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21st Century Chat > New Year's Reading Resolutions

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message 1: by Doug (new)

Doug What (if any) resolutions have you made regarding your reading for the upcoming year? Read more? Less? Increase the diversity of your choices? Read different genres you may have neglected, or never tried? Read more on an eReader - or more 'real' paper books? Share your thoughts on how you envision your reading changing in 2019!

message 2: by Doug (last edited Nov 29, 2018 11:25AM) (new)

Doug I'll get the ball rolling (so to speak), by saying my MAIN resolution is to read more of the ARCs I get, primarily through Netgalley. Although I always am diligent about reviewing ARCs when I HAVE read them, I have over 100 I haven't gotten to yet... and as I have a separate 'Kindle' shelf, I often forget about them unless there is something specific I want to read (e.g., the three Booker nominees I had on there). I am surprised I still get ANY ARCs from Netgalley due to my woeful % of reviews, and have been denied a few times due to such. :-( I'll try harder to get to them this year.

I 'upped' my Goodreads Challenge this year to 260 books, and think that's about the maximum I CAN cram into a year - but intend to read more LONG books (Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, rereads of The Alexandria Quartet, A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement and A Suitable Boy ... and maybe this will be the year I actually tackle War and Peace, and so will maybe set myself a lower goal for 2019.

I don't ever really choose books ONLY to obtain gender/racial/country of origin parity, but I would like to explore more books from countries/authors/genres I have yet to discover.

As always, I WILL read the entire Booker longlist, and probably the Goldmiths list too - but have to get to more of the other prize lists that I tend to cherry pick from: the NBA, RoC, Pulitzer, etc.

I guess that will do for now...

message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2639 comments Mod
Thanks for starting this thread, Doug! Sounds like you've got a packed 2019 reading year ahead.

I haven't given too much thought to my reading resolutions but I suspect I'll either hold steady or cut the number of books for my reading challenge (was 100 last year and 70 this year... might make it something around 65 in hopes I'll be even more selective and use some of that time for creative pursuits--writing, art, knit/crochet projects, etc.).

Hope to finish a few series I've begun:
- The End by Karl Ove Knausgård
- The Dark ForestLiu Cixin

Might tackle Proust. The Gallows Pole and Milkman are high on the list, as well as continuing to winnow down my TBR piles.

Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 431 comments No more Netgalley for me. I want to see a text in it's final, polished format. The weird breaks and marks I've seen in some ARC's spoil a book for me. I'll wait for a ibrary copy or buck up and buy it. And I will read more books on my IRL bookshelves, dammit.

message 5: by Maddie (new)

Maddie (ashelfofonesown) | 12 comments I've been thinking about 2019 reading resolutions ever since November started. 2018 was an amazing read year for me but there's always room for improvement and to push my reading boundaries. I know some people like to be 'chill' about reading 'challenges' but I find them a great way to stay motivated. So here are a few new year's resolutions:

- Read more books from authors I've loved other works from. I have a terrible habit of reading only 1 book by a certain author and never go back and explore their backlist. I suspect that's why I don't have a 'favourite author'. I find it impossible to tell when I've only read one book by them;

- Read books that have been on my TBR for 2+ years. I get stressed when I see a book on my shelf (GR or IRL) for a very long time. I should also allow myself to remove books I am no longer interested in;

- Refrain from buying any more physical books until I've read the ones I already own. I don't have a lot of space so I can't really afford to buy that many more books for logistic reasons. Right now, I think I have about 23 unread books on my shelves;

- Read more short story collections;

- Reread previous year's favourite novels.

As for NetGalley: I am with Nadine. I no longer feel the need to request any ARCs. It just stresses me out... there are enough books I want to read and I don't really mind waiting for publication date anymore.

message 6: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Given that this *IS* the 21st century group and that almost everyone is novel-focused, my answer might seem odd. But I hope next year to read a lot more short stories, a lot more older ones, and a lot more plays.

