New year’s grand plan no. 1: Reading more books

Last year, I read 32 books in total. And, I mean, yay me, I guess.

james-tarbotton-367-unsplash

Hello Kindle, love of my life.

But I’m disappointed in that number — because it reflects how much time I waste online instead of reading. And the fact that I am prone to slogging through books, no matter how much I dislike them. Which means I resist reading at all, so it takes forever to finish a title.

Um, and it also reflects the fact that I am a rather disorganized reader who relies too much on the eLibrary — the trend there is nothing nothing nothing for months, and then all six of my holds becoming available at once. Not an exaggeration.

Well, this year I have the goal of reading 60 books — that breaks down to five books a month. I don’t actually know if I can read 60 books this year (that might be too optimistic), but I’d like to see how close I can get, anyway.

Here’s how I’m going to do it:

I am not going to read books I don’t like. As an English major (I know, gag), I was trained to read what was assigned. That carries over even now, in that if I start a book, I’m going to finish it, no matter how much I dislike it. Dude, I’ve read hundreds of books I don’t like. Well, no more. This year, I’m making a pact: If I don’t feel it in the first 50 pages, it’s time to find something else. Um, it will be hard to remember because the urge to slog through is strong. But that shit needs to stop.

I am going to be realistic about my eLibrary checkouts. I try to cheat the system by keeping my Kindle on airplane mode and then plowing through titles just to get through them … which I may or may not be able to do, given that books tend to come ready for checkout in clusters over the course of a week. If I know I won’t get to a title, I will check it back in for the next person, and then put myself back on the waiting list. Maybe I’ll have better luck in a few months when it comes ready again.

I am going to buy more eBooks. I kind of feel bad about feeding the Amazon machine, although to be fair, my girls and Eric prefer real books so we buy a lot of those, too, mostly from independent bookstores. Justification!

I am going to read Abby’s real books. I like my Kindle. No, I love my Kindle. I haven’t read a real book in years because I’d rather read on my device. Abby has a huge collection of books that I’ve never read, however. It’s time to utilize this resource.

I’m going to reread my favorites. I have a lot of favorites.

I am going to get into the habit of reaching for a book instead of my phone. This will be HARD. I’m trying to break my phone addiction anyway and this seems like one solution. The only potential issue will be that when I read, I like to read — like for at least a half hour, none of this reading in spurts stuff — so this is not my natural response to having a couple of minutes of downtime.

If I read the same title twice, I’m going to count it as two books. Is this cheating? Wait, who cares, these are my resolutions. Anyway, I like to read books twice because the first time, I’m too busy trying to figure out what’s going on to pay attention to all the finer details.

I’m tracking books in my journal. I do this to a certain extent anyway, but lately I’ve gotten out of the habit of reviewing what I read — and just a list of titles doesn’t help me on that front when I’m trying to write my year-end review. 😉

I’m sort of interested to see how January goes, actually, because by the end of this month, I’ll know how realistic my plan is. As of right now, I’ve finished two books and have started a third. But I’m still in the honeymoon phase of my goal, so …

P.S. If anyone wants to throw a title or two my way, feel free.

More reading on reading more (ha!): Austen Kleon, “How to read more books” (HERE).

15 thoughts on “New year’s grand plan no. 1: Reading more books

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I recommend Know My Name by Chanel Miller. It is sad and infuriating.
    Somehow I managed to read 54 books this year (real books, no Kindle for me) but unlike you, I won’t even give a book 50 pages to get me interested. It has to pull me in right away or I am done. Too many good books out there to waste time on a boring one.

    Like

  2. Roberta says:

    I agree with Mary Ann — too many good books to waste time on bad ones. Too much good *life* to waste time on bad books. I mean, I don’t need to be dragged down with a book that makes me sad, or angry, or frustrated. (I read books that inspire, entertain or motivate me to make changes in the world or myself.)

    And on that note, I am currently reading A Test of Wills by Charles Todd, a mother-son writing duo. I read their series about a nurse in WWI, now I’m on to this. All murder mysteries, so that’s uplifting. I never promised to be consistent.

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  3. sarahn says:

    I surprised myself with more than 52 books read! It did help to have 6 months off working, I suspect! So, given that, I’m not setting ambitious targets cause I don’t think I can sustain that number.

    I reserve hard copies of books, and have a drought of them currently. Tis frustrating!!

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  4. JP says:

    I’d love to know what your favorite books are that you plan to reread. I know many people don’t reread books but I love to reread my favorites so I’m always interested in other people’s favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trisha Walker says:

      I’m not sure what I will actually reread, but some of my favorites are The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), The Sisters Brothers (Patrick deWitt), Life After Life (Kate Atkinson), The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman), Regarding Ducks and Universes (Neve Maslakovic) and One Day (David Nicholls). I also like The Hunger Games series, the Lunar Chronicles series … Harry Potter… Wolf by Wolf series (I reread that one last year though).

      What are yours?

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      • Roberta says:

        Our family all love the Mercy Thompson series. It’s urban fantasy, werewolves, with an *amazing* female protagonist. One of the books deals with rape, but it is not fetishized — still hard to read, with truthful aftermath.

        For some reason, The Graveyard Book keeps slipping off my list. I’ll request it from the library now.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. JP says:

    Since I adore reading, choosing favorites is hard. But I always end up rereading Foolscap (Michael Malone), A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles), Harry Potter, All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr), anything written by Martha Grimes, Nicci French or Richard Russo. I also reread the Cornish Trilogy (especially the second book “What’s Bred in the Bone) by Roberson Davies. It’s old fashioned, and quirky but lovely.
    If I had to choose only two books it would be Inside Outside (Herman Wouk), the Caine Mutiny (also Herman Wouk). I’m embarrassed that I own several copies of each book as well as an audiobook of Caine Mutiny. I listen to it on every road trip we take. Some of the language in the book is dated, but I just can’t give it up.

    And yes, I do know that I’m a huge book nerd. Thanks for sharing your favorites, loved your list.

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  6. Mary H says:

    This is a great resolution for 2020! I finished 68 books in 2019 and my goal for 2020 is 70. Like you, I only read on my kindle and I mostly check out books through Overdrive. The best is when you can find a series or author you like. I would suggest anything by Jojo Moyes or Susan Meissner. Thank you for posting your reading lists/reviews! It has helped me find some awesome books I otherwise would’ve missed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trisha Walker says:

      I’m liking your comment AND replying because holy crap, 68 books is AMAZING and also gives me hope that I can indeed read 60 this year.

      I’ve read The Last Year of the War by Meissner (I think someone here recommended it) and it was great; I’ve never read anything by Moyes. Anyway, both are going on my list. Appreciate the tips!

      Like

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