven’t been able to read as much because I’ve been working on my master’s degree, which I finish in May. I just started blogging about books last November (as part of a project for school) and am just getting going in earnest. I’ve enjoyed your blog and your web tools, too, though I’m still learning UBB ad haven’t used it to it’s potential.

  10. This past year I’ve been so less focused on what type of books I read, and I’ve found it to be a huge relief. For instance, I’ve already read 4 books in 2017 that have all been backlist, but they’ve all been books I’ve been wanting to read for a while so I immensely enjoyed my time reading them. Ensuring that reading continues to be a fun, relaxing activity (and not a stressful one) to me is SO important!

  11. I think it’s great you want to focus on enjoying reading rather than setting goals for yourself. It’s probably a way better way to be. If you read more than that number that’s ok and even if you read less it’s still ok. It’s nice to see people focusing and being happy with their reading rather than forcing themselves to read lots of different things and enjoying their books less because of it.

  12. My official goal for this year is 80, but my unofficial goal is 100 books. Last year, I made it to 70. For the most part, I set a goal so that I can see how many books I’m reading every year. From what I can see, my ratings have been leaning towards 3 star ratings, more of an “eh, didn’t hate it, didn’t love it” kind of stance and I want to fix that. But I also don’t want to pressure myself too much. I requested a bunch of books from NetGalley last year and when I realized I couldn’t read them all and at the same time do my blog reviews and read the books I wanted, without screwing up my feedback percentage, I kind of bailed on the books I wasn’t enjoying to the max. I’m disappointed in myself for doing that, so this year I’m going to read the books I gave up on and give a proper review, unless there was a valid reason for me abandoning them. Good luck on your goal!

  13. I always set my goodreads goal at about 100 and then bump it up if I am having a good year…but I try not to stress over it. Reading is not supposed to be stressful…for me anyway it is an outlet to escape from stress!

    And as to Reading Challenges…every year I sign up for a zillion and then don’t track them (I have your plugin but since I don’t always review what I read and don’t always review in the same year…it doesn’t really help m track for reading challenges)

    This year I think I may just sign up for the Bookish Resolutions challenge and then incorporate my own goals (make progress on series reads, read more cozy mysteries, read books set in Ireland, read more classics) into that one rather than seeking out and signing up for challenges specific to those goals. I’m using Carina at All About Books spreadsheet to help me track this year (I think you were the one that led me to it) so that should do the trick this year in addition to Goodreads.

  14. So much THIS! Exactly what I keep thinking. I set my goal at 60, yet don’t care if I reach it. I want to read stuff from my shelves, borrow from library and catch up on my NetGalley pile.

    Perhaps a Harry Potter reread is in my future too!

    Cheers and enjoy!

  15. I actually set my Goodreads challenge goal for the year to “only” (as you say) 75 books as well. One of my main reasons for this was that I’ve been in a major reading slump for the past half a year, and am struggling to get back into books, unfortunately. However, reading your post, I actually found I’ve noticed similar things as well. Most years I read around 100 books, but I sometimes I can’t remember even the main character’s names for them because I think I was often reading books just to improve my numbers so I could stack up well against book bloggers who can read 200+ books per year. I’m definitely interested to see if setting a lower goal actually helps me be more picky about what I read and thus that I will enjoy and remember more of what I read πŸ™‚

  16. I love this! My goal is 200, which some people say is a lot, but here’s how I see it: I’m a fast reader. I spend all my non-working time reading, I spent my evenings reading, so reading that many books is easy-peasy for me. (Unless I get myself into a slump!) But even if I didn’t make my goal, it wouldn’t bother me. I can always just lower my goal, it’s no problem.

    75 is a fantastic goal, so good luck Ashley!

  17. My goal is 75 as well. Considering I read over 100, I think this is a non-stress goal for me. I’m allowing myself room to have fun…but I’m still having trouble staying away from the request button on Netgalley. Hehe. I’m participating in several reading challenges this year too, but most of them overlap in some way.

  18. I really love this post!

    Mine is 120 but that’s about what I read even without a goal. I read fast. But I’m like you right now. I’m just reading for me and probably one review 1/3 of the books now. But if I have something to say then I do.

    My goal (although I’m not worried about it if I don’t) is to read what I already own. I’d like to clear out my shelves instead of having unread books lying around for years. lol

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    1. That’s an awesome goal Karne (reading books you already own). I’d love to do that too. I have a few old books sitting on my shelf that I haven’t touched yet, but I’d love to finally dig into.

  19. I am pretty much the same as you in terms of goals for the reading year of 2017. Although my Goodreads challenge is set at 200, simply because I read 180 last year (which surprised me a lot!), and I’d love to see if I can read 200.

    But as for other challenges and goals, I don’t have any. As it is, I’ve already read four non-review books in a row and that was unheard of for me in the last few years. I am often so review copy focussed that I lose sight of re-reading and reading books I own, too. I want to just READ this year, and not be stressed out to have reviews up on publication date, or read a certain number of a certain type of book. I want to go back to reading without rules πŸ˜€

  20. I think this is such a good way of thinking about reading goals. I have a little internal panic when I see people who are setting reading goals of 100+ books a year. That just feels panicky to me! I read a lot, but I also want to read the books that really speak to me in the moment, and setting a specific target feels like it turns the focus away from enjoying the book itself, and places more emphasis on achieving that number. Similar to you Ashley, I set my GoodReads target semi-arbitrarily as a tracking measure – 52 for me so I can hit a book a week. If I don’t make it, so be it.

    1. Last year was a dud of a reading year for me, with several months of no books at all. Refocusing on my love for reading in 2017 and I’ve set a goal of 100 books. Off to a slow start so far with only 2 read, but we’re also in the middle of moving, so I’m just happy that I’ve gotten any reading done in the midst of all the chaos lol. Our new house has a 3 season porch overlooking a river and I’ve already claimed it as my new reading area πŸ™‚

  21. Even 75 books sounds too much for me! ?
    I have my minimum bookish goals that is 15 books, with 12 fixed titles I’m eager to read, but I already know that I will overcome that number (which is good!). Unfortunately, some cool new titles must wait until i-don’t-know-when, because this week I came up with a bookish business idea I’d like to try and develop here in Vietnam.
    But book blogging motivates me to read much and much more, and I love it!

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