Books · Reading Plans

Looking Bookishly into 2023

I meant to post this earlier, but did not get around to finishing it! So, a bit, but still…

In this post I am just trying to pull together what I want from my reading in the coming year. Not resolutions exactly, but close. I definitely have learned a lot about my reading in 2022 and I would like to implement that going forward.


I will be changing my rating system. Up until now I have used a 7-star rating system on this blog, but I am no longer satisfied with it. I have been experimenting for the last couple of months with a rating system based on the CAWPILE system. The CAWPILE rating system did not quite work for me, so adapted it to suit myself. I will be using CALSPIE (Characters, Ambience, Language, Story, Pacing, Interest, Enjoyment) to come up with a score out of 10. I will include the corresponding 5-star ratings as used on Storygraph. I hope this will work for me!


I love reading translated works, both classics and more contemporary books, and I would definitely like to lean into that a bit more this year. In 2022 I read a number of Russian classics, but for 2023 I have added number of South American novels to my 23 for 2023 TBR, mainly classics of some sort or another. I will also continue exploring books translated from Arabic. I seem to have an affinity for the writing style and stories coming from that part of the world. There’s a specific tone that I really enjoy. It’s hard to explain. I have a number of novels from contemporary Arabic authors, both male and female, that I am looking forward to reading, as well as some more classic works and poetry.


I’d like to indulge my love of fantasy quite a bit more in 2023. It’s true escapism for me and I really think it would do me good to just get lost in these stories more than once in a while. I have a Robin Hobb series on the go and I want to get stuck into (re)reading the whole Shannara epic by Terry Brooks. I am reading those in the ‘re-visiting’ order prescribed on his website. There are a few books that I haven’t actually read yet. which I can’t wait to get to. I hope I will enjoy the Shannara books as much as I used to. One of the things I want to change is that I should just start series when I want to. I have quite a few fantasy series ready to start, and I want to stop being afraid of doing so. I seem to have this thing in my head that I should finish a series before starting a new one, but I don’t think that should matter. I do think when I start a series I should try and read the books relatively soon after each other, but that should not stop me from starting new series! But yes, I’d like to get back into fantasy in a slightly bigger way this year.


I should really utilize that section of Audible a bit more. There are quite a few classics on there. I listened to Anna Karenina that way and I just finished The Secret Garden, a book that was on my 2023 TBR and I enjoyied the listen so much! It’s a great way to get through some of the classics on my shelf (and 2023 TBR). I do check the reviews first, because some of the audio books appear to be a bit iffy.


This is where there will be a big change this year. I have put a cap on me buying new books. Last year I bought far too many. I will allow myself to buy (cheap) used books quite freely within reason, but for new books I have given myself a limit of five books every couple of months. I should read more than five physical books in two months, so that should in theory mean my TBR will go down. And when I do buy used books, I need to consider more carefully whether I actually need those books. Am I planning on reading them soon? Unless a classic, I should read them within a month or two.

I will allow myself to buy a bonus book for every 10 backlist books I read, and another for every 5 books that I read that I bought in 2023. I may also give myself a bonus for a set number of unhauled books, but I am not sure yet. Still, when a book sparks my fancy I will put it on a wishlist and then when the time comes to buy books, I will decide very carefully which ones I want to buy with the idea of reading them in the next few months. This will eliminate some of the impulse buying I was guilty of in 2022. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing bad about buying books – there are worse things to spend money on – but I am simply running out of space. I feel confident that I can finally bring my TBR down this year. I need to, because I am definitely running out of space on my shelves! And to be honest, I have so many books on my shelf that I am excited about, I honestly don’t need more books. This goes especially for ‘popular’ books. If there is a popular book I like the look at I will wait till it comes up in the 99p sale on Amazon for my Kindle. I don’t need to own it unless I absolutely love it.

I did already buy my January/February quota of books. Of the books I bought in January, four were translated (two from Spanish, two from Arabic), three of them classics. The fifth is poetry. Four of them are on my TBRs in Jan/Feb as well. I want that to be a trend for me.


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