Last year, I didn’t quite make it to the 50 books I was aiming to read. However, I did manage to achieve some of my other reading goals like making sure at least half of what I read was written by women, people of colour and otherwise broadening my reading habits.
This year, I am not going to do the 50 Book Challenge as I have attempted in the past, but rather write down a set of reading resolutions or goals that I want to achieve this year. I think it is important to continue to challenge myself as to the types of books I read and continue to broaden my reading habits. So here are my reading goals for 2018:
1. At least half of what I read has to be written by women and/or female identifying authors.
Women are notoriously under-represented in all media, and books are no exception. So many female writers still struggle to compete for shelf space against their male counterparts and I want to support women writers in all genres to help encourage a change in the way we view female writers. As a woman writer myself, I want to show solidarity.
2. At least half of what I read has to be written by people of colour i.e. non-white authors.
Much like women writers, people of colour are notoriously under-represented on bookshelves. Last year, I was introduced to so many brilliant writers by taking on the challenge to read more writers of colour, and I want to continue that this year. I also want to read more books that share experiences that are different from my own, so this is a perfect way to read more from and about communities other than my own.
3. I want to read more YA and junior fiction.
Children’s books are special – there really is nothing like them. They are so important in fostering a love of reading and I want to recapture my love for children’s and YA books – something that I have been ignoring a little in my reading lists the past few years. I also want to see where the gaps in the YA and junior fiction genres are in terms of subject matter and under-represented communities. I think it could be really interesting to see how both junior and YA fiction books have changed since I was reading primarily in these categories.
4. I want to read more books by Australian authors.
We are incredibly lucky to have so many brilliant writers in Australia. I have been really bad at keeping up with some of the brilliant Australian releases over the last few years, and I want to know more about what Australians are writing about, as well as bask in the glory of all that Australian talent.
5. I want to spend more time reading for fun instead of street cred.
I have a really bad habit of reading books because they are deemed ‘literary’ or ‘an essential read’, and then ignoring the books I really want to enjoy because my ‘literary’ pile is so big. Since I started working in the Publishing Industry, this has gotten even worse because I want to be included in all the discussions about those high literary wonders. I want to stop caring so much about what people think about what I am reading and spend more time reading books I think are really fun to read, regardless of their street (or rather, office) cred.
I am going post my ongoing 2018 Reading List separately and update it throughout the year, partly to hold myself accountable to these goals, and partly to share some really good books with you all in case you are stuck for a recommendation.
So what are your reading goals for 2018? Whether it is a number goal or a list of things you want to read more about, I want to hear what you are reading this year. Comment below or tweet me @haylesnew.
© Hayley New 2018