road trip wednesday: reading goals

The new fiscal year has started, which means the year is half over. It’s been an interesting one. I gave myself a lot of reading goals, which is a crazy idea considering I am still not done with school (thisclose!) and also have committee work to do. And I also just wrote for YALSA about how I think a lot of reading challenges are ridiculous, because you should already be reading broadly, but back in January, I definitely gave myself some challenges anyway.

So I may as well check in with myself.

My first goal was to read fewer books by and/or about white people. I count 22 of my 118 books this year as having significant characters of color, plus a smattering more with LGBTQ characters, which wasn’t on my goal but is a good thing to be aware of. So there’s my little diversity shtick. Ehh. Better than nothing, and since the vast majority of books I’ve read this year were on some kind of list or syllabus and not from the general pool of all the literature in the world, I’d say that’s not awful.

I have not started any new series that I didn’t have to start because of required reading, so that’s a huge win. I’m so tired of series. I don’t want to read them until they’re finished. I’m almost glad I haven’t read Malinda Lo’s Adaptation yet, because now I’ll be getting the sequel in the mail from the publisher as part of their ALA ARC giving away, and then I won’t have to wait for things. I just get tired of trying to keep the plots of 50 or so books in my head for an entire year while I wait for the next installment. That’s awful and dumb, and many of the series coming out shouldn’t have been series to begin with. So if someone tells me a series is really good, I will read it when it’s all done.

I said I would read more fiction for adults, which is hilarious. I’ll do that in 2014. It’s also funny that I said I would read more international literature, more literature in other languages, and more history. All of that will be for the time when I’m reading entirely for myself. That will be an interesting thing that I am not used to. I will soon not be in school! For forever, or at least the foreseeable forever! Does not compute. (It helps that I will still be on a school schedule, because I HAVE A JOB! And it’s at a school.)

So far this year, I have finished 118 books, which is putting me behind on my 250-book goal. Once I’m done with school, I will probably be able to catch up and finish my goal on time, but it’s actually possible that that won’t happen. I don’t like that idea so much, but I’m also realizing that I read things so quickly that I don’t allow them to sink in and make an impression, and that’s not so good. Another thing for 2014 (and for the part of 2013 when I’m no longer in school) is to write more and read a bit less. Like, write here, write for other blogs, maybe write another article for an academic journal, try to get some other stuff published, and also write my novel(s). It’s on. I say that all the time, but it is. I got some good stuff done on my writing retreat, and I’m on track to do well if I give myself the time, which I will have when my independent study is done. And that independent study includes some creative writing that I hope will be useful outside of my school career. So hurrah for that!

Pop on over to YA Highway for other entries in Road Trip Wednesday.


2 thoughts on “road trip wednesday: reading goals

  1. There are other, more focused, reasons I read certain books. As I mentioned, Possession was on the Time Books of the Century list. At one point in 2007 I cobbled together that list with a couple others to make a Great Books list where I decided I’d try to read as many Great Books from the past 200 years as I could. I read quite a bit of Great stuff like Catch-22, The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, The Power and the Glory, Native Son, Dubliners, and Portnoy’s Complaint. Then I got tired of all the heavy reading and decided to read more fun books, so that got me reading the complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and Dirk Gently series. In turn someone on Gather recommended the Discworld series so I read a few of those and eventually amassed almost the whole set and read them in order from start to finish, which took a while because there’s 30-some books in the series.

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