A little while ago, I talked about how reading how started to feel like a chore and that having so many books unread in my home made me feel overwhelmed, and how maybe I should make a list of books I should be reading per month, so that I feel like I’m working toward a goal.
In preparation of this, I opened Goodreads and some text files I keep with my yearly reading goals listed. The files are named ReadingGoals-New, ReadingGoals-Shelf, and ReadingGoals-Mike. “New” is for books that are recently published; they must be published in November of the year before at the earliest, although this year I didn’t even bother with that, I think. All my New books are 2013 this year, if I remember correctly. “Shelf” is for the books I own that I haven’t read yet, including books I re-picked up that I haven’t read since I was a kid. “Mike” is a set of books that my husband suggested out of his own collection.
For the last two years, I’ve challenged myself to read twenty new books, fifty off the shelf, and Mike’s set is seventeen books altogether.
Last year, I think I read twenty new books, fifty off the shelf, and eleven of the seventeen Mike suggested.
This year, as of last night, I have read twenty new books, fifty off the shelf, and one Mike suggested.
But yeah, that makes my list of books I want to read a lot easier, because I don’t have to push myself, and I can focus on the Mike books.
Also, I’m trying to clear out my “currently-reading” shelf on Goodreads, which is primarily made of books that I started and had to return to the library.
So here’s the list I came up with for the rest of September:
Listening for Madeleine – finished earlier this evening
To Kill a Mockingbird – was reading with my daughter over the summer, but then she went on vacation, and then she came back and registered for school and focused on her summer reading project for that, so she finished the book but I did not, until tonight, I hope. Tomorrow at the latest.
Alexander at the World’s End – from the Mike list
I’m only choosing three for the rest of the month because we don’t have many days left, and because I’m not sure how long Alexander will take me to read. Also because I don’t want to ONLY be working off of the list; I want to make sure I have some wiggle room for other things that strike my fancy, like the second Sarah MacLean Rogue book.
I forgot that Mike’s suggestions included an Elizabeth Moon omnibus, so I’m looking at the “pile” and it looks like three books, but it’s really five. So that will break down into October probably being the Famous 5 book and the first Moon, November being the second Moon, and December being the last one and then I’ll have fulfilled my promise AND hit all of my yearly goals! That makes me feel pretty good about myself, rather than just having them sit on the shelf.
I really like this idea of organizing what I’m reading by month. Tomorrow I’m going to sit down and finish up October’s list, which will probably knock out at least two more of the “currently-reading” books as well. I’m trying to decide whether to ignore the Shelf stuff because I’ve already technically fulfilled that goal, and because the Elizabeth Moon is fantasy and fantasy can be a slow read for me (like non-fiction). The only other new book that I want to read as soon as it comes out is the last book in the Alice series. *sob* And that comes out next month too, but who knows when my library will get it and give it to me, as last time I ordered something, I got a notification that my hold was ready for pick-up but when my family tried to get it for me when they stopped in, no one could find it. It had been cancelled and returned to the shelf.
The only thing I feel bad about is that it’s probably the first year since I started keeping my Goodreads account that I won’t read over three hundred books just for myself. It’s almost October and I’m only at 150. Part of the reason for this is that I was focusing on the books I wanted to get read and “reviewed” for my job, and of course we moved and all that, but a big part is that I’ve been reading a lot more non-fiction and heavy lit book club selections this year, so the pace has been slower. I’ve also moved to a library system with less access to graphic novels, and I haven’t found a manga series I’ve fully enjoyed for probably a year or two now, so my shorter reads are quickly disappearing. Now that I’m boycotting DC, including library takeouts (which sucks, because I don’t want their graphic novel numbers to go down in any way, but hey, it’s DC; gotta show ’em across the board), that drops down a lot of the graphic novels I read too.
Still, I know I read more than most, and I’ve enjoyed almost all the books I’ve read this year. That counts for a lot.
All right, gotta go knock out the rest of To Kill a Mockingbird. Such a different read when you’re not 15.