Every year, Goodreads has a reading challenge. It is pretty basic: “how many books do you want to read this year?” I have done it for the past three or four years, and while it is a good motivator to read more, reading more is not my issue. Last year, I read 153 books. My issue, reading so much, is that I find myself forgetting a lot of what I have read. Seeing a book he knows I have read, Bryan will ask me a question about it, but a lot of the time, I will only be able to shrug noncommittally rather than reply. I move on so quickly from one thing that I barely have time to digest what I have read before I am diving headlong into the next. That is one of the reasons I started the Young Adulters book club; I knew that it would force me to slow down, to really engage with what I was reading, in order to facilitate discussion. I also started a reading journal, where I write down quotes that grab me, thoughts on the characters and plot, questions I need addressed, etc. It has helped me, as well, but it is also easy to forget about it.
So this year, instead of choosing another high number of books to read, I chose a relatively low one, and I am focusing, instead, on going deeper. On choosing to read books that really resonate with me, or challenge me. I was going to do the PopSugar reading challenge, but I quickly realized that that was more of the same: forcing myself into a box not of my own choosing. Instead, I’m building my own box. Or rather, a map out of my box, where I have snuggled up with the things that make me comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to read the things that I love, but I am also going to go out of my way to search out new reading experiences that are a little bit outside my realm of experience, outside my comfort zone. That is where life is supposed to start, right?
I have nine personal reading goals for 2016. They are as follows:
- Read 1 book per month by a non-white, non-Canadian/American/British writer. I used this resource to come up with a list of possibilities.
- Read 5 classic novels.
- Read 1 book from a political viewpoint that I disagree with. (Ann Coulter, maybe?)
- Read 1 biography.
- Read 3 books of poetry.
- Read 5 plays not written by Shakespeare.
- Read 1 history book.
- Read 1 book on finance or business.
- Read 1 book that is more than 800 pages.
If I think of any more, I will add them at a later date! I also plan on posting about my literary adventures, so be sure to follow along. For now, tell me: what do you plan on reading in 2016?