My 2019 New Year's Reading Resolutions
It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new year of reading!
Happy New Year, book nerd fam. And with a new year comes new reading goals.
I’ve realized I’m good about hitting my numerical reading goals (I wanted to read 130 in 2018 and I ended up reading 148) but I’m not great about remembering to focus on the others.
This year, rather than focus on one overall number of total books I want to read, I’m setting minimums and maximums for certain categories:
Read at least 30 books by black authors.
I took a closer look at the books I read in 2018 and only 18 of them were by black authors. Yikes! This is clearly an area I need to make more of an effort in.
Read no more than 10 books by white male authors.
When I took a closer look at my 2018 books, I counted 39 books by white dude authors. Considering that they make up the majority of who’s in the publishing industry and, by extension, who most often gets published, it won’t hurt them to take a backseat for 2019. I’d like to focus my readerly attention elsewhere.
Read at least 5 books over 500 pages.
I tend to be a concise writer myself, so a book REALLY has to wow me for it to warrant being over 500 pages. I tend to think just about any story can be told well in under 500 pages. That’s a bias I have I’d like to work on.
Read at least 5 “hard histories.”
So you know those giant books that are like 1000 pages on a single topic? I’ve got a couple of those I’ve been meaning to read for years, but I always seem to put them off. And my reasons for putting them off are frankly silly. I’ll tell myself, “You’re not smart enough. It’ll go right over your head,” and “You don’t have a high enough degree to appreciate that book.”
How ridiculous is that? I made a near perfect score on the reading comprehension part of the ACT! I read 100+ books a year across multiple genres! Of course I’m smart enough to read intense deep dives into a single topic.
And, worst case scenario, if the book is over my head and/or I’m not enjoying it, I don’t have to keep reading it. Anyone who would judge me for that would be an ass and I don’t like to hang out with asses, so no harm, no foul.
Even when I haven’t given myself a numerical goal, the number of books I read has been trending upward, so I may end up reading more this year than last year, though I’m not making that a priority. If having a numerical goal is important to you this year, I definitely recommend getting on Goodreads if you’re not already. They have a reading challenge thing where you can input how many books you want to read and it’ll tell you how many books you are ahead or behind. Seeing your “percentage completed” is pretty addictive too.
Over the years I’ve gone from absolutely loving reading resolutions to feeling a little meh about them, but I’m committing to doing this one for 2019. Depending on how it goes I’ll evaluate what I want to do for 2020.
What about you? Are you doing any reading resolutions and/or challenges this year? Let me know in the comments below!