Good morning bookworms!! Welcome to the 2022 challenge sign up post!! You know, the one where I normally sign up for too many things to achieve and have forgotten all about them by the time we hit April.
But this year, I’m planning something different. Because I’ve actually been planning it, and thinking about it, for a while now. Instead of just going “Oh! Someone is doing this challenge! And someone else is doing this challenge!” And then running around and signing up for everything. Yes, we’re taking a strategic approach to 2022 because I can’t do another year of chaos.
So, let’s talk about what my plans for 2022 are.
2022 challenge sign up
Obviously, I’m doing my standard Goodreads goal. Which is really just my plan to read 100 books every year. I’ve achieved this every year for the last three years, so we should be good again.
Although, I did just scrape in for 2021. But 104 is still over 100 books, so we’re taking the win.
Beat the Backlist
Austine isn’t taking official sign-ups for Beat the Backlist in 2022 — which works perfectly for me, because while I’m writing this post, it’s more about ‘aims’ and ‘goals’ than actually wanting to hold myself to account this year. I think 2022 is going to be enough of a year by itself without beating myself over the head. Well, more than I do in Top 5 Tuesday, anyway. 😅
My aim for Beat the Backlist in 2022 is to end the year with less than 400 books on my existing TBR. This might not seem very hard, but I started 2022 sitting at 456 unread backlist books. And I add to it every year as well.
What this means is that I’m also going to try and manage my normal TBR slightly differently. Any backlist books I purchase this year go onto it, but new 2022 published books will have to be read immediately. I don’t want to keep increasing the backlist number when the 2023 rolls around. So, I want to read all the 2022 books, and over 50 pre-2022 books. Even if I can get it down slightly, or not increase it for 2023, we should be ok.
A-Z Reading Challenge
The A-Z Reading Challenge is run by Crystal and Megan over at Bookstacks and Golden Moms, and I’ve participated (either formally or informally) every year since they started it. I haven’t seen a post about it yet in 2022, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.
I have to say, this is one of my favourites, but also one of my biggest stresses every year. I don’t know why, but I always leave it until November/December to realise I haven’t read a book for J, Q, U, V, X, Y and Z. And then it’s a mad rush to try and finish off the list. So, again, I’m taking it easy on myself this year.
As per usual, I count books that start with ‘A’, ‘An’ or ‘The’ as starting with the second word. For example, The Bear and the Nightingale counts as a B title.
Also, when we get to letters X and Z, we take any letter in the title as opposed to the title starting with that letter. But in 2022, I’m all going to give myself the opt-out to include J, Q, U, V and Y on that list. Don’t get me wrong, I will be trying to do it the original way, but again, I don’t want to beat myself up about it.
The one thing I will be taking off the table as my counter-option though is that Kindle Unlimited books will NOT count. It has to be either a book on my shelves, or an eBook/Audiobook that I have purchased. Because I know I have enough to do this.
Making this work
So… That’s actually all the challenges that I’m “signing up” for. But, I said at the start that I’ve been strategising this — and really, there was not a lot of strategy in the above. Which makes sense, because the ‘strategy’ part doesn’t come in until we talk about HOW I’m going to do this. Basically, the RULES to how I will do the 2022 TBR / monthly reading. Which, is what this section is dedicated to. (Because we all know how much I love rules.)
Yes, I know I mentioned it at the start of the month, but TBRs are making a comeback for 2022. But how I’m making them is changing. For starters, since I’m not going to be signing up to any monthly challenges this year (yep, no Orilium, no middle-grade March, just the three above), TBRs will not be themed. Which means that I can read as widely as I want.
But I also won’t be putting more than six books on it per month. I want the freedom to be able to read off the TBR and putting 10 books on each month won’t help me do it. It’ll make me run in the opposite direction. Which I think is why they haven’t worked in the past. I read, on average, about 8 books per month. so keeping the TBR smaller than that gives me some freedom to read outside of it, at my leisure. Plus I need the space to sneak all my 2022 books in somewhere!!
One of my best friends, Em (@booksaboutEm) made me my own Bookopoly board for Christmas just gone. I had kind of been playing a bit on her board (I was using a Maleficent magnetic bookmark as my token — dragon side up), but it meant if I had completed my options, I had to wait for Em to be available for a video call to roll again. (Em’s in Melbourne, I’m in Canberra. It’s just shy of a 700km distance. Or 8 hours in a car.) Which meant that I was probably annoying her (sorry Em)!
So, each month, I will add two rolls from Bookopoly to my TBR. And, if I’ve read all my TBR and I’m at a loose end for what to read next, Bookopoly is an option then as well. The best part of the game is that it gives you a theme or an idea, and then you get to pick from that. Except for Chance cards — then it gives you a specific book to read.
RNG the TBR
The second way I will be filling my TBR is with a Random Number Generator. Yep, each month I will roll a RNG number and add two more books to my TBR. This is how we are going to cut out books that I might never read. For instance, in January one of the RNG numbers came up as The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. And I decided to NOT put it on my TBR. Which has TWO consequences.
- If I don’t read the book within the next 12 months it gets unhauled.
- If it comes up again on the RNG within the next 12 months, then I have to read it immediately, or it gets unhauled then and there.
Yes, I am keeping a list of these books. Because if I’m really not interested in reading it, then it has to go. 👋 (This is also how I am going to get shelf space back.)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Meeghan, a) you said each TBR would have SIX books on it, and that’s only FOUR. And b) series-a-thon isn’t a real thing. Yup, fully aware of both of those points.
But, you know how I have like a million series, unfinished, or unstarted in a lot cases, on my bookshelf? I am going to binge read these books.
So, IF a series comes up in either of the other two ways to fill my TBR, then I am going to also add the remainder of the books to my TBR. Which is why we have the remainder of the Percy Jackson books on the January TBR. (Sea of Monsters actually came up on the RNG.)
Also if the RNG brings lands on book 3 in a series and I haven’t read book 1, then I just swap book 1 in as a replacement (and then add books 2-3 or however many are there). The only saver here will be that if I already have a series on my monthly TBR and I land on another, that is a FREE skip with no consequenes.
YES. Book buying now gets its own separate section. So, last year I informally set myself a rule that I wouldn’t get more than 7 books in a month. But that I also had to read more books than I bought. Which I achieved a grand total of once. In July. When I bought 2 books and read 4. I thought August was going my way because I bought 5. But then I only read 3.
So, here’s the plan for 2022:
- Buy less books than you read
- Consider why you are buying a multiple copy *
- Consider buying an ebook version instead
- Keep researching the monthly book boxes and SKIP if you’re not interested
- Consider if you will actually read it immediately, or will it sit on a shelf for 4 years — in which case, buy it later (or not at all because you’ll probably forget about it in 18 months)
I think this plan is achievable. I mean, I already have preorders from 2021 that are still arriving, or should be in the next month, that I can’t stop. But after I want to make book buying less of a reflex action, and more considered.
* No judgement, but I know that I will absolutely be buying 5 copies of Silverborn when it’s out in October. (Goldsboro, UK hardcover, AU hardcover, AU paperback, audiobook.) But think about the others.
So, that’s my 2022 challenge / reading / buying plan. I’m nervous but also excited to see how it goes!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!!
What challenges are you signing up for in 2022?