Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reading Goals for 2011

Last year I gave myself some very specific number-oriented goals about my literature reading. This year, I am less concerned about numbers for various reasons. First, giving myself some concrete goals last year gave me something to blog about when blogging was fairly new to me. I don't need to come up with things to blog about anymore, as my blogging has become a part of what I do. It is second nature. Therapeutic, a creative outlet, and fun. Second, my getting back into serious fiction was also relatively new, and goals would keep me motivated to continue to read. I don't need that anymore, as reading has also become part of what I do every night before bed. I am loving my modern literature reading, and I don't see that interest fading anytime soon (and on the off chance that it does, propping it up with an artificial goal makes no sense anyway...).

That being said, I do have some general goals and expectations for my reading this year:
  • Buy no more than twice as many books as I read. Having stocked my library with a mountain of books over the past few years, and having back filled most of the works of the authors I know and like from the years when I wasn't reading fiction, the need to buy a lot of books has diminished substantially. I suspect that most of my book purchasing this year will be recent or newly published books, or the works of newly discovered (and liked) authors.
  • Increase the percentage of my inventory that I have read. (200 of 755 now is a shade over 26 percent...). As long as I don't buy 4 books for every one I read, this should be easy.
  • Don't be scared away from diving into big books. I have noticed my tendency, when pondering my bookshelves over what to read next, to subconsciously (or semi-consciously) avoid long books. Perhaps some of this is the realization that spending more time reading a longer book will cut down on the number of books I can get through. It should be about quality, not quantity.
  • Try to read a Faulkner and a Steinbeck. These are great American authors who I have not yet read in adulthood.
  • I will probably read about 25 books.
  • I will make an effort to continue to read authors who are new to me in the interests of broadening my horizons.
  • I will make an effort to continue to read books published currently to keep up on the good stuff that is out there. I will continue to place some faith in Amazon ratings and reviews, which have only let me down in a few instances.

Most of all, I will continue to enjoy my reading. And tossing brief book reviews into the electronic void...

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