Happy New Year, Readers! I hope 2021 started well for you, and continues to improve throughout its duration. The end of 2020 brought one more curve ball, sending myself and all of my branch colleagues into a ten-day quarantine. It was a shock to me and is an uncomfortable reality, but I am happy to do what is asked to keep everyone safe. On the positive side, this means that I have had some extra time to think about my goals for 2021!
I hesitated to set any formal resolutions or general goals for 2021, and I still have not written any down. I plan to give it a few more days and see if anything comes to mind which I ought to spend the year leaning into. I thought about joining the “one word” trend, and picking a word or trait to focus on throughout the year, but I don’t want to be stuck with just one path. I am cautiously optimistic about what 2021 will bring, and I want to be open to learning whatever is brought my way. If there is anything I have learned in the past year, it’s the benefit of adaptability and flexibility, and I want to carry on the momentum I have built in these areas.
When it comes to reading, however, I definitely have things I would like to accomplish! Since school will soon ramp up and I am enrolled in nearly twice as many hours as last semester, I have scaled back this year’s goals. There are several things that I contemplated including, but in the end they are not realistic. What would the point be in setting goals that add stress and pressure, rather than being a motivator when I start to lose my reading direction? That said, the goals listed below will not be a walk in the park to complete. They are all reasonable and I fully believe that I can complete them and, Lord willing, that I will.
2021 Reading Goals
This year I want to focus on quality more than quantity. I am making a “high priority” reading list for this year of books which I have been meaning to read for a long time or have told someone I would “get around to it eventually.” I’m still setting numerical goals, but these long-standing TBR books are my main goal.
Overall/Goodreads Numerical Goal
Annual Location-Based Reading Challenge
- Read a book set on each continent. Prioritize South America because I did not complete a book set there last year.
- Read books set in 15 different states, trying to prioritize the states I have not read a book set in for at least the last two years. These states are listed on my Challenge Headquarters page.
- This year I want to keep track of the fantasy worlds I read about, too. Obviously I cannot put this on a map, but I think it will be interesting to see how many fictional worlds I visit!
Read at least six classic books. Overlap with high-priority list is acceptable (and encouraged).
Read at least six Christmas books before Thanksgiving, so that it is easier to post their reviews in December
I want to track the genres that I read this year, but not set a numerical goal. Also, I hope to throw in some middle-grade books and early chapter books, so that I can have an idea of what is available to my nephews as they progress.
2021 High-Priority TBR
(This list is open to additions and subtractions through March 31, 2021)
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
- Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskill
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
- Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter
External and Seasonal Challenges
I hope to take part in several seasonal reading challenges, including #NewYearsReads2021 by Elza Kinde, the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge hosted at In the Bookcase, my local library’s Summer Reading Program, and the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge hosted by In the Bookcase.
I am also joining the What’s in a Name? year-long reading challenge hosted by Carolina Book Nook. There are six categories, and the goal/challenge is to read a book which fits each:
- One/1 (ex. One Second After; The 100)
- Doubled word (ex. In a Dark, Dark Wood; Wolf by Wolf)
- Reference to outer space (ex. The Fault in Our Stars)
- Possessive noun (ex. The Zookeeper’s Wife)
- Botanical word (ex. The Language of Flowers; The Sandalwood Tree)
- Article of clothing (ex. Bossypants)
2021 Blogging Goals
- post 2x+ per week while school is in session and 3x when it is not, except during more intensive challenges when I may post more often
- post at least one book review every other week
- Comment on other blogs at least twice a week
- Host #SpelltheMonthinBooks every month, and figure out a good schedule for it
Now, to answer today’s #NewYearsReads2021 (hosted by Elza Kinde) question: who is your favorite protagonist from 2020? My immediate thought is Sophie Foster from Keeper of the Lost Cities, but upon reflection, I actually get annoyed with her often. Jane Eyre is a stand-out protagonist, and I read her book for the first time in 2020. But, I think that ultimately I’m going to go with Ivory Bledsoe of Hearts on Lonely Mountain (Librarians of Willow Hollow #3) by A.M. Heath. She is nothing like me, and I wasn’t sure at first that I would like her as well as the other librarians in the series. Obviously, she grew on me!
How do you keep track of the books you read? I’ve tried a couple different formats, from physical paper and pencil to a spreadsheet, but nothing ever seems to fit really well. I would love to hear what you do, and what you are aiming for or working on in 2021. What are your hopes and plans?
Until the next chapter,