Ten 2014 Reading & Blogging Goals

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogging prompt hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I don’t participate every week, but I join in when I find the prompt interesting. This week’s prompt is ten goals or resolutions.

I’m not all about resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but I do like to set periodic goals. Some are much more short-term and others are long term. But some things are nice to take stock of on an annual basis. For reading and blogging, a yearly evaluation feels natural, so I decided to list out my top ten reading and blogging goals for 2014.


Reading Goals

Read what I want…

It’s easy to let the pressure of keeping up with ARCs or reading what everyone else is talking about distract me. I want to remind myself that ultimately, I can read whatever I want.

…but maintain a balance.

I want to make sure I leave time to read everything I’m interested in, from graphic novels to picture books to adult fiction. Even if YA is what I mostly want to focus on, I want to maintain a balanced approach to my reading. I also want to make sure I read literary works as much as books that are just fun entertainment, read across all genres, and try new things I’m not sure I’ll like. I want to allow myself the chance to be surprised. I want to continue reading graphic novels and listening to audiobooks. If I can manage to do this, it will make me a much more well-rounded reader.

Read backlist titles…

Some specific books I want to read include:

  • 3 More classics off Book Riot’s Well-Read in 100 Books List (I keep track of the ones I’ve read here)
  • 5 Book off of NPR’s List of Top Teen Novels (I keep track of the ones I’ve read here)
  • 5 books I own but haven’t read (I have countless)
  • participate in YALSA’s 2014 Hub Challenge (I did this last year, and it was a great wat to catch up on everything I missed last from year or other notable older titles)

…but keep up with new releases.

I break it down further into debut and seasoned authors

  • 12 YA debut novels
  • 40 books by non-debut authors which are not further installments in series I’m already reading

Ultimately, I want to reach a total of about 200 books. 

Blogging Goals

Increase participation in the blogging community.

This is about more than just leaving comments, but that’s part of what I want to do to meet this goal. A large part of blogging about books is having conversations with other readers about books and reading. I also want to make sure I show appreciation to all the people who share everything from recipes to DIY instructions to amazing professional resources. The social aspect of blogging is what keeps it fresh for me.

Write better reviews. 

Nancy Pearl tweeted this link to an article about the worst clichés that frequently appear in book reviews. And I know I’m guilty of using a lot of those phrases. It’s hard to balance being specific and descriptive without using spoilers or being rude. It’s hard to critique a book while also trying to describe the type of reader who will enjoy it.

Create more reader’s advisory graphics. 

Yeah, this is kinda for my job, but I don’t have a lot of time to do it at work, so if I think of it as something I do for my blog, it won’t feel like I’m working off the clock.

Share new, fresh content in addition to book reviews. 

Share more book lists, commentary, and discussion posts to balance out reviews. Possibly host more guest posts or interviews. Write about working in the library and grad school and other personal posts. Review TV and movies in addition to books. This blog will always be mostly about books, but it doesn’t have to only be about books.

I’ll continue blogging for YALSA’s The Hub through November 2014 (it’s a two-year commitment), and I’m still happy writing for NoveList. I’d like to also continue to write about young adult literature and libraries and such in new venues outside of this blog.

Learn web design and coding. 

This is a hobby, but I’d also like it to help me develop practical skills.


What are your reading and/or blogging goals for 2014?

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18 thoughts on “Ten 2014 Reading & Blogging Goals

  1. “Read what I want” as #1 – Amen! Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s ok not to read all of the stuffy Barnes & Noble classics. Thanks for linking to the book reviewer cliche article – hopefully that will help me avoid some of those pitfalls

    1. I think it’s easy to feel the pressure of what you think you *should* be reading, but life is short and I say read what you want! Hope the article was helpful—I know it opened my eyes about some tired phrases I’ve been using!

  2. Really well thought out goals, Molly! I’ve also added trying to read backlist titles to my TBR pile this year. I’m really looking to add more classics. And thank you for posting the link to the “Don’t use these words/phrases in a review” article, haha! I’m going to have to take a good look at that. Best of luck with all of your resolutions.

  3. Re: the web design & coding thing, I use HTML & CSS: Design & Build Websites by Jon Duckett as the text in my intro web design class and highly recommend it. You’ll get the basics and it’s presented in a way that’s more accessible–in my opinion–for most folks than a lot of the other resources out there. (Including code academy-type stuff, which I find doesn’t have the context needed for proper understanding).

    Anyway… Hope that helps! :)

    1. That’s so helpful, and we even have it at my library! I can do some very basic things, but want to be able to do (or at least understand more) and don’t have time to take a class right now.

  4. Reading more backlist is on my list, too. It’s just so hard with all the new books. Good luck with all your goals!

  5. I’ve seen a lot of people who want to find a better balance between writing reviews and writing other things. It’s tough to figure out where that balance is, but I think we can do it! Good luck!

    1. Part of the problem I have is that I save a lot of discussion ideas or other non-review posts for other places, but I hope to have enough to share some here, too!

  6. I love your reading and blogging goals. Sometimes I feel like I read so many review books or books for book discussion and don’t really pick up books I want to read as much.

    I am not very social on my blog and wish I could be more personable. I also want to improve my review writing. I feel like I reuse the same tired phrases. That is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing it!

    Good luck with your goals! I hope you have a great reading and blogging year!

    1. I prefer digital copies for review, and don’t feel bad if I don’t finish/review them because I skim them all to see if I want to buy it for the library and only finish and review ones I personally enjoy or am interested in writing about for other reasons.

      Good luck with your goals, and happy new year!

  7. I’d also love to learn more about web design and graphics. I also want to read a well-balanced amount of backlist and newer titles. It’s so easy to get excited about all the new books, and those backlisted books slip my mind.

    Good luck on your goals!

    1. Hi Quinn,

      I no next to nothing about web design, but I’ve developed some easy ways to make graphics for the web without a traditional design program like Illustrator or PhotoShop (which I’ve played around with but am not very skilled with). I use a handful of apps (most of which are free) and some online editing tools, and it’s worked well so far. I’ve had a couple people ask about them so I plan on putting together a post about it soon.

      I hear you on the excitement of new books! But just because I don’t get to something when it first comes out doesn’t mean I can’t go back and read it, so I’m going to try to be better about that.

  8. Great resolutions! I like that you’re focusing on creating a balance in all you do ;) I look forward to reading more non-book posts from you! :)

    I want to learn website design and coding too! Actually, I also want to learn how to create my own graphics but I don’t know where to learn :(

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