I just started reading a couple of Neil Simon plays, and I have (unsucessfully) being trying to track down a free copy of the play script version of John Steinbeck's Burning Bright. Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Carson McCullers, and Eugene O'Neill are all on the list. Even Henrik Ibsen is on the list! (That's the 19th century!)

For short stories I want to read more Elizabeth Taylor, William Trevor, Deborah Eisenberg, and Jorge Luis Borges. I also want to try to read as many stories that were published originally in The New Yorker, working my way backwards chronologically.

There will still be room for novels, but they won't be a priority at all.

message 7: by Drew (new)

Drew (drewlynn) | 22 comments I'm retiring in June so I hope the second half of the year will be a productive one for reading but I'm going to keep my challenge at 60. I definitely need to read more of the books I have purchased and fewer of the "new and shiny" from the library. I can't say I won't buy any books but I plan to keep that to a minimum. If there are books on the Tournament of Books shortlist that my local library doesn't have I will probably buy them as well as any GR group reads. This is the year I'm going to make my first attempt at War and Peace.

I think that's enough for reading resolutions!

message 8: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments I'm meeting my 190 books challenge this year a month early but will not increase it and may cut it back by 10 because I have some long books I want to get off the TBR shelf. My primary resolution though will be to try not to buy as many books and focus on the huge backlog on my shelves. Of course, I will still plan to read the Man Booker and Man Booker International longlists and the National Book award fiction longlists, so will be buying those books for sure. I may do non-fiction November again in 2019 and I'd like to get a few poetry books read. Other than that, I will be reading many of the month reads selected by this group and others I am participate in.

Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 431 comments Thought of another one...... I will read at least one book by at least six authors I can't believe I haven't read yet. Starting with Borges, Chekov, Maryse Conde, and Barbara Kingsolver.

message 10: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) My 2019 reading resolutions:

1. Spend more time reading (and doing other things) and less time on GR. (I may have to delete the App on my phone.)
2. Read more non-fiction, preferably in connection with a novel on a related subject.
3. Focus on the ATY 52 challenge and my personal 100 Authors Challenge and cut back on other challenges. (They are fun and I like the social aspect but I spend way too much time planning, tracking, and reporting.)
4. Less total books (maybe 75) but include several longer ones (600+ pages) that have been ignored.
5. Continue with the daily reading journal that I just started. I don't know if I will find it useful or interesting but it only takes a few minutes a day to jot down what I'm reading and a couple of thoughts. I'm also keeping a list of words/definitions that I look up. Might as was well improve my vocabulary!
6. Continue reading translated works, including the 2018 National Book nominees for Translated Literature.

message 11: by Laurie (new)

Laurie My resolution for next year is more like the anti-plan. I want to read more spontaneously and plan less. My challenges for the last few years have meant less reading on a whim and I miss being able to do that. I will continue with my ongoing challenges of reading a book from each country in the world and a best books of the 20th century challenge. I also hope to read from my IRL books since they have been staring reproachfully at me for a while.

message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert | 426 comments Here's mine:

Get that TBR pile down to something manageable.

As always I'll tackle the Man Booker and Women Prize Longlists, read the Pulitzer, Goldsmiths, RoC and MBI winners and after Man Booker season I will binge read Margaret Atwood.

message 13: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2639 comments Mod
Laurie, When I read your anti-plan to read more spontaneously I believe my actual spirit woke up and yelled YES!!!

Robert, what do you consider manageable? It's taken me almost a decade to get my physical TBR pile down to just under 100. I have a pretty consistent pattern of acquiring about 5 more "new" books than I read each year from that pile (e.g., read 25, acquired 30). None of this counts e-books ... I think I have about 80 or so of those unread.

message 14: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2627 comments Mod
I don't plan to make any specific resolutions, other than perhaps to read a little less, since unless I can start to read faster, reading more every year cannot be sustainable indefinitely. I would like to make a start on re-reading a few old favourites, but I suspect that new books will still account for almost all of my reading. I would also like to get the to-read pile down to 20 or fewer (from 37 now), but that will probably never happen!

message 15: by Bretnie (new)

Bretnie | 611 comments I love reading everyone's goals!

