The Picky Pledge 2018

Today, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and I are talking all things Picky Pledge! We're recapping a few 2017 reading statistics, reflecting on what we learned the past year, and sharing our plan for 2018. The Picky Pledge was born out of our discussions about our reading choices and book buying habits. Alexa and I wanted to be more intentional with the books we read, but we weren't sure how we wanted to go about it. If you're curious, here's how it got started

For the past three years, Alexa and I have shared a long post packed with charts and graphs analyzing our year in books. From what we read to what we acquired, we took a look at our stats and used them to identify what we wanted to change in the year to come. This year, we're doing things a little differently. It's all about simplifying! 

We've learned a lot since starting The Picky Pledge in 2015! We've changed some of our bad habits -- and noticed there's one we just can't seem to break. This year, we're focusing on doing less but hopefully accomplishing more. So, in that spirit, we're just sharing three statistics from 2017 today. We'll address review books and books bought later in this post.

Interestingly enough, this chart looks very similar to last year! I read more books in 2017 (151 vs 93 in 2016), but the percentages stayed about the same. I re-read and borrowed the same percentage of books. My review reading decreased just a bit, which doesn't surprise me. Since I blogged less consistently last year, I was more cautious to request things for review. I didn't want the commitment! I read just a bit more from my TBR in 2017, so that's a Picky Pledge success. However, my reading life is still dominated by the books I'm acquiring rather than what I already own. 

There was a decent amount change in this category! In 2016, I rated 59% of what I read 4 stars or higher. In 2017, it was up to 70%! I'm pleased that I had such a great reading year and hope it's a sign that I'm getting better at identifying what books work for me. I also read more 3.5 star books (15% up from 7%), fewer 3 star books (11% down from 26%) and fewer 1 and 2 star books (4% combined vs. 8% in 2016). Those statistics all speak to the fact that I'm reading the right books for me. Becoming more in tune with my reading taste (and being less influenced by other people) is a good thing! 

I love reading series, but I noticed last year that I hadn't read as many as usual. So, I was looking forward to seeing this statistic. I love that almost half of what I read in 2017 was in a series! I did a bunch of series binges, said goodbye to some favorites, got caught up on a few and started several others. I can't wait to see what 2018 holds in store!

I mentioned earlier in this post that my charts didn't address Review Books or Books Bought, but I'll be talking about those things here. When we kicked off Picky Pledge for 2017, Alexa and I set three personal goals. Mine were:
  1. Read no more than 24 review books.
  2. Buy no more than 80 books.
  3. Complete the Picky Pledge Reading Challenge.
So, how'd I do? 
  1. I read 17 books for review. SUCCESS.
  2. I... have no idea how many books I bought. I documented them all in monthly recaps but didn't keep a spreadsheet of purchases and am now too lazy to go back and dig into the numbers. But based on the fact that 69 of the 151 books I read were purchased or gifted to me in 2017 (and I bought more that I still haven't read), I think it's safe to say this was a total FAIL. I'll talk about this more in a minute.
  3. I read 12 books that fit the 12 categories in our Reading Challenge, so this was a SUCCESS. In fact, this was my favorite part of the Picky Pledge and has inspired our new goals for 2018.
I definitely feel like I've got a handle on review books now. As for buying books, I don't think this habit will change anytime soon. I've gotten better during the past three year, though there's obviously still room for improvement, but I'm not setting a purchasing goal anymore. I always lose motivation while trying to keep a running list of what I bought, where I got it, and whether it adds to my TBR or not! I'm considering Christine's book budget idea, which seems more realistic.

As for the Picky Pledge Reading Challenge, here's what I read for each category (with links to reviews):
Now, let's talk about 2018.

The Picky Pledge will look a little different in 2018, and I don't just mean the updated colors in the graphics. After reviewing our progress and discussing our goals, Alexa and I have decided that our only plan for this year is to complete another round of the The Picky Pledge Reading Challenge! We've updated two categories, but everything else has stayed the same. We loved that this made us look a little differently at our TBR, and we primarily want to focus on staying on top of that in 2018. Instead of monthly reviews, we'll share a recap at the end of the year detailing what we read for each category. But throughout the year I'll track my progress!

Here's to being intentional - and simplifying - in 2018!
What are your reading goals for the year?


  1. I have learned over the past few years that simplifying is pretty much always a good idea :) I completely agree that tracking and logging purchased books can kill your motivation -- seems like it would do the opposite but it never does for me! Thanks for the shout out on my budget post :) I think my budget is probably more strict than what other people might want to do, but I think the same principles can apply, just make your own rules and I think it can totally work! Of course, there is a bit of logging if I really want to stick with it, but I don't know, it just feels different this way! :)

  2. I can't believe we've been collaborating on this for a few years already! It's been really fun and even though I haven't always been the best at sticking to it, it's definitely been a big help to me.


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