A Look Back | Reading Goals for 2021

At the beginning of 2021, I made a list of bookish goals I hoped to accomplish throughout the year. I tried not to make them unattainable goals but just things that would (hopefully) bring me more reading joy throughout the year.

Now, at the beginning of 2022, I’d like to look back on those goals for 2021 with you and see what we managed to accomplish. If you would like to look at the previous post, you can find it here.

Read more outside of my typical genres

My first goal was to read more outside my typical genres, which was mainly YA SFF. I specifically wanted to focus on:

  • historical fiction
  • mysteries/thriller
  • adult SFF
  • manga/graphic novels

I can tell you right now, without even looking at my stats, that I didn’t read any graphic novels. I don’t really know why, either. There have been several throughout the year that have caught my attention but I just didn’t pick them up.

6% of what I read where mysteries of some variety or another so I don’t see that as a particular success. However, I was massively successful in reading more outside of YA!

Only 28.4% of what I read fell into the YA category while the rest of my reads were either new adult or adult. I am very pleased and attribute a great deal of that success to subscribing to kindle unlimited. So much of what I pick up on there is adult SFF, adult romance, or erotica and that certainly made it easier to read more outside of YA.

Don’t give in to the hype

I am a self professed failure at this goal. In 2021, I wanted to pick up fewer books just because they were hyped, even if they didn’t sound particularly good to me. This was a goal because, for the last few years, many of the hyped books I picked up I ended up not liking and was hoping to not waste my time and money that way again. I was most definitely not successful at this despite my good intentions.

Hyped books I read that didn’t work for me

  • A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas 2/5
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern DNF
  • A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer 2/5
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner 2/5
  • Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles 1/5

Hyped books I read that DID work for me

Of course, along with some real duds in the hyped books category, there were a few that really stood out in a brilliant way:

  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao 4.5/5
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber 4/5
  • The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon 5/5
  • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells 4/5
  • For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten 5/5

Keep track of reading stats

With this goal, I had made myself an entire list of things I wanted to do in order to keep track of those goals. In italics is what I wrote back in January 2021, in bold are my thoughts now:

  • I have my personal reading calendar where I write down when and how I’ve purchased or preordered books, upcoming releases, as well as blog and booktube posts. I was sporadically successful at this. For the first 2/3 of the year, I was diligent about keeping up with everything in my calendar. That last third sure got away from me, though. My planner is nearly empty the last few months of the year despite my knowing I bought, read, and reviewed a great deal.
  • Next is, predictably, Goodreads where I am trying to tag the books on my shelves more appropriately This is 100% an absolute fail. I had actually completely forgotten that this as a goal. I was sitting at my computer just recently thinking that I really needed to go through my Goodreads shelves and put them in some kind of cohesive order. Whoops!
  • This year I am also trying StoryGraph in conjunction with Goodreads. So far I like their setup better but they don’t have all of the different editions of published books which has been vexing. However, they do allow you to openly state trigger warning for books and that is a feature I appreciate. In 2021 I was actually excellent about using StoryGraph in conjunction with Goodreads. However, it still holds true that not all of the books I read (mostly the ones from kindle unlimited) were not listed through their site. I do intend to continue using it, though.
  • Lastly, I am using a reading spreadsheet which was originally designed by HardbackHoarder. I think she did a fantastic job designing her tracker and, while there are aspects of it I won’t be using, the graphs give me life. It includes things such as genres read, how the book was read, mood tracker, and a wealth of other information. I absolutely love this spreadsheet! I hope that she does an update for 2022 so that I can use it again next year. Seeing all of the graphs, yearly and monthly stats, and being able to easily keep track of everything was amazing.

Overall, I was not massively successful with my 2021 reading goals but I didn’t do too terrible badly. I was very pleased to have found Hardback Hoarder’s spreadsheet and using it has brought me joy this year. Sadly, I did not read outside of my typical genre as much as I would have liked. This gives me something to think about with my 2022 goals at least.

Did you accomplish your reading goals in 2021? What do you most look forward to, reading wise, in 2022?

7 thoughts on “A Look Back | Reading Goals for 2021

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