I read more than double this year compared with what I have in the past which I love, but I felt at times a bit manic about it.

I'd like to find a balance where I can savor each book more instead of always having half my brain looking ahead to the next one, while still managing to read a lot of books.

message 16: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) Bretnie- This is my feeling, too! I think if I write more reviews I would stop and think about a book before rushing into the next one. I’m hoping my daily journal will help in that respect, giving me a minute to reflect.

message 17: by Laurie (last edited Nov 30, 2018 05:22PM) (new)

Laurie Marc wrote: "Laurie, When I read your anti-plan to read more spontaneously I believe my actual spirit woke up and yelled YES!!!


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 431 comments Pam wrote: "Bretnie- This is my feeling, too! I think if I write more reviews I would stop and think about a book before rushing into the next one. I’m hoping my daily journal will help in that respect, giving..."

Taking notes and writing comments while reading a book, then using them to write a review helps me feel like I've lived with the book and not just blown through it. My reviews are usually fairly short (sometimes two or three sentences), but they're about my feelings about the book, not plot summary, and when I re-read the review months or years later, they bring the book back to me.

This only works for books I have strong feelings about, good or bad. If I finish a 'meh' book, or at least get through at least a third of it, I usually don't take notes and my review is to remind me why it was a meh.

message 19: by Lia (last edited Nov 30, 2018 06:58PM) (new)

Lia It’s almost December and I’m feeling a panicky guilt over my impossible-looking goal (of completing 75 books this year.) It’s a seasonal thing by now, happens every year.

On one hand, I’m so bad at finishing books, it’s good to have some goal to push me to finally wrap up what I’ve started.

OTOH, I really hate this, it’s dreadful, it’s pointless. To whom do I owe this to? What’s the point? Why shouldn’t I spend months reading and rereading the same page of some puzzling ergodic text, or bask in the focus I get when reading a really challenging philosophical text that demands me to ask questions and seek answers every paragraph? Why should I put everything on hold to speed read 20 YA novella just to meet my target?

I really want to quit the read-X-books-a-year next year; but that’s what I said last year, and the year before that. Old habits die hard.

message 20: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2639 comments Mod
Taking notes, even just highlighting or underlining passages gives me a real feeling of interacting with the text. I'm all for more of this even if it means a lower number of books being read.

Lia, the greatest gift you can give yourself is to let go of that guilt. Don't race through the books. Quit everything but the ones you're actually enjoying or truly engaged with. Just my two cents. Unless you get paid to read, it shouldn't be adding stress to your life. I say this as someone who frequently gets too many books out of the library at one time, still frequently feels obligated to finish whatever I start, etc. The only reason I exceed my book challenge is that I set the number lower than the number of books I know I'll read and I read a bunch of graphic novels or comics that are short and often read in one day.

message 21: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Lia wrote: "OTOH, I really hate this, it’s dreadful, it’s pointless. To whom do I owe this to? What’s the point? ..."

This is the exact reason I set my reading goal at a very manageable 50 books a year. It's easy to accomplish, and allows for some hefty tomes if I want. At the same time, having a goal or some kind is an inspiration to keep reading.

message 22: by Lia (new)

Lia Thanks Whitney and Marc. I agree reducing the number is probably a good “golden mean” solution, because I do need that push to try harder to finish books I’ve started.

Don’t know why it’s so hard to quit something that stresses me out so much!

message 23: by David (last edited Dec 01, 2018 06:51AM) (new)

David | 242 comments I don't really understand the idea of making a number of books read a target. The longest book I read in the last couple of years is ten times the length of the shortest one. TEN times. People use the number of books they read as an indicator of how much they read, but it really tells you nothing. Now, some will say that over the course of the year you can expect the length of different books to balance out, so.... But why assume? There are better ways of being sure you are accurately assessing how much you read.

