You probably add reading resolutions to your list of New Year's Resolutions too. And I don't know about you, but when it comes to resolutions of any kind, I need an accountability partner! That's where you come in.
Since We're about 2/3 of the way through the year, I wanted to evaluate how I've done. Of course, it's not the end of the world if we don't reach our reading goals--one of the beautiful things about being a reader is how quickly reading moods and whims change. Why plan your reading in advance when there are so many options to choose from?
Nonetheless, I try to give myself some general goals. Mine were
- Read 45 books in total
- 10 of those books should be 375+ pages
- 7 of those books should be by Hispanic/Latin American authors
- 5 of those books should be ARCs, or Advanced Readers Copies I got from publishers for the purposes of review
The goals were all set for different reasons. Last year, it was all about quantity--I wanted to read more books than I ever had before. And, at 60, I did. However, I noticed that a quantity goal discouraged me from reading longer books. Do you know how long Anna Karenina has been on my TBR (To Be Read) list? I don't either. That's how long it's been. So this year, I have myself a lesser quantity goal and added a book length goal.
I'm not doing too hot with this goal thus far. I've read 25 this year and only 3 of them have been over 375 pages. The Kite Runner came super close at 371 pages, but I'm a stickler and refuse to count it.
Because I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez and want to make a commitment to reading more diversely, I added that 7 of the books needed to be by Hispanic/Latin American authors. Not going to lie, I have completely failed at this goal. I haven't read a single Hispanic/Latin American author this year! That's definitely something I want to make up for in the remainder of the year.
I have, however, read a book by an African American woman, a book by a Pakistani woman, and a book by an Afghani man. Yet, 3 out of 25 books doesn't make for much diversity. In a world where books by white authors are primarily what's published, we have to make a concerted effort to read diversely and I'm clearly not working hard enough at it.
The only goal I seem to be doing exceptionally well in is the last. I had hoped to get 5 ARCs for the year and I had that many by February. Then I kept getting them. I got so many that I had to schedule my reading according to their publication dates and when publishers asked for reviews, and in the end I realized maybe I'm not cut out for regularly scheduled book reviewing. My backlist was crying out for attention and I felt like the ARCs were cutting in line.
Don't get me wrong--I got several that I absolutely loved and are now ranked among my favorite books. I can think of 4 that fall into this category. I wouldn't trade reading them for anything! Though I realized if I'm not already thrilled to read a book, I probably don't need to review it.
I thought my reading life would look a little different at this point. I thought I'd be further along in my goals, though these things don't always work out the way we want them to. I have to remind myself that it's the journey, not the destination.