I read 234 books in 2012. Of those, 130 were not for school. I am guessing that, since that number includes school and pleasure, the number won’t change much in 2013. I still have five classes to take before I graduate. I’ll also be reading lots of a certain type of book for a secret reason that I probably can’t tell you, but I promise that it’s awesome.
When I’m not doing those two types of required reading, though, I will still be striving to read things for funsies. (The secret thing is also funsies, just with stipulations and requirements.) But, like I noted yesterday, I really need to do a better job of reading things that are good.
Good means lots of things. But ultimately it means things that I don’t read just because they’re popular, or just because they’re easier than other books. And it means things on subjects or themes that I find compelling. I want the books I read this year to be covered in my scribbles. But more specifically, I plan to:
- Read fewer books by/about white people, especially men. Even though I am a woman of color who tries to read outside of the white experience and outside of her own specific racial experience, I don’t do the best job. So when it comes to the genres I try to read, whenever possible I’m going to go for the Emily Raboteau instead of the Jeffrey Eugenides; the Dia Reeves instead of the Holly Black; the Louise Erdrich instead of the usual MG author; the Someone Else instead of the usual science writer…see how important and sad this is when I don’t even know who my other options are? But I’m going to figure them out, and I already have a few things on my to-read list that fulfill this goal. I just have to read them.
- Read more fiction for adults when I’m not required to read things for children and teens. Just because I’m forgetting that fiction for adults isn’t always horrible (it just is when it’s all from the same MFA program). And also because that is sometimes what I’m writing, so I should start reading it again, maybe.
- Avoid starting new series. I’m tired of them anyway, and they also sort of limit your to-read lists in later years, because you feel obligated to finish stuff.
- Read more authors who do not have U.S. citizenship (or who have dual citizenship). Because people keep asking me about all these authors from other countries that sound great, and I never read them. Also, I should practice my language skills, so maybe I’ll even read some other books in their original, non-English languages.
- Read some stuff about history. I am very bad at knowing American history, so I really need to read more primary and secondary texts that deal with it, especially books that, you know, do more about alternate political views, other racial perspectives, etc, since nobody ever gets that in school.
- Read another book with Naiya. That first time was fun!
Anything I’m missing that I should be working on? What are you all doing?