I have criticized elsewhere on this site using page counts to measure books for similar reasons. Some books can have twice as many words per page as others, meaning two books can have the same page count and one be twice as long as the other. Or, put another way, two different printings of the same book can be such that one has twice as many pages as the other. The real best measure of how much you read is the word count.

I don't set goals for how much I read in a month, but I keep track. At the end of a month, as we just had, I look at the total amount of reading I did during that month. For me, I consider it a good month if I have read around 300,000 words. If page count numbers mean more to you and you assume that an average book might have 300 words per page, then that is the equivalent of 1000 standardized-length pages. Depending on what books I read that month, I could get to that number with just one book or I could read five books and still come up short of it. But either way, the word count is a better indicator of how much I read.

Another reason for liking the word count is that I get to include all the books I abandoned and all the short stories I read as well. The most recent new short story in The New Yorker? 7824 words. Add it to the total. The amount of Belinda Bauer's Snap I read before giving up? 18,720 words. Add that to the total.

For me, November was a slow reading month. I had a lot of distractions, mostly from work, so I only read just under 225,000 words. This month I will probably read a lot more than 300,000 words, with holiday time allowing for more reading. Today I will finish The Long Take, reading the last 17,957 words, so I will be off to a good start of the month.

So when one person says he read 80 books this year and another says she read 120 books, I am aware that I really don't know which of these two people reads more. Probably she read more than he did, but maybe not. And even if it is more books, it might not be 50% more reading, as the book count suggests. Without knowing the word count, we don't yet know much at all.

message 24: by Lia (new)

Lia Good point David.

A major issue I have is that I mostly read essays, sometimes from anthologies, more often than not, from journals or JSTOR. If they aren’t edited into anthologies and published as “books,” I can’t even reference them or document them for my own statistic record (on Goodreads.)

And when I do read essays from anthologies, I’m not likely going to want to read every essay in those 600+ pages doorstops, so I can’t “count” any of them towards my “goal.” (I mean, obviously I can, I just can’t do it via GR.)

The technologies are shaping my mind! Help!

message 25: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2639 comments Mod
We seem to be in an era obsessed with documenting ourselves. Don't get me wrong--I do think there are fun aspects to seeing how much one has read or just looking at all the covers in one place online or having some sort of measurement, but they can become a distraction or simply misleading (as David already mentioned) or they become a basis for judgment/competition (best reader, most reviews, most likes, largest bookshelf, blah, blah, blah). I no longer think of myself as being "done" reading a book until I've logged it on GR and given it at least a star rating, if not a written review.

message 26: by David (last edited Dec 01, 2018 10:16AM) (new)

David | 242 comments Marc, I agree that documenting can become obsessive and from time to time I check myself on what I am keeping track of and why. Originally, I started keeping track of what I read (and the same more movies I saw) because I hated having the experience of wondering "Did I read that or not?" or of being asked what books I have read recently and not being sure, maybe naming a book I later realized I read months ago. So for me it stared as an antidote to a bad memory. I also started noting down when I read books (and saw films) for the same reason, but just according to what month I finished it. I never got obsessive enough to care what date I started and finished.

Keeping track of how much I read (by length of things I read) came later when I realized that I could spot patterns of how much I read being correlated to generally good months and bad months in my life. I also found that by maintaining a regular, steady amount of reading (and films and music ... but let's not go that far off track now) it helped a lot with maintaining a good mood and feeling of well being. If I read too much, I wonder what I might be avoiding dealing with in life that I am trying to escape. If I read too little, it is usually a sign of feeling down a lot. So keeping track can have mental health advantages.

