Last year I set up a Goodreads reading challenge sometime in March. I’d only just rediscovered Goodreads and I figured it would be a good way to track my reading habit. It was, and by October I’d reached my goal of reading 30 books. By the end of 2016, I’d read 46 books and it might have been 47 if not for the fact that over the Christmas period I’d started reading 3 books at once (Schindler’s Ark, Rebecca and American Gods… yep, still reading all three).
So I’m going to chalk that one up as a success. Learning from last year I’ve decided to go for 45 books. After all, I want to set achievable goals but I don’t want to be put off from reading longer books just because I have a target to meet. This definitely happened a bit in 2016 and the result was that the length of the books I read was only 288 pages which is tiny! Looking at some of the tomes on my shelves that are sitting unread, I know I can’t keep up that kind of behaviour. So, balancing that with the fact I don’t have a thesis to write this year, I think 45 books is a good place to aim for.
Also, as much as I enjoyed doing Megan’s Semi Charmed Winter Book challenge, I don’t think I’ll be doing any similar challenges. While these things are great if you’re stuck in a rut, I found it a little too restrictive. Plus, it meant I had to buy a couple of books which really goes against my attempts to read more books than I acquire. What I will do is a repeat of last year’s list when World Book Day comes around, and I’ll continue to link to the reviews of books I read, as I read them.
I’ve found that it does help me to have an approximate plan about what books I intend to read next, as well as some vague goals about genre and authors. So, with that in mind, I’d like to read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and a mixture of contemporary and older books. I’d also like to aim for 50% of the books I read to be by women, something I did last year and enjoyed. The only challenging part of that is that most of the books I own are by men because, y’know, history.
Anyway, in the spirit of making vague, approximate plans, here’s roughly what I plan to read when I’ve finished the three books I’m currently wading through:
- Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafron
- The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma Jane Kirby
- Relativity by Albert Einstein
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid
- The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
- Spectacles: A Memoir by Sue Perkins
- The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
- The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
- Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
Right. Now, only time will tell whether or not I actually stick to this list but if I don’t, who cares? It’s just somewhere to start.
What are you looking forward to reading over the next few weeks and months?
3 thoughts on “2017 reading goals”
Although I’ve been using GoodReads for years, I’ve never used the ‘book challenge’ feature, mostly because, like you say, I don’t want to be worrying about meeting some arbitrary target. I do tend to read quite a lot, although last year my total count was definitely boosted by the fact that I read so many graphic novels. I also read a lot of fiction, and science (or speculative</em) fiction in particular. I do try and read to some degree beyond that and throw some non-fiction in there as well, but I read for enjoyment, and I get a lot of enjoyment from the SF genres.
So, coming up I've got a history of ancient Greece, the first in a series by Marie Brennan (author of the awesome Lady Trent books), Flatland, the latest Grandville graphic novel as well as a new Bill Bryson book and a couple of collections of short stories.
Shame about this working for a living and having a social life that get in the way of reading :).
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Yeah, as far as I’m concerned the pressure to read shorter things is the only downside, but I think that’s more than made up for by the reminder to do something I want to do anyway. Plus, I tend to set fairly conservative targets, so the’e’s never all that much pressure.
That sounds like an excellent selection! Flatland has been on my TBR list for faaaaaar too long… I’ll get to it eventually.