Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our 2016 Reading Goals

For avid readers, the New Year means new reading and book-related goals- and we are no exception!

In addition to listing out our reading and book-related goals for 2016, we’ve decided to do something a little interesting- at the end of each of our lists, we will be putting down our reading challenges for each other. So, without further ado…

Charlotte’s 2016 Reading Goals

One of my big goals for 2015 was to read more. Another was to get better at habits, following through, not procrastinating, etc. SO with those things in mind – I actually achieved the reading goal. I think it might be the first time ever that the number of goals I achieved is greater than the number of goals I fell short of achieving!!!

Preeeetty cool.

I read 34 books last year. I want to get to a place where I’m reading between 40 and 50 books every year (like, as a lifelong habit regardless of where I’m at in life – I want it to be one of those things that just is, even when I’m swamped with work or relationships or kids). We’ll see! But this year I agreed to do a 60 book challenge. LOLOL. I 50% have faith in myself, 50% am laughing. Like last year, though, I’m not swimming in a pool of obligations, so if I’m ever going to read that many books, this would be a good year to attempt it.

I do have a few specific reading goals:

1.    Again, read 60 books. Plays count. Short stories count if they’re in a collection. My friend Dana and I came up with these parameters. We’ll have to also be each other’s cheerleaders because reading 60 books is a lot.
2.    I WILL FINISH Pride and Prejudice. …….It might finish me, too. I was reading it in late December, but I’ve put it down for the time being. I’m distracted lately so I think I’ll do better with a non-classic at the moment.
3.    Read The Divine Comedy. This is on my list of books to finish in my twenties AND Pope Francis has recommended that Catholics (or anyone! Yay everyone! <3) read the three books during this Holy Year of Mercy. So this is the year to cross these masterpieces off my list (I’ve read and loved Inferno- very much looking forward to the others).
4.    Review at least half of the books I read. One of my personal writing goals is to post at least 45 reviews, but some of those will be for books I’ve read in the past. But I’m really into writing reviews right after reading books because I’ve noticed it’s made me a more critical and mindful reader, and I’m really enjoying that. So I’d like to review a lot of the books I read this year (ties back into my new lifestyle mode of not procrastinating, dammit!).
5.    Read at least five Catholic books. I do much better with life in general when I’m reading religious stuff, plus I think it makes me a better person.
6.    Read more funny non-fiction. My life feels overwhelming at times, seeping right into my personality and my activities and everything. I need to have more fun. Laughter is the best medicine and I think me needs some.

And now for my challenge to Liz! Liz is basically family at this point but I still throw her shade because her ass hasn’t read Harry Potter. I’ve been peer-pressuring her to read Harry Potter for as long as we’ve been friends, and THIS B STILL HAS NOT. I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about this bogustry. As soon as we decided we’d give each other one challenge for 2016, Liz knew I was going to challenge her to read Harry Potter. Wrong she was not. It’s time. Liz, hop on the Hogwarts Express. Welcome to Hoggy Warty Hogwarts.

Liz’s 2016 Reading Goals

Like Charlotte, for 2015 one of my goals was to read more. I’ve always been a pretty consistent reader, but between balancing work, school, and internships for years when I was in college, I fell out of the habit of seeking reading as a hobby. Now that I have a stable job, 2015 was the year I kind of fell in love with reading again (not that I ever fell out of love with it, but I was able to pick it up as a regular hobby again).

In 2015 I also started to become a more critical reader, which I like a lot, and I want to hone in on these skills in 2016.

Now that I’ve started reading more, one of my top priority goals for this year is to diversify the kinds of books I read. I want to ~learn~ things.

My specific goals are:

1.    I’d like to read at least 20 books this year, so on average 1.5 to 2 books per month. I have to confess…this was my goal last year too. I got pretty close! I got to 16! And some of those books were massive! (*cough* 1Q84 *cough*). So, this year I’d like to actually hit my 20. Charlotte and I differ in opinion when it comes to massive reading goals. I don’t care as much about numerical goals as other readers because to me it’s more important to really understand and absorb what I am reading. If I am rushing to read just to hit a numerical goal and consequently fewer books really stick with me, is it worth having that goal? 20 seems like a reasonable goal given all of the various things I have going on in my life. This year I will do it!
2.    I want to write more book reviews. While I did review a good chunk of the books I read in 2015, I want to get better about writing reviews shortly after I’ve finished reading. When I wait too long to write a review, I feel like my review ends up being lower in quality. This year I want to give myself no more than 2 days after I finish reading to write my reviews.
3.     I want to read more non-fiction books. I have so many. SO. MANY. Just sitting on my bookshelves that I haven’t read. I’m guilty of seeing a non-fiction book in a store and being like “ooh this would be GREAT for my environmental science and policy collection”….and then never actually reading it. Well, not this year! I’m going to start digging into some of the non-fiction I own.
4.    I want to complete a reading challenge. This will force me to diversify the kinds of books I usually gravitate towards. I’m committed to doing this challenge.
5.    Of the non-fiction genre, I specifically want to read more books on political theory.

And now, for my challenge for Charlotte. Since Charlotte’s such an avid reader, and since she’s challenged me to read the entire HP series (which I look forward to doing!), I am challenging Charlotte to read at least three out of the five books I listed as my favorites for 2015. This means Charlotte doesn’t have to read Murakami…but she should. She should read Murakami.  

And that’s a wrap for us! We will fill you in on our progress along the way!

Char & Liz

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