Belatedly, my reading plans for 2020

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.

2. Paul Auster Reading Week

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.

Happy Reading in 2020

11 thoughts on “Belatedly, my reading plans for 2020

  1. Cathy746books says:

    So glad to see 20 Books and Reading Ireland on your list! I’m now adding Paul Auster week to my diary! I have read quite a lot of Auster, but I do think there are one or two still lurking in the 746 so I should have something to choose from!

  2. BookerTalk says:

    i have the same struggle with projects/challenges that involve making and then reading from a list of books. Creating the list is fun; but the minute it’s done and I actually have to read them, it starts feeling like a chore. So I won’t do 20books of summer this year but like you will join in some of the shorter events.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I will do it again, because even if I only read a handful of my 20, that’s a handful fewer on my TBR shelves – I always only pick books I’ve owned since the previous year, this year I may swap in more to make it feel more spontaneous.

      • BookerTalk says:

        Thats a good point Annabel, I did clear 13 books from the TBR by doing the challenge. Anyway the deed is done and I’ve just posted that I’m avoiding challenges this year…I may regret this when I get to the end of 2020 but thought I would give it a go

  3. Rebecca Foster says:

    I’m reading Auster’s Winter Journal now, and have the New York Trilogy out from the library, so I’ll hope to have one or more books to report on by the time of your reading week. I’ll probably dabble in a lot of these other challenges as well.

  4. Paul at Halfman, Halfbook says:

    Great set of goals there, Annabel. Most importantly you are reading what you want at your own pace

  5. Liz Dexter says:

    Nice set of goals there. I have books for Reading Ireland, AUS Reading Month, Ali’s Du Maurier week in May and All Virago / All August. I will do 20 books off the TBR again, and will read my Paul Magrs a month – including proper sci fi set on another planet (eeps!). Happy reading!

  6. Calmgrove says:

    I’m exhausted already! But I do intend to sneak into one or four of these challenges but without the razzmatazz, so that I won’t feel a failure if I don’t complete them! 🙂

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