What I’m Doing to Set Myself Up for Success with My 2023 Reading Resolutions

Earlier this week, I talked about my 5 reading resolutions for myself in 2023. They are: 

  • I will DNF a book if it takes me more than 2 days to read 50 pages
  • I will track what I’m reading more diligently—including the Kid Lit I’m reading and reviewing. 
  • I will listen to at least 2 audiobooks a month, even if I’m in the middle of a really good podcast series
  • I will not buy the sequel of a book if I haven’t read the last one already
  • I will read 1 short story collection a month 

Today, I want to talk a little bit about how I’m working to set myself up for success in 2023 so that I don’t wait until the last minute to try and cram in the complete stories of Flannery O’Connor. Whoops. 

  1. Using the Book Riot Tracker

This year, I’m going to COMMIT to trying to use the Book Riot tracker. My coworker uses it and enjoys it, and while I’m not seeing the 2023 one yet, I think I can use the 2022 one with no issue! This will live in my Google Drive, which is also where I live most of the day, and it’s got SO many cool stats built into it. I am modifying it a bit so I’m logging less aspects–like translation, nation of origin, etc. I’m definitely interested in maintaining a diverse reading list—and I find that I do without tracking it–so while I get started this year, I’m going to lessen the boxes I’m trying to fill in when logging a book. I’m still going to track if it has a BIPOC Protagonist or character, but will likely put other identifiers in the Notes section. I’m not going to track how many pages I read a day, for my own sanity because I hate math. 

I like that it’ll easily allow me to mark things as short stories or audiobooks, so I can track them in the stats tab!

I modified the “Reason for Reading” tab to better reflect the different reasons I read—Pleasure, Capitol Choices, Booklist, SLJ, my DAR book club, Work or for an award committee. Like I mentioned, I’m not committed to a 2024 award committee yet but…covering my bases. 

Using this tracker and its date started feature will hopefully also help me know when to DNF a book because it’s not pulling me in fast enough. 

  1. Picking out my books for January

I set monthly goals for myself this year, so I  need to set myself up for success. I have a list of 3-5 books I WANT to read in January 2023, that aren’t for my award committee that will be wrapping up, and I’ve mentally picked out my short story collection and 2 audiobooks for the month. I kind of want to prioritize getting books OUT of my house, so I’m going to start with a few physical books I have, from the library or the publisher. 

For my non-absolutely-required reading,  I want to read Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire, Parachute Kids by Betty C Tang, Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist, Coven by Jennifer Dugan and Kit Seaton and Home Away from Home by Cynthia Lord. 

For my short story, I’m going to read Courtney Sender’s In Other Lifetimes All I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me, which publishes in March. I had Courtney as a professor for a semester in college, and she writes for my favorite podcast now, so I’m very excited. 

For audiobooks, I’m going to do the Inheritance stories from Katharine McGee and Judith Heumann’s Rolling Warrior, which is her YA/young reader biography. I also got Kal Penn’s memoir as a backup plan, lol. This are all checked out from Libby. 

My goal with this audiobook listening is to break my NPR addiction, not my bank, so I’m going to be relying on Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla for this!

  1. Making a basket of short-story collections

I don’t know why I got it into my head to read a short story collection every month—I’m mostly indifferent about short stories, but I know as a writer they are important to keep abreast of, and I like the idea of reading one before bed or when I wake up…though we know that isn’t how it’ll work out. 

The short story collection by Sender I’m planning to read in January in an e-arc, but I went around my house and gathered a basket of the short story collections I have in print to keep on-deck for 2023. The idea is I’ll grab one at the end of the month to put on my bedside table for the next month, etc. We’ll see how that works out. 

  1. Stacking my books I haven’t read yet with 2023 sequels

This is….humbling, to say the least. I think this is a resolution I can keep, because I’m not as bad off as I thought I was. I was thinking of a lot of middle grade books I have that I know have sequels coming out, but when I actually evaluated what I wanted to read, I was like “this is doable”

These are the books I need to read before I can read/buy/borrow the sequels in 2023: 

  • Onyeka and (Sequel comes out May 30, 2023)
  • Mihi Ever After (Sequel comes out May 16, 2023)
  • Lia Park and the Missing Jewel (Sequel comes out May 30, 2023)

Luckily for me, I don’t read many adult or YA books that are series, so I think I’m going to do well here! There probably won’t be another Robert Galbraith book this year, so I have time to read through Inkblack Heart. I’ve read Ninth House, so I’m good to order Hell Bent, and same goes for Anatomy: A Love Story and Immortality: A Love Story. I’m also excited about the next Skander book, but why do they all have to come out in May!??!?

What are you doing to set yourself up for success in your 2023 reading goals? Any must-listen audiobooks?

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