The year of reading intentionally

The new year is, with many things, a time to "start as you mean to continue".

This might mean decluttering, eating salads or... perhaps taking a more organised approach to your reading.

Every year I keep a running list of books that I've read and then at the end of the year I include the ones I enjoyed the most in a "Best of the year" list (here are my fiction, non-fiction and Movies/TV lists for 2023). I also move things onto my virtual Completed shelf as I go (pro tip - if you want to do the same but have a tendency to forget things you've borrowed make sure you turn Borrowing History on in your account settings).

But I've come to realise that a lot of my reading last year was pretty haphazard. There's nothing wrong with that - sometimes a book just catches your eye as you're browsing the shelves and this is an entirely legitimate way of finding your next read. However, what I've noticed is that doing that means that sometimes I don't get to books that I've really intended to read as they get "bumped" by stuff I've just happened upon. I am the embodiment of that meme with the guy checking out a random girl on the street, except with books.

So this year I'm taking a slightly different approach. I've scoured my For Later shelf (and this really good 2023 list from our Readers Advisory staff) and added in titles I like the look of into my 2024 reading list so they're sitting there looking me in the face every time I update it, asking me silently but plaintively why I haven't got to them yet. I'm still intending to intersperse these titles with some serendipitous "I just found it on the recently returned shelf" reading but hopefully I'll actually get around to enjoying a few of the books I've be wanting to get to. Let's see if this makes a difference.

I've also taken the bold move of making my list public so that if I get to the end of the year and haven't read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo I will be publicly shamed, not to mention carted off to Reading Jail by the Book Police*.

What I'm reading in 2024 (fiction)

View Full List

If you also have a problem with getting distracted (SQUIRREL!!) by books you didn't mean to read in favour of the ones that have been waiting patiently for your attention perhaps you'd like to join me on this journey by making your own aspirational reading list for 2024?

Use library tools to level up your reading

If you don't already have a login for our catalogue (where you can make lists, rate titles, and generally get all up in that book-stuff) you can make a BiblioCommons catalogue account fairly quickly (if you have your library card number and PIN handy). We also have some FAQs about making and using lists to help get you started.

Another benefit of having an BiblioCommons account is that after you log in, and add a few things to your For Later shelf, if you then go to "Library Dashboard" it will show you a feed, front and centre, of titles from that shelf that are currently available, making it even easier to prioritise those books and it does a similar thing in the BiblioCommons app you can install on your phone.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how this new approach to my reading pans out though I'm going to end up reading a pile of books one way or the other, so there's no real "losing" in this scenario.

*Not a real thing. We don't even do fines anymore. We're honestly very easy-going.

Other ways to find books you'll love this year