2019 READING GOALS | Reading outside my comfort zone & smashing my TBR

HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL! Now that 2019 is upon us, it’s time to find out what my reading resolutions are for the year! I’m sure you’ve already been inundated with posts about 2019 reading and blogging goals but hopefully you aren’t too bored of them just yet because here’s mine.

Thanks to my ridiculous book buying habits, subscription boxes and the lovely publishers who send me review copies, my TBR is once again overrun. But this is it. This is the year when I reduce my 174 unread physical books (I counted yesterday, ouch) down. I am smashing my TBR in 2019.

This is going to be my main goal this year, not my goodreads goal. My plan is to schedule my reading better (while still giving myself leeway for mood reads) and get rid of the massive stack of unread books I have.

But that’s not all, I also have some challenges I’m setting myself so that I read more widely – books I wouldn’t necessarily pick up myself, and books in categories that I don’t read enough of.

Let’s have a look at these challenges…


  • Read 85 books – not a lot to explain here, just my goodreads goal. I ended up reading 108 books in 2018, but, while I need to reduce my TBR, I also need to balance my time better.
  • Reduce my physical TBR to 100 – I know that every book I read in 2019 won’t be one I already own, and this is a pretty big reduction and a tall task. I only read 19 books from my pre-owned TBR last year. I may be asking too much of myself here, but I saw someone on twitter say that for every ‘new’ book they read, they have to read an already owned book afterwards. This is my goal!
  • Read my 12 must-read backlist books – I’m a sucker for mood reading so even when I want to read a book, I don’t always end up prioritising it. This year, I’ve chosen 12 that I have to read before the end of the year.
  • Read 10 friend recommendations – this idea I stole from the lovely Tes who did this in 2018 and the recs I’ve had so far have been great – I’ll pop a list down below!
  • Read 6 graphic novels – I’m not very good at reading anything other than books and I really want to get into graphic novels. Plus, The Steel Prince bind up comes out next year…
  • Read 6 pre-1995 books – in 2018 I only read two books published before I was born, Pride and Prejudice and A Study in Scarlet. I want to read more books from the 20th Century, more classics, more variety.
  • Read 25 books with a male protagonist and / or written by a male author – I’ve fallen into a habit of reading a lot of female authors and a lot of female protagonists. I know that’s not the worst trend, considering the publishing industry is still overrun with men, but I need to diversify more. 
  • Pre-order less books that are going to sit on my shelf unread – a fairly straightforward one. I used pre-orders in 2018 as a loophole for my book buying ban, but I need to be stricter with myself. No pre-orders unless I’ve read the rest of the series, it’s a by must-buy author, or I’ve been really anticipating it.

2019 Must-Reads

So these are the books that I personally think I should prioritise in 2019. I own all of them in physical copy (and in some cases, have done for many years).

  1. The Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) – Sabaa Tahir
  2. Children of Blood and Bone (#1) – Tomi Adeyemi
  3. The Lies of Locke Lamora (#1) – Scott Lynch
  4. The Bone Witch (#1) – Rin Chupeco
  5. Now I Rise (#1) – Kiersten White
  6. Spellslinger (#1) – Sebastian de Castell
  7. Cracking – Emma Geraghty
  8. The Magicians (#1) – Lev Grossman
  9. Mort – Terry Pratchett
  10. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne
  11. The Wicked Deep (#1)– Shea Earnshaw
  12. False Hearts – Laura Lam

2019 Friend Recs

  • The Secret History – Donna Tartt [rec’d by Tes]
  • The Name of the Wind (#1) – Patrick Rothfuss [rec’d by Melanie]
  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight #1) by Katherine Arden [rec’d by Kath]
  • Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor [rec’d by Lexy]
  • Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway [rec’d by James]
  • The Diviners (#1) by Libba Bray [rec’d by Wren]
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [rec’d by Ellie]
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson [rec’d by Bee]
  • Dry by Neal Schusterman [rec’d by Jess]
  • Finnikin of the Rock (#1) by Melina Marchetta [rec’d by Josie]

2019 Pre-Orders

8The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2)Holly Black
8Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad #2)S. A. Chakraborty
10Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4)Matt de la Pena
22The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2)Maureen Johnson
29King of Scars (Grishaverse)Leigh Bardugo
29Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen #2)Sarah Glenn Marsh

26The Priory of the Orange TreeSamantha Shannon

7A Girl Called Shameless (The Exact Opposite of Okay #2)Laura Steven
12The Near WitchV.E. Schwab
2The Wicked Saints (#1)Emily A. Duncan
2The Devouring Gray (#1)Christine Lynn Hermann
4The Boy Who Steals HousesC. G. Drews

…and that’s just the first four months.

Book Clubs

Finally, I’m joining in with some group reads that span the multiple months hosted by dear friends of mine.

This is hosted on goodreads by my good friend, Melanie, and her co-host, Amy. Every month they’re having a group buddy read and the first one begins today with The Wicker King by K. Ancrum!

Mel always has amazing recs, so I know this is a great choice for me as I trust her taste implicitly. The book club will be focusing on diverse books from own voices authors and marginalised voices.

This is hosted on instagram by another amazing friend of mine, Tes, and her co-host, Natalie. This will be a monthly ‘read at your own speed’ readalong of, you guessed it, Jane Austen novels beginning with Sense and Sensibility for January! This challenge really helps me with my pre-1995 goal!

This is again hosted by Mel, and co-hosted with Dani. Again, this will be a great help with my pre-1995 challenge, but also for every classic, there’s a group watch of an adaptation and some further reading for modern retellings!

JANA Study in Scarlett – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Study in Charlotte – Brittany Cavallaro
A Study in Pink (2010) – BBC Sherlock
FEBWuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
PBS Wuthering Heights mini-series (2009)
MARSense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
BBC Sense and Sensibility mini-series (2005)
SEPRebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
PBS Rebecca mini-series (1997)
OCTSomething Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
Jack Clayton’s 1983 film adaptation
NOVAnna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Joe Wright’s 2012 film adaptation

What are your reading goals for 2019? If you’ve written a blog post, link me to it below!

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7 thoughts on “2019 READING GOALS | Reading outside my comfort zone & smashing my TBR

  1. acourtofcrownsandquills says:

    I am loving your goals, Imi! We have similar ones for sure. Also I’m so honored you’ll be buddy reading with me in the Dragons and Tea Book Club this year. I’m really loving the wicker king so far! Wishing you nothing but the best in 2019! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kyra says:

    I’m so bad at reading books from my bookshelf! I get so distracted by the new books at the library, that I neglect the books I own. I’m hoping to change that this year!

    Happy 2019!


  3. Kelly Mongan (@monganmoments) says:

    I can’t believe you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale yet!! I just ordered the hardcover of The Winter of the Witch (#3 in the series) so it’s all yours to read if you end up as hooked as I am!

    Also love the goal to reduce your physical TBR. For some reason I don’t read the physical books that I buy (though I don’t buy too many); I started cataloging all of the books we own yesterday and realized I’ve barely read any of them. So I’m definitely trying to change that in 2019!


    • Imi says:

      See, I tried to read it this time last year but my head wasn’t in it, even though I knew I’d love it… so I put it on hold and now I’m DETERMINED.

      Yeah, I catalogued all my books for the first time in December 2017 and realised I had too many I hadn’t read so tried to read them in 2018 and it DID NOT work. So here I am. Again. DETERMINED. 😂😂😂


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