Some 2022 Reading Goals

First of all, I need to give some proper attention to the books on my set-aside shelf (nearly 40 of them), preferably clearing this in January – while also catching up on review copies from last year and continuing with the January releases.

Thereafter, I’d like to concentrate on backlist books for the year. This may seem ironic given that I review new ones on the blog and for various other outlets, and that I’m going to be featuring my 20 most anticipated titles of 2022 in a post tomorrow, but I have a few reasons for wanting to focus on older material.

One is that backlist reading consistently produces new favourites. Another is that every time I shelve in the library’s back room rolling stacks, I see novels that I’ve always meant to read, or that look fantastic, and think, “I really should borrow more from in here” … then forget all about them and place holds on (sometimes disappointing) new books instead.

A final reason is that, as I pack up my library in preparation for moving and get a good look at the ~500 unread books all over again, I hope and expect that I will be inspired to read them – and also to revisit some long-neglected favourites. (Of course, I may also cull some before the move, which would be fine.) The plan is to eventually replace our fleet of white Billy bookcases with built-in shelving either side of the decorative fireplaces in a few rooms of the new house.

As always, I’d like to get to more classics, doorstoppers and literature in translation (I own hardly any translated titles, so most of this will have to be from the library). I’ll participate in all the usual annual blogger challenges plus any new ones I can fit in, including Annabel’s #NordicFINDS – I’m currently reading Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder to review later this month.

I’m sure to follow a similar set of literary prizes as last year, including the Young Writer of the Year Award, the Barbellion Prize, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Wainwright Prize, and (to a lesser extent) the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Women’s Prize and the Booker Prize. And, of course, I’ll be carefully monitoring the later stages of the McKitterick Prize judging after sending off my own longlist for the unpublished manuscripts. These prize lists plus various review copies will ensure I have a regular influx of recent releases to counterbalance the backlist reads.

Brand new or backlist for you in 2022?

34 responses

  1. Backlist works for me. With a few tiny sprinkles of Brand New.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds very sensible. I expect mine will be generous dollops of new, but I’ll employ a similar approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Backlist is the one thing I haven’t even thought about! I’ve been focusing on new vs rereading. I’d like to read more from the backlist of particular authors, though, e.g. Emily St John Mandel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like to catch up on her stuff too. Packing my books is either going to be inspirational or overwhelming; not sure which!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both. Plus I’m participating in Liz of Leaping Life’s War and Peace read-along. That should cut down by quite a number the amount of titles I get through this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, a book like that should surely count as 4-5 😉 Hope you enjoy! I’ve never managed to get to grips with any Russian masters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nor me, and I think it’s me that may be missing out. Only one way to find out!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be querying my new novel in a few months, so I’ll be reading mostly new, for comps. Even though my never-read backlist will be screaming at me for attention!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how that goes! I guess it makes sense to be up to date with the market; the older books will always wait for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh, built-in shelves!! I have had much success in the last year or so squeezing Billy CD shelves (are they Benno? I can never remember) into odd places in our house … My aims this year are to get the blinking TBR down (including reading all the old stuff so I’m “allowed” to read Dave Grohl’s book according to the stupid bet I have with Mr Liz. Then I will do any challenges from the TBR (I had about eight for NordicFINDS!) and continue reading as much as I have the last few months. Oh, and continue to keep up to date each month with my NetGally (yay) and pick up the older ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Building shelves will stretch my husband’s DIY skills to the max! That and, eventually, a window seat in the front bay window in the lounge are my two requests.

      I’ll be trying to cut down my physical TBR like you, with challenges like the year clubs being a good excuse to get to older stuff.

      My NetGalley is as out of control as always! I’m not as dedicated to a good feedback ratio as you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Get that window seat SOON. I’ve wanted one since we moved here … in 2005!

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      2. Well, I’ve said for my 40th birthday if not before, so he’s got a little over a year and a half.

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  6. As ever, I’ll be failing to resist the lure of the bright, shiny and new despite all those excellent novels sitting on my shelves ripe for a reread.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, but we rely on you for pre-release recommendations! I feel like that’s your niche. I’ve always been more of a dabbler.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for giving me a reason to let myself off!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do also enjoy your blasts from the past. Are those usually recent rereads?

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  7. Overall I tend to be a backlist reader so expect I will continue that trend into 2022. A few shiny new titles usually end up in my library pile though. Started focusing on read through my unreadshelf last year and will continue on that. It looks like you have a great year of reading ahead of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll join you at the unread shelves 🙂

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  8. Sensible goals, Rebecca I guess that you saw my intentions post which mentioned reading and passing on a pile of books. My anticipated books are here:
    http://halfmanhalfbook.co.uk/book-musings/anticipated-books-for-spring-2022/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never figured out how to get your posts delivered to my inbox like with other WordPress bloggers, so I usually click through from Twitter. I hadn’t seen that one yet, so I’m glad you highlighted it. I never look at catalogues, so there’s lots here that I’d missed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My email thing isn’t working at the moment – I need to change it to another one. Glad it was some use to you!

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      2. I’ll have a proper look through later and give you my notes on what I have / what I’ve read / what I must get!

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  9. I’ve been thinking about the old versus new question over the past week too. Right now I’m leaning more towards the old (more classics and more of recent purchases). But it’s so hard to resist temptation with new releases…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a tough question, isn’t it? There are always so many good-looking new releases. For some I may wait and let prize lists tell me which are worthwhile, but I’m sure plenty will still make their way to my stacks via the library and review copies.

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  10. Noble aims indeed, which I fully support and would love to emulate. I start off each year by trying to read backlist books, but the shiny ones creep in until 20 books of summer where I go to the backlist again, but shiny all the way up to Christmas. I really must try harder to read the books I already own and buy fewer if I can – I’ve bought one book already this year – and loaded my piles in December – oh dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Review copies and the library mean that I hardly ever buy new books, but then again supporting authors and bookshops is a noble thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m always more of a backlist reader than a new reader, but I manage to get in a good helping of brand new books every year – I can’t help that, being at the library all the time! Good luck with your reading goals this year, Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how mellow you are about your book selections; there never seems to be any angst about what you wish you were reading instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is precisely why I don’t request ARCs! I know myself 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Jan Morris; and much more. (Already I feel swamped, and this in a year when I’ve said I want to prioritize backlist reads! Ah well, it is always […]

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  13. Dang! I’m on a backlist year too (mostly, not entirely). We should really coordinate so that we’re not both out of the loop at the same time. LOL

    Not long ago we replaced all our Billys and Billy-knockoffs too. With taller Billys. Hee hee. (It was very exciting. And it is still exciting. Maybe not VERY exciting though. Life does go on.)

    I find your top photo just mesmerizing. You know how they teach the law of thirds for taking photos? I have no idea what law your photo illustrates, but I can’t stop staring at it! 😉

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    1. I cropped it to take out the other shelves but left in the fragments of Christmas cards, etc. It’ll be at least the end of February before I clear those set-aside books. I’ve made a bit of progress so far.

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  14. […] via a friend’s Instagram post that there is such a thing as #FinishItFebruary and felt seen. My goal had been to clear my set-aside shelf by the end of January; of course that didn’t happen, but I […]

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