In today’s post, I look back at each reading goal I set myself back in January 2023. Did I meet them all? Make yourself comfortable, as well be diving into the details in this post.
Did you set yourself any reading goals in 2023? Did you manage to achieve them?
To quickly recap – what were the goals I set myself in 2023? If you want to check out the full post, it’s here. Otherwise, here is a summary: –
- Goodreads Challenge – Read 50 books
- Read >15 non-fiction books
- Continue ongoing series
- Read 30 mins daily
So, did I achieve any of these goals? Let’s take a look!
Goodreads Challenge – 50 books
For my Goodreads reading challenge, I set myself a goal of reading 50 books before the end of the year. I set myself this goal as I had read 47 books the previous year. Setting a goal of 50 was a small push on what I had already achieved, but equally, it was a manageable target.
In the end, it proved more than manageable! I met my target of 50 books in November 2023, leaving myself plenty of time before the end of the year. Thereafter, I set myself an unofficial goal to push the reading total up to 60 books, which I just managed before the end of the year.
I haven’t read this many books since 2019, so needless to say I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved! More importantly though, I am comfortable that I did it without stretching myself too far. Although I love reading, I obviously do the blogging aspect of the hobby as well, amongst many other things. I don’t ever want this to take over or prevent me from doing the other things I enjoy as well. That’s not been the case this year, so it’s a result all round.
Read >15 non-fiction book
When I set myself the reading goal of completing more than 15 non-fiction books, 15 felt like a nice number. It was a little more than one book a month over the course of the year. I didn’t really think about it in the context that it would mean non-fiction would constitute 25% of 2023 reading list. Even so, I’m happy I set myself this challenge.
I’m pleased to say that I completed my 16th non-fiction book on the 24th of December, meaning that I hit my goal with just over a week to spare. Here are the non-fiction books I read in 2023, in case you want to take a look:-
- The Secret Library
- Chimp Paradox
- Thanks for Sharing
- Stolen Focus
- A Brief History of Time
- Leadership and Culture
- Twelve Years a Slave
- Killing for Company
- Surrounded by Idiots
- Vikings of the Irish Sea
- Vikings in the Isle of Man
- The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
- The Success Code
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
Setting myself this non-fiction goal has meant that I have picked up more of the genre than I ever have before. Had I not set this goal, I wouldn’t have consciously picked up this many over the course of the year. I think doing so has been a great benefit, and it’s something I definitely want to continue with.
Not only has reading non-fiction benefited me in the short term, but I believe that that setting this goal has started paving the way for my reading more non-fiction in future. Comparing 2023 and the year prior, I added a further 16 non-fiction books to my reading list in 2023, compared to just 4 the previous year. I still have some way to go before reading non-fiction becomes a natural habit, but I’m definitely heading in the right direction.
Finish Ongoing Series
This goal was always a lofty one. At the start of 2023 I had a great number of ongoing series that I had started, but I was yet to finish. Without digging through my records, I think we’re talking about 40 ongoing at the start of 2023… yikes!
With this goal, I ended up doing more in the way of progressing with ongoing series than completing them. I have a number of lengthy series on my reading list, including Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (41 books), Robin Hobb’s the Realm of the Elderlings series (16 books split across five smaller series) and so on.
That said, I did manage to complete the following series in 2023:-
- The Liveship Traders (Robin Hobb series 2/5 in Realm of the Elderlings universe)
- The Miniaturist duology
- Eagle of Mercia
- The Saxon Warrior
- The Hunger Games
Note that I am marking anything complete if the series is either fully finished, or if I am up-to-date with the series as published. In addition to the above full completions, I had one very close completion of the Skyward series. I was up-to-date with this series in July, but the sequel, Defiant, was published in November 2023.
Other series that I read in 2023, but didn’t necessarily complete, include:-
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld,
- Robin Hobb’s the Realm of the Elderlings (as a whole),
- Stephen King’s The Dark Tower,
- Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, and;
- Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom.
If you compare this with my list of series I started in 2023, you’ll see the list of significantly shorter!
- Lost Solace
- Soul Identity
In addition to these, I did read some further ‘first’ books in a series, but they are books I read as standalone. I don’t intend to continue with the series and so I’m not including them in this statistic.
Overall, I made more progress with goal than expected. I had no easy way of tracking this goal throughout year. However, that is changing in 2024. I plan to do a lot more in the way of book stats and monitoring in the next year so I have a better idea of both what, and how much, I’m reading. Watch this space…
Read 30mins Daily
I didn’t set out to stick to this in the purest sense. Although I probably did read for 30 minutes a day for the vast majority of the year, it was the point of making reading a regular habit that I was looking to achieve.
I think it’s fair to say I did! I don’t think I could have met or indeed exceeded my reading goals in the way that I have without reading becoming a near daily habit.
In 2023 there were days when I read for several hours, and there were days where I didn’t read at all. Sometimes such as life, but also, sometimes that was down to choice. As I’ve mentioned earlier in the post, I want to be able to enjoy my reading in a sustainable way. I don’t want it to become a detriment to the other things I want to do. If there have been times where I’ve not been in the mood to read, I haven’t forced myself. I’ve done other things and taken a break and come back when I’ve been good and ready.
That’s the way I’ll continue to read into 2024 and beyond!
I think it’s fair to say that I should give myself a pat on the back for achieving my reading goals in 2023! If you are interested in seeing what reading goals, I set myself for 2024, check out my blog on Thursday!