Friday, December 30, 2011

Reading Goals for 2012

One of the advantages of writing the blog for me is the ability to look back at what I've written and see what I was thinking about and what happened during the year. For some reason, I tend to forget like..January through April especially, they feel like a different year or something.

I was especially interested in looking back at this year because somewhere along the way I almost fully dropped out of the reading and book blogging thing for awhile. And I was kind of wondering what was going on before that happened, and I do feel like I have a lot more clarity at the end of the year about how things progressed.

It's funny because in 2010, I had a sort of reading crisis where I was trying to figure out what I was doing with my reading life and I wrote post after post about how I wanted my reading to mean something, about how I wanted to read more socially, I wanted to spend more time on the books I was reading, etc. And for some RIDICULOUS reason, I thought the solution was to plan themed weeks and readalongs. And while that makes a certain kind of sense, it was just another way of boxing in my reading life. So basically I failed in every goal I made for myself with regards to reading.

So here are a few of my plans for my 2012 reading life.

Nothing is set in stone.

I have a few reading challenges projects I intend to tackle but I don't even want to write about them here. Somehow, if they exist only in my mind, I feel more like I will actually do them for the joy of it. Also if I don't finish them it will be no big deal. These are mostly focused on large overarching themes. I'll let you know if I complete them!

No more challenges.

I got antsy a few times wanting to sign up for challenges in the past month as every blogger unveils their shiny new challenges for 2012, but the truth is I just can't. I never complete them anyway and usually they just lead to a book acquisition binge which leads to more books sitting around that I feel stressed about not reading. So I will not be joining any challenges this year. I will also not be hosting any. The Buy One Book and Read It Challenge was originally conceived to encourage people to read who normally don't, then I expanded it to encourage people to buy books. But I don't think it's making any actual difference at the moment so it's time to lay it to rest.

Read where my interests take me

This should be so obvious, but I'm so often scheduled to the max with commitments that there a lot of books I want to read that I don't have time to read. And then this past year I flaked out on almost every commitment. So I want to give myself room to just go where my interests are taking me in the moment.

Still, I should challenge myself

I don't want to become a lazy reader, so I do want to challenge myself in some ways. So for me that's going to mean that I'm going to read a bit outside of my comfort zone...I'd like to read 3 nonfiction (non-memoir), 3 books of poetry (stole this from Ana), 3 graphic novels, 3 short story collections, and 3 classics. Hopefully I'll be able to do more than that in some categories, but I think I need to be more conscious about diversifying my reading.

Keep Track of My Reading

I've never been one who can track what I read, but I intend to try this year. It will give me a good idea, I hope, of how diversely I read and where I'm spending my time. Kind of like how when you're making a budget you write down every penny you spend.

Finally, I do have a list of books I'd like to try to read this year. Most of these are from last year's challenge list that I didn't get to, but still very much want to read.

  • The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Germinal by Emile Zola
  • Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
  • Saints in Limbo by River Jordan
  • Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • Lilith by George Macdonald
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

  • Plus all of the Faith and Fiction Round Table books.

    Sooooo...those are my goals. My main hope for 2012 is to rediscover my joy of reading. What are your goals?


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