I don’t intend to make formal New Year’s reading resolutions, but I do have plans!
1. State of the TBR
It always has been out of control. I used to take part in the TBR Dare annually, in which participants tried to only read from their TBR from 1st Jan to 31st March. That was always difficult, but I liked trying. We’ve let it fade away, so this year, I’ve said I’ll join in #TBR20 – (with Lizzy and Richard @caravanablog) a similar challenge, but limited to one’s first 20 reads of the year – which is certainly doable – I’ve read three books already. However, you’re not meant to buy any new ones until you’ve read the 20, which is much harder.
Then there’s Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer which will return in June. I’ve taken part during the previous 2 years, but never managed to read my full twenty chosen TBR books. Although you’re allowed swaps, I do find that pre-selecting a stack of books to read makes it less likely that I’ll want to read them, however much I’m looking forward to a particular title. I will join in again though.
My only cast iron plan for the year is hosting Paul Auster Reading Week in February over half term week. From now onwards, I’ll be peppering my reading with books by Auster – I’m particularly looking forward to revisiting some of his early work, and reading his poems and non-fiction.
I’ve given the week it’s own page under my ‘Projects’ tab above – where you’ll find a bibliography of his work.
It would be lovely if you wanted to join in to celebrate the work of this great, living American author.
3. Reading Book Series
If you’ve visited this blog much in the past, you’ll know that I love to join in things, but I’m not good at finishing extended challenges. In 2015, I planned to read one volume per month of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time sequence of novels, but got stuck after No 4 (see here), similarly in 2011 I got stuck after volume 4 of Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga at one a month, although I managed to finish the remaining books over the next three years (see here). My limit of participation in monthly readalongs seems to be limited to four months (so this did work for the Hobbit/LOTR here!). I wrote a post back in 2012 about series fatigue, something I still suffer from – at best I can manage one or two volumes in a year of series I’m minded to follow (like Maigret).
So, I won’t join in any series readalongs this year. But I will encourage myself to continue with series I already enjoy, like the aforementioned Maigret, Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London books, and Mick Herron’s wonderful Slough House spy series.
4. Diversity in reading
Last year, I substituted poetry for much of my reading in translation. While indulging in a newfound enthusiasm for poetry, I wish I’d read more in translation and by BAME authors, more by women authors. So I will try to be more diverse in my fiction reading, while still reading some poetry.
In non fiction, I did well last year, but I’m a little worn out with medical-based memoir. So the Wellcome Prize being on hiatus this year will offer the opportunity to read more diversely in NF too.
5. Joining in elsewhere
Reading a single book for other folk’s reading projects is a much simpler prospect and I love joining in these themed weeks/months (like my own above) where I can. There’s
- the Dewithon Welsh Readalong, hosted by BookJotter in March.
- Reading Ireland – March hosted by Cathy.
- Japanese Literature Challenge running from Jan-March hosted by Dolce Belezza.
- Karen and Simon’s latest reading club – this time, 1920 in April
- 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy as above
- Paris in July – French reading month hosted by Thyme for Tea
- RIP in Oct/Nov
- Non-Fiction November
- Novellas in November
- and I’m sure there’ll be more!
That now seems to be a lot of plans and joining in! However, it’s the joining in that’s such fun, whether you complete the challenge or not. I hope, even around all the above, to read more for pleasure and by whim.