Goal #1: Read Through HistoryI like historical fiction. I find it easier to understand history when there is a character to empathize with and a plot to follow. Over the summer, I got the idea to publish a year's worth of reviews of historical fiction novels for kids and teens to help me get a better sense of history, and to encourage me to read some of the well-known titles I have missed over the years. Though I started reading the books in August, they will all be posted in 2015, one per week, for 52 weeks. The feature is called "Reading Through History" and I am reading the books in chronological order based on their setting. The first post goes up tomorrow, as my first Old School Sunday of the new year.
Goal #2: Go Easier on the ARCsIn 2014, I combined my two blogs into one, leaving fewer days in my line-up for posting book reviews. This seemed like a wise decision with a new baby at home, and it has worked out fairly well. I have stuck with Old School Sunday, and participated semi-regularly in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, and I've reviewed a picture book almost every week. The only problem is that a significant portion of the new books I've read and reviewed came from Edelweiss and NetGalley, meaning that I have missed out on a lot of books that were not available from those services. I'm not quite sure yet how I will do this because I already have so many ARCs waiting to be read, but I hope to focus at least a little bit more on finding books at the library after they are published instead of only reviewing ARCs.
Goal #3: Be Proactive About Picture BooksI am going to stop accepting picture books for review in 2015. The ones I've received have been fine, but not amazing, and because I have spent my time on them, I've wound up missing almost everything published by any of the major publishers. I only read one title from the Cybils finalist list, and I couldn't make a Caldecott prediction now if my life depended on it. When I was working, I used to check in, or at least review, the new picture books pretty much every time they arrived at my branch before they went out on the shelves. Now, as a patron, I often don't even know the books exist unless they happen to be on a new books display on the day I visit the library. My goal is to pay better attention to what is being published each month and to use inter-library loan to actually borrow the books and bring them home to read and review so I can continue to be in the loop, even when I'm staying home with Miss Muffet.
Goal #4: Phase Out YAI have almost completely stopped reviewing YA. Part of the reason is that I am just not that into reading about teenagers having sex, and it seems like that is happening in a lot of the books I pick up. The other part of the reason is that I really love middle grade and want to save as many spots on my review calendar for middle grade books as I can. I continued to review YA for years after leaving my teen librarian position, but since I don't have any plans to work with teens in the near future, and I won't have a teenager myself for 12 more years, I feel like I can let this part of my professional development go for now. There might be a few YA ARCs on my reading list that I requested before I made this decision, but otherwise, I will not be posting YA reviews in 2015.
Goal #5: Bring Back Books for BeginnersThis year, my blog was very light on easy readers. I reviewed a good number of chapter books, but as with picture books, I was not as aware of what was being published at the easy reader level as I have been in the past. Based on the small number of nominations we had for Cybils, I think it is also possible that not as many easy readers were published this year, but even so, I'd like to do better at being on top of what is being published, especially since not many bloggers regularly review books for beginning readers.
Do you have any reading goals you hope to follow in this new year? Share in comments!