Back at the start of 2020, I saw the year as my chance of put a large dent in my backlog of reading. Since the start of university I did not have much time to delive into fiction or classics and more as I would have liked. And I love reading!
So I said to myself, last year was going to be the year to read many books. I even put the goal in the 120s to motivate myself to really get going. That meant the average of finishing one book every three days.
Through January and February I was actually ahead of schedule. I finished Greta Thunberg’s No one is too small to make a difference back to back with Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven one day while waiting for buses.
And then 2020 happened.
And I lost the motivation to read for six months. That motivation never really recovered, and I finished 2020 having read 33 books. Which was more than 2019 but still nowhere near what I wanted to achieve.
So in 2021, I am aiming to read 50. Aproximately one a week, and room to read more if I wish.
I’m also being kinder to myself this year with the number I’ve chosen, going for a more methodical approach by planning a list of books I already own and want to finish before searching for more. With that list I have also attempted to think about what I want to use the reading for – am I trying to read around my dissertation topic? Is it to improve my general knowledge for quizzing? Am I trying to read through books I already own that I want to get rid of?
I’ve already finished John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women and am making fast progress on Circe around my assigmnments and university lectures.
My bedroom is like my own personal library, and I own so many books – many of which have not been opened since I bought them. Last year I even joined a swap group, letting some of my unwanted titles find new homes while also picking up some new novels second hand. It was one of my resolutions to buy more books second-hand, even if it was slightly more expensive at times – but all in a bid to make my library more sustainable.
Motivation I think is the key theme with my Goodreads challenge this year; learning to re-pick up a novel even after it lay abandoned some months previously. And perhaps, give myself a little bit more time if I want to reread something two or three times.
From Women Don’t Owe You Pretty to The Queen’s Gambit to Hamnet, I’ve constructed a plan on what I want to finish reading this year, including a couple of re-reads of things like Rick Riordan’s novels. The list of books has also expanded too, now constructed of wider reaching topics and genres.
The next 5 books on my reading list are:
- This is going to hurt – Adam Key
- Circe – Madeline Miller
- Tess of the D’urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
- Female Tommies – Elisabeth Shipton
- A history of women in 100 objects
Image courtesy of Thought Catalogue.