January 3rd: 2018 Reading Resolutions: Self explanatory. Let us know 5 of your reading goals for the year.
1. Read 60 Books. This year I read 65 books, including the 1,300 page War & Peace, so I’ve set my goodreads challenge to a respectable, but not taxing, 60 books for 2017. I do a fair amount of my reading on the daily commute to work, so it should be achievable, even if I don’t have as much time to read after work and on the weekends. This goal also takes into account the fact that I have made a commitment to doing a time-consuming and challenging course for my day job. The course has to be finished by the end of November, so I need to set aside time to study, which may impact my reading habits.
2. Read what I own. I don’t tend to buy a lot of books since I have a fantastic public library system at my disposal, but over the years I’ve definitely built up a collection of titles that I mean to read but just never get around to. So far there aren’t a lot of new releases for 2018 that I’m eagerly awaiting, so it seems like an ideal year to concentrate on reading the books that I already own. The ultimate goal is to clear out some much needed bookshelf space by reading and then donating or selling back books that I know I won’t read again, and keeping only my favourites.
3. Read more classics. I made some progress towards this goal in 2017, by tackling my first-ever Russian author, Tolstoy, with War & Peace. Even though it wasn’t a particularly positive reading experience for me, I would love to use this year to read some of those books I have been meaning to read for years. High on the list of classics to try this year are Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I’d love to tackle The Count of Monte Cristo as well, but I think I need a year to recover from War & Peace before I dive into another classic doorstopper!
4. Read outside my comfort zone. For the last few years, I have been part of an online book club that anonymously votes on member-submitted suggestions across a wide variety of genres to choose each month’s selection. I’ve realized that, for better and for worse, some of the most out there books I’ve read in the last few years have been book club selections. I loved Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Erik Larsen’s Devil in the White City in previous years, true crime and non-fiction choices that I would never have picked up on my own. Although the monthly selections have yielded some duds, like Roxanne Gay’s An Untamed State (one of my Worst Reads), Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing, and Omar El Akkad’s American War, I’ve mostly enjoyed the experience of reading new-to-me titles across a wide range of genres. Sadly the book club hasn’t been as active over the last few months and, I suspect, is over, so I may need an extra push to find and read some of these outside my genre choices going forward.
5. Participate in some reading challenges. I’m not going to fully commit to anything right now, but I would love to participate in either/or another personal reading challenge or in a book blogger reading challenge. In 2017 I committed myself to reading the nominees for Best Novel at the Hugo Awards and it was generally (see my thoughts on Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, which I couldn’t finished here) a rewarding experience. I think I’ll wait and see what my summer looks like and what’s nominated before I 100% commit, but I’m considering either doing this again, reading the Nebula nominees this time around, or taking up a challenge that will let me engage more fully with the blogging community. If there’s a challenge you think I’d be interested in, ping-back here or let me know in the comments!
What are your reading goals for this year? Let me know in the comments!