2020 Reading Goals and Challenges

I had a lot of reading goals this year. Consequently, I had a lot of reading struggles too. Due to some mixed results, I thought about avoiding any reading challenges in 2020. Then, I decided to participate in a few and be more strategic about my goals for the new year. Let’s take a look at what I hope to accomplish:

Beauty Gif
Goal for 2020: slide across a bookshelf on a ladder.

#1 Continue my Classics Club list (20): In order to stay on track with my five-year deadline for The Classics Club, I need to be reading at least 20 books from my list each year. I fell slightly short of that magic number in 2019, so I’ve got a little catching up to do.

#2 Participate in Beat the Backlist (12): For the past two years, I’ve participated in the TBR Challenge hosted by Roofbeam Reader. Sadly, it will not be returning in 2020. I found this challenge through Climbing Mount To Be Read that looks like fun. Here are my selections for this challenge:

  1. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  2. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  3. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  4. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
  5. The Little Country by Charles de Lint
  6. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
  7. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  8. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  9. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson
  10. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  11. Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
  12. The Outsider by Stephen King

#3 Participate in Back to the Classics (12): It’s back! I love this challenge as it helps me get more classics read. I haven’t selected anything yet, but here are the categories:

  1. 19th Century classic
  2. 20th Century classic
  3. Classic by a woman author
  4. Classic in translation
  5. Classic by a person of color
  6. A genre classic
  7. Classic with a person’s name in the title
  8. Classic with a place in the title
  9. Classic with nature in the title
  10. Classic about a family
  11. Abandoned classic
  12. Classic adaptation

#4 Participate in Reading Classic Books (12): I also found an alternative challenge to help me stay on track with classic literature. Here are the categories:

  1. Read a classic over 500 pages
  2. Read a classic by a POC and/or with a POC as the main character
  3. Read a classic that takes place in a country other than where you live
  4. Read a classic in translation
  5. Read a classic by a new to you author
  6. Read a book of poetry
  7. Read a classic written between 1800-1860
  8. Read a classic written by an LGBT author and/or with an LGBT main character
  9. Read a classic written by a woman
  10. Read a classic novella
  11. Read a classic nonfiction
  12. Read a classic that has been banned or censored

#5 Complete my Jane Austen Challenge (9): My plan was to reread all six of Austen’s main canon plus read six other “Austen-related” books, such as unofficial sequels and biographies. I have a fun collection of Austen-inspired short stories I’ve been wanting to read so that will be included here as well. Earlier in 2019, I read Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Letters from Pemberley. I have a long way to go:

  1. Mansfield Park
  2. Emma
  3. Northanger Abbey
  4. Persuasion
  5. Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  6. TBA
  7. TBA
  8. TBA
  9. TBA

#6 Read my Own Damned Books:

In order to stay focused, I’m going to really work on not buying as many books this year. I’m allowing myself a total of 12 for the year, one book per month. The library will become my friend. Free books and gifts are excluded.

read ichabod crane GIF
Hopefully all this reading won’t make me anti-social.

If I accomplish the above goals, that will be a total of 65 books, not counting crossovers to other lists. I will update my main page in the next two weeks with the 2020 challenges in order to track progress. Here’s to another successful year!

13 thoughts on “2020 Reading Goals and Challenges

  1. Welcome Joel to Reading Classic Books challenge! I hope you’ll enjoy this challenge as much as Back to the Classics. I look forward to seeing what books you choose for the prompts and reading your thoughts.

    Don’t forget to follow the challenge on Twitter and/or Instagram and join the Goodreads group if you can. I’ll post the majority of updates there.

    I’m also going on a semi book buying ban because I keep adding books and not reading them. I’ve decided for every 5 books I read from my own shelf, I can buy one. I also have to do a major purge before I buy any more books. Oh, the life of a bookworm/book hoarder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joel Getter

      Thank you! I’m very excited about this challenge! I’m going to start using my Goodreads account again, so will definitely join the group.


  2. Wow! We have quite a few books in common this year between various lists and challenges! I’m really looking forward to the Morgenstern, though might wait a bit to read it as it promises to be a long hold list at work! I look forward to seeing your reviews this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joel Getter

      There was a long wait at my library, but I got lucky and got it. It should likely be one of the first books I read in 2020! Good luck on your challenges!


      1. I found it just sitting on the shelf in my library and grabbed it… a minor miracle!

        Have you read “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P. D. James? It’s a fun unofficial sequel to Pride and Prejudice that doubles as a cosy murder mystery. Highly recommend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Joel Getter

        I read ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ years ago and really liked it. It’s been ages, and I’ve forgotten most of it, so it might be worth picking up again. Two of my favorite genres are cozy murder mysteries and of course Jane Austen so it’s a win-win! Thank you for the recommendation!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 3. ‘The Starless Sea’ by Erin Morgenstern – I Would Rather Be Reading

    1. Joel Getter

      Thanks! I’m really excited to get more classics read this year. I’m working on my Spin Book for Classics Club. I’m planning to reread Mansfield Park soon.


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