Taking stock of my reading habits during the past year has opened my eyes to my reading habits on autopilot, which makes me want to set some actual reading goals, something I don’t normally do.
One: Don’t take so long to pick up a new book.
I have become paralyzed when it comes to choosing my next book. There are so many to choose from that I end up feeling overwhelmed and don’t choose any. Also, I sometimes procrastinate when it comes to ‘required reading’ such as book club or readalong books. There is more downtime between books, which is one of the reasons I have been reading less. Downtime can be good for digesting a good read, but it becomes counterproductive when I am staring a book in the face and I can’t even open it.
Two: Holy cow, I only read women authors. Read more books written by men (and while we’re at it let’s read more international authors too.)
I have always gravitated towards female authors. Nonetheless, it was still disconcerting to see it in print. So I am finally going to make a concerted effort to read more of a variety of authors outside my comfort zone.
Three: Read more nonfiction. (and more manga and graphic novels)
Now, I don’t know how much nonfiction I’ve read in the past, but it feels like it has been somewhat regular. At least a book or two a month. I could be overestimating, but the fact that I barely read any outside of cookbooks, a couple of memoirs and essay collections made feel a little sad. I miss my stimulating, thought-provoking nonfiction reads. I miss my fun pop culture nonfiction reads. I also barely read any graphic novels or manga. YA fiction and general fiction nearly ate my pie charts which is awesome, buuut. . . a little more variety would be nice.
Four: Read more books from my TBR lists and shelves.
In general, I don’t pay very close attention to my TBR list. I write books down and keep track of what I would like to read, but I don’t actively seek out many titles from those lists. I like to roam the library and look for a couple of specifics, but I pile books in my bag that catch my eye along the way. It’s fun, but doesn’t help me get to those books I wanted to read badly enough to write them down. I think I maybe read three books that I actually wrote down on the TBR. . .
Five: Read at least one book per month that was recommended via the blogosphere, friends, etc.
Usually, when people lend me books I either take forever to read them, or keep them for so long that I give them back without reading them. It’s a bad habit, I know. Nor am I good about actually reading books that are recommended by fellow bloggers via their reviews. I bookmark tons of reviews and keep copious lists of titles, but as stated in point number four, I suck at actually reading books from my lists. In 2011, I read a total of seven books that were either physically handed to me, verbally recommended, or were fantastically reviewed and had me chomping at the bit for them. I’d like recommendations to be a bigger part of my reading than this.
And I have one simple solution to keep me on track with ALL my goals.
MAKE A READING LIST EACH MONTH.
A list of ten books I can choose from. This will ensure variety of sources, genres, formats and the inclusion of recs. Also, a narrow selection keeps next-book-paralysis at bay.
So far, the January list is working out great. I am excited about all of the books on the list. I have already finished two books and I LOVED them!
2012 reading is off to a joyful and exciting start! Yay!!!!