Setting unreasonable reading goals, and my 2017 Reading Challenge picks

Setting unreasonable reading goals, and my 2017 Reading Challenge picks

My 2017 reading challenge goals

I’ve been setting reading goals for 4 or 5 years now, and only once have I ever hit one. That was the year that I finally lowered my reading goal to 75 books (from 100), and even then I still didn’t complete my Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge.

It’s probably no surprise that I didn’t hit my goal in 2016 (or that it was my “worst” reading year in a while), but the reality is that I still read a lot of really great books!

For 2017, I decided to keep my goal at a lofty 100, and I’m once again participating in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. In fact, because I like to go all in, I’m not just choosing books from one path from the challenge, but from both.

My 2017 reading challenge goals

So why do I do it?

While it could be discouraging to “fail” year after year, I’ve actually found the striving for a lofty reading goal to be more motivating than hitting a lower goal. And I love the reading challenges that Anne puts together because they force me to search through books and consider them in new ways. I’ve found favorite books through each challenge (like The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared!) that I definitely wouldn’t have read otherwise.

It could be said that it’s not really a goal if I don’t plan to meet it, but I convince myself every year that this will be the year that I finally do read 100 books and every book for the challenge, and 2017 is no different.

I’m also going to do something a little bit differently this year. While I selected books I think fit within each category, I’m going to keep track of the books I actually read to see if I can complete the challenge that way!

With all of those caveats (and caveats to my caveats!), here’s what my 2017 Reading Challenge looks like:

The Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge + my picks

Reading for Fun: Putting the Oomph Back in Your Reading Life

A book you chose for the cover:

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:

A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:

A book you’ve already read:

A juicy memoir:

A book about books or reading:

A book in a genre you usually avoid:

A book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read:

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:

A book recommended by someone with great taste:

A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:

A book about a topic or subject you already love:

The Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge + my picksReading for Growth: Stretch Yourself in 2017

A Newbery Award winner or Honor book:

A book in translation:

A book that’s more than 600 pages:

A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection:

A book of any genre that addresses current events:

An immigrant story:

A book published before you were born:

Three books by the same author:

A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author:

A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending:

A book nominated for an award in 2017:

  • TBD

A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner:

My 2017 reading challenge goals

In addition to tracking my books on Goodreads, I’m also going to keep track on this cute bookshelf page that I copied off of Pinterest. Most of my layouts are pretty simple, but I couldn’t resist this one (and it’s SO easy to do!).

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What are your reading goals for 2017?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A friend sent me a challenge from her library that has a hundred categories on it! (Cross-listing one book in multiple categories is encouraged.) This year, I think I’ll try the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading for fun list.

    I like reading challenges to keep me reading and encourage a bit of a stretch. But reading for me is a reward or escape, and choosing all the books up-front feels too much like an assignment. So I just keep the categories in mind when choosing a book, and keep track of books read. That will typically get me at least halfway through a challenge, and then I use the remaining categories to bump up in priority something on my to-read list, or go searching for a book.

  2. I’m with you, Mandi! Last year, I read 44 books which was way down since I used to read 100 plus books a year before kids. BUT, I’m motivated and ambitious again to make reading a priority for me. I’m tackling both sides of the challenge as well….starting with John Adams by David McCullough for my 600 plus page book. It’s very good but slow going, so I’m off to read some more! 🙂 Here’s to a great year of reading for both of us! And thanks for sharing your lists because I grabbed a couple of your titles too. I love WWII books.

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