I rated a whole bunch of books here when I first joined Goodreads last March, but I have not added anything since. I reviewed one thing, but that was a free book I got from NetGalley when I was testing that out. I'm doing pretty well with not documenting most of my reading online and just keeping limited enough records for myself. But yeah, it is easy to see how it can become something of an obsessive pursuit.

message 27: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments I keep a personal document where I record, by month and year, the title and author of every book I read and every book I have in hand, i.e., on a shelf, in my audiobooks, on my Kindle. I started it in 2013 first because I wanted to know what books I have so I did not buy them again (I still do that but very rarely) and so I would not buy a book I had already read. My "want to read" list on GR is not the same as my in hand TBRs. I do GR reviews mostly so that I can remember what a book was about and it is great for that purpose. The last couple of years, since I've retired, I have done the GR challenge for books to read in the coming year as I just like challenges. I'm Type A and like to compete, even if it is with myself! I do think number of pages read is a rather meaningless statistic, at least for me. Number of books gives me some indication of whether I ever finish all the ones on my shelves. Of course the number on the shelf seems to grow faster than the number read but at least I know that! But reading is just something I have always done. My whole family were readers. We'd all sit around the table eating and reading. We read while we watched TV. Reading was primary; talking was secondary.

message 28: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Yes, for sure counting books as a competitive sport is ridiculous. I see completing / passing book challenges as a fun thing and a personal challange. Same with other book kinds of books challenges, sure you can technically accomplish them with short and simple books, but the idea is to expand your horizons and challenge yourself.

And, like Lia, a lot of my reading is individual stories and articles which don't count toward my goals. I would never take a reading challenge so seriously that I would forego reading something because it didn't "count".

message 29: by Lia (last edited Dec 01, 2018 03:36PM) (new)

Lia Whitney wrote: "I would never take a reading challenge so seriously that I would forego reading something because it didn't "count"

Well, that’s December for me. EVERY YEAR. Nietzsche is right about Eternal Recurrence!

I haven’t decided if it’s a bad thing: i.e. having one month out of the year forcing myself to rush to finish books I’ve drifted away from, while putting books I really want on hold.

The up side is that it intensifies my desire for the “difficult” books that I know would take up too much time to decipher. The sense of relief in January is real. Imagine being thrilled to finally get my paws on James Joyce, or Heidegger, and consider *that* a treat. This monstrous occurrence only became possible because I force-feed myself books I didn’t like enough to finish every December (or short and easy YAs).

Maybe I can call myself a stoic and December is my stones/ worms swallowing month.

message 30: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Think of it as literary lent!

message 31: by Lia (new)

Lia A literary junk-food filled lent!

message 32: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2102 comments Mod
Okay, y'all have inspired me to come up with reading resolutions, or at least a reading-adjacent resolution. Since my biggest free-time suck is the internet, I'm going to set Freedom to block social media sites for 2 hours, starting 30 minutes after I sit down at my computer.

message 33: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 141 comments Enjoyed reading all of the comments.

I have always liked reviewing what I learned about my reading habits and what had I read differently and usually do this the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Sometimes that helps me set specific goals on what “type” of reading I want to do.

While I will do this again this year - I already decided on some reading resolutions for 2019.

I have decided that my overall theme was going to be “Whatever Catches My Eye” where I will read whatever suits my fancy at the time.

My “structured” reading (after all my analytical side will rear its head) will be several reading “projects”:
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke with a book buddy
The Odyssey - the Emily Translation
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemison
I have several books by a few of my favorite authors and want to read these books:
Toni Morrison - The only book of her I have not read is Paradise
Maryse Conde
Caryl Phillips

I am going to schedule some “Do Not Disturb Reading” days where I do nothing by read (probably rainy days)

message 34: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 156 comments Don't use the GR reading challenge, or at least hold off on it for a good while. I find the display useful for seeing what I have finished as distinct from what I might have tagged with the year, but its rows of 5 make me focus too much on reading books in multiples of 5 or 10 (e.g. by the end of a month), and this can get in the way, and doesn't necessarily suit what I want to read or other things I need to do with the time.

message 35: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 156 comments Lia, you can edit the number on the GR challenge downwards any time you want to, as long as it's before the end of the year.

(Also, challenge boxes don't display in the following year unless the number was met. Though maybe