So I’ve been doing this reading-and-blogging-about-it thing for five years and I usually get excited toward the end of the year to both wrap-up and report the results for the existing year and lay out the targets for the new. This year I’m not feeling that. The reasons for that are not reading related so I’ll skip them here.
So I intend to do a quick 2013 wrap-up and present the new goals in one post. I’m not going to do a very detailed post of the numbers, nor am I going to do the “Melissa Awards” – but I reserve the right to do those later if I feel like it.
The headline result of 2013 was that I read 28 books. This is below my target of 40 and way below what I was projected to hit early in the year. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First is that when certain life events hit I didn’t feel like reading. I don’t like this. I’d love to be one of those people for whom a good book is an escape (I’d even more love to be someone for whom writing is) but sadly it takes just enough effort to read to put me off when I’m feeling down about other stuff.
That’s only half the story though. The other big theme was not finishing books. I read 26 of those 28 by the middle of August which makes it look like I hardly read in the second half of the year. However this year I read 9918 pages but only 8862 of those were from completed books. In other words I read 1056 pages in books I started but didn’t finish. In fact I started another 17 books, a couple of which I was more than 50% through. This was partly due to a dogged and frankly ill-advised attempt to keep up with the S&L book club. But it was also a habit of not reading for a while and then when I came back to pick up something new.
As for goals well I already said I’d joined the Triple Dog Dare thing, which means TBR books only until April and if I can I want to focus on books I’m already in the middle of. Not necessarily just those 17 either but any that I’ve got significantly into in the last few years and always meant to get back to.
I’m repeating my overall book goal of 40 books. I have a few extra “sub-goals” which are nice-to-have but I’m not going to be slavish about:
- reduce TBR by 20 (1 Jan 2014 TBR is 327)
- read exclusively from TBR in Jan/Feb/Mar (i.e. Triple Dog Dare)
- finish 4 of the 6 abandoned books that I was more than 10% through
- try to choose books I’ll enjoy and increase my average score above 2013′s 7.0/10
- read 2-3 short stories a month
I’d really like to recover some of the joy of reading though. I don’t think is something you can do by setting goals. I think you just have to read and hope it “catches fire” again. Some people think you can squeeze the joy out by goal-setting but I know for me if I don’t do that I’ll probably hardly read at all.