My reading in 2022 and bookish goals for 2023

After a not great reading year in 2021, I was back on track in 2022. I made my Read the World Project my focus and I completed it before my self-imposed deadline! That’s novels/poetry/non-fiction/short stories from 205 different countries around the world. I’m so happy that I broadened my reading horizons that way and I really do feel a sense of accomplishment over it.

My goal in 2022 was to read 52 books and review half of them and I smashed that target – I read 79 books and reviewed 42 of them. I always want to have an equal split between male and female authors if possible, with the understanding that it’ll probably be leaning towards women which it was in 2022. “Both” got a decent sized chunk last year as I read The Old Guard comics and reread/caught up on the Saga comics series and both of them are written by both men and women writers and artists. When it comes to what genres I read in 2022, Sci-fi got a bit of a boost thanks to the Saga comics and because I reread the Hunger Games trilogy and then the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Horror definitely made an appearance thanks to the 12 Challenge as I’m normally a complete wuss. I started 2022 with 88 books on my physical/digital TBR and I ended it with 75 books on my TBR! That number has been the goal for my owned TBR for the past two years and I’ve finally done it.

I completed the 12 Challenge that was on Instagram/Twitter – 12 months to read 12 books recommended by 12 friends. I enjoyed most of the books I was recommended and it was nice to read things I hadn’t heard of before or wouldn’t have prioritised if it wasn’t for this challenge.
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos, 2 stars
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, 5 stars
Slade House by David Mitchell, 5 stars
Himself by Jess Kidd, 5 stars
Nina is Not Okay by Shapi Khorsandi, 5 stars
John Dies at the End by David Wong, 3 stars
The Cabinent by Un Su Kim, 3 stars
They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera, 3 stars
Darius the Great is Not OK by Adib Khorram, 4 stars
City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French, 3 stars
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, 3 stars
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, 5 stars

I did cancel my Illumicrate subscription renewal at the start of the year so I only got two more books (This Woven Kingdom and A River Enchanted) which I still have yet to read. However, later in the year I decided to sign up for the Fairyloot adult book only subscription from about July. I’ve skipped one months’ book so out of the five books I’ve received so far I’ve read two of them which is a better average when I had the Illumicrate subscription. I think I’ll keep the Fairyloot subscription for now but I will be honest with myself if/when I’m not interested in the books I receive and cancel it when its no longer worthwhile for me.

For 2023 I not really planning on setting big or complicated goals. Because my Read the World Project has been a part of my reading-life for about five years I’m looking forward to reading purely for fun and making my way through my TBR that I’ve still been adding to over the years, even if I haven’t read much from it.

So, I will once again be aiming to read 52 books this year, and to review at least half of them. I want to use my library more in 2023. Naturally I will probably still acquire books throughout the year, whether that’s my own purchases, gifts or subscription boxes, but if I do read at least 52 books my owned TBR will be cut down significantly which will actually feel pretty great. Obviously, I want to have some books on hand to choose from when I’m thinking about what I want to read next but I’d like to get my owned TBR down to around 30 books which I do think is doable.

I have a fair few series on my TBR, or the last few books in a series and it’s been so long since I’ve read the series I’ll need to reread it from the beginning. I do want to read the Winternight trilogy, Battalion of the Dead trilogy, the Descendants series, and the Beast Player duology. I’ll need to reread books in the A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy and the Passage trilogy in order to finish the series so maybe 2023 will be the year that finally happens.

I know have a big TBR to get through but to save money if there’s a new book I like the look of, I want to first check my library before buying a copy. I do use the library often to get audiobooks but it’s been years since I’ve borrowed a physical book. Recently there hasn’t been many new releases I’ve read that I’ve adored and therefore want to keep my copy on my shelves forever so then I find myself donating them to my local charity shops or to organisations like Books2Africa if I have a big clear out.

I wasn’t planning on signing up for any yearlong readathons or challenges as I wanted to truly embrace mood reading for the first time in years but then Gi from BookRoast announced a very casual yearlong reading challenge related to the Magical Readathon. It’s pretty simple and you just need to read one book a month that fits a specific prompt so I feel like it’s a challenge that can be easily incorporated in my reading habits. Plus, I do love the Magical Readathon so will do just about challenge related to it. I’m not planning out a book for each month of the year now, instead I will do it stages as there’s breaks for the main Magical Readathon in April and August. For now, here’s the books I’m thinking of reading over the next few months for the challenge.

January – start a series: The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
February – tress on the cover: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (this is the third book in the trilogy so I’ll read the second before this one)
March – book over 500 pages: Not 100% decided on this one yet but have a few to choose from including The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, and Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale by Benjamin Cook and Russell T Davies.

As usual when it comes to any reading challenges, I reserve the right to completely change my TBR because the mood takes me.

Those are my reading goals for 2023. Nothing too major as I do want to embrace reading for fun and to continue making more time for reading. I definitely had some months I was better at that than others in 2022 and I think my key goal for 2023 in all aspects of my life is “consistency”. Reading for 30 minutes (at least) a day is totally doable for me if I just stop mindlessly scrolling through social media so like with many things, I guess it’s going to be habit forming.

Do you have any reading goals or challenges for 2023?

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