The Picky Pledge 2019

Today, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and I are talking all things Picky Pledge! We're taking a minute to look back at some stats from 2018, reflecting on what we accomplished the past year, and sharing our plan for 2019. The Picky Pledge was born out of lots of chats about our reading choices and book buying habits. We wanted to be more intentional and decided to hold each other accountable. Here's how it got started.

When we originally started The Picky Pledge, Alexa and I would share a long post with charts and graphics and stats. We'd use them to identify what we needed to change in the year to come, which was so helpful. We started to do things differently last year in the name of simplifying, and it was just what we needed.

So much has changed since we started this in 2015 – and so much has stayed the same. I think I'd still say I struggle with my book buying habits, and I suspect that Alexa would still point to her review books as the category that gives her the most trouble. But I think we've both gotten more aware of our choices and been more intentional, so we consider this little project a win. This year, we're only looking at one statistic: the source of what we read in 2018. It's the category that most ties into what we set out to accomplish back in 2015 and is often the most revealing one.

I read 222 books in 2018, and here's where they came from:

BOUGHT/GIFTED (2018) • 76 Books • 34%

BORROWED • 51 Books • 23%

OWNED (PRE-2018) • 33 Books • 15%

REREAD • 45 Books • 20%

REVIEW • 17 Books • 8%

Y'all, I'm so surprised by some of these stats, especially compared to last year! My 2016 and 2017 percentages were similar to each other, but things have changed a lot this year. I read fewer review books (down from 11%), more reread (up from 9%), and more borrowed books (up from 14%). I read fewer books from my TBR (down from 19%), which may be partly due to the fact that I have fewer older books on my TBR since I cull more frequently now. 

Finally – and of most interest to me – I read fewer books bought/gifted in 2017 (down from 47%). I didn't track my purchases the same way I have in the past and don't know if that's because I bought less or just that I wasn't reading as much of what I bought. However, my monthly recaps have pictures of everything I bought in 2018, so I'm probably going to compile that information to find the answer. I'm hoping that it's just that shopped less!

In 2017, Alexa and I set personal goals related to book buying and review books that we tracked throughout the year. But in 2018, we had only one goal: Complete the Picky Pledge Reading Challenge. We came up with 12 categories, enough for one book per month, to help us tackle our TBRs. All we had to do was read one book that fit each category – and all were tied to reasons we bought books. Simple, fun, and purposeful.

With one exception, I had all of these books on my TBR prior to 2018. Here are the categories and what I read:

Now, let's talk about 2019.

As with last year, Alexa and I decided that our only plan for the year is to complete another round of The Picky Pledge Reading Challenge. We've tweaked two categories, but everything else has stayed the same. We loved that this made us think about why we buy what we do and approach our to be read piles with intention. We'll share a recap in January 2020 of how we did, but I'll track my progress on the blog throughout the year. And if you're interested, feel free to join in and complete the challenge with us!

Here's to being intentional - and simplifying - in 2019!
What are your reading goals for the year?


  1. I love this -- being more picky and intentional with reads. I hope to get to KonMari more of my books as soon as I finish up clothes and then feeling less overwhelmed.

  2. I've decided to join in with you guys on these challenge prompts! I'm trying to read a bunch of books from my shelves this year and want to use those as a guide :)

  3. I'm going to have to review all the reading I've done this year, because I'm so curious to see if I did manage to cross every single prompt off my list! I love doing this with you, especially because we're both low-key but also very determined about it when we want to be :)


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