In my last post I said I was getting rid of my reading journal, and I am. But that’s only because I’m moving the reading journal stuff to a new home. See, I’ve nearly filled up the notebook. It’s getting super chonky, and I don’t think there are enough pages left to last me through 2023.
So, I had to decide. New notebook? Or something different?
I opted for something different, because I wasn’t really using that journal for more than a fun monthly art project. I haven’t been writing deep thoughts about the books I’m reading like I’d planned to do. While having a dedicated notebook just so I can do monthly reading spreads is a totally valid choice, I also wanted to consolidate the number of journals I’m using at any given point in time.
My solution? Do the same thing I’ve been doing, but do it in the blank pages at the end of the Passion Planner I bought to use as my 2023 writing and publishing planner.
Now I have two journals instead of three.
I’m still using a bullet journal (A5 Dotted Leuchtturm 1917) to do all the usual bullet journaling things (Ryder Carroll style). But, I realized in 2021 that trying to use “collections” to track my writing and publishing projects just wasn’t working. So I spun all that off into a dedicated project planner at the start of last year. Unfortunately, the notebook I picked (monthly overviews with a bunch of blank pages at the end) was a little too unstructured. After much consideration, I decided I need both monthly and weekly spreads for the full year in order to stay on top of my project plans.
Result: the return of the Passion Planner for 2023.
I say “return” because in 2021 I tried abandoning bullet journaling and moving entirely to a Passion Planner. It didn’t work because I need my daily logs, and the Passion Planner weekly doesn’t have a good place to do that. But I don’t need daily logs for my project planning and tracking. I just needed a place to do future planning and a way to break bigger goals into smaller tasks and assign them to specific weeks. And I’m using the days in the weekly layout to track how I’m using my time.
So far, this combo of notebooks is working really well for me. And, since I know I’m going to have it for the full year, I decided it’s also a great place to plan and track my reading.
I made a bookcase where I can draw in and color code the books I read this year.
And I made a cover page with a key for the bookshelf color code. Opposite my cover page is the page I made to track the one goal I have for my reading this year. Can you guess what that goal is?
If you guessed “read or DNF/donate my backlog of Fairy Loot special edition hardcovers,” then you are correct!
As I mentioned in my 2022 wrap-up post, I did a terrible job reading physical books last year, even though I didn’t really travel anywhere, and I don’t have a commute. I seriously have no excuse. Well…except that I hate reading hardcovers in bed. Mostly because I don’t have (or want) a bedside reading lamp.
Since I don’t expect this year to be any different, I’m making some changes. My plan is to add one of these books to my TBR each month. I know there are only nine on that page, but I have ten, total. These are just the nine oldest, so they are the ones that I MUST get through this year. But I don’t necessarily have to finish all of them. DNFing is an option. If I read at least 25% of the book and am not sucked in, I will count that book as “done” and DNF/donate.
If I don’t complete (or DNF/donate) at least one of these each month, then I am going to suspend my subscription for a month. If I miss two months in a row, I’m going to cancel my subscription. I REALLY don’t want to do that because, even though it makes no sense whatsoever, I love special edition hardcovers. And the books that Fairy Loot picks are usually really good ones. So, I think the threat of cancelation is going to be enough to make this plan work.
It may also help that I just purchased a clip-on, rechargeable LED book light that I can use to read in bed. It’s not here yet (ordered online), but I’m hoping that helps as well.
So, is that really my only goal for this year?
I have a stack of writing craft books I want to read for a project I’m working on. Plus I still want to read more books about social justice issues so I can expand my knowledge and awareness (target = 4 total). I’ve already identified several and added them to my TBR, but I’m on the lookout for a few more options in very specific areas.
I also want to continue to read books by diverse authors and with diverse main characters and from diverse publishing paths. I have some targets in mind that I’d like to hit, but I’ve been doing pretty well on that stuff organically. So I’m not going to focus on stats for those until mid-year. If I check in July, and I don’t like the look of my stats, then I may have to focus on that a bit more.
But the current priority is determining if there’s a place for special edition hardcovers in my life or not. So that’s my primary reading goal for 2023. Read in print. Specifically, the books I’ve already purchased.
I’m curious, do you also have a backlog of hardcovers from subscription boxes that you haven’t read but want to? Do you track how much you read in print vs. e-reader vs. audiobook? Does it matter to you? Are you trying to change any reading habits this year? Let me know in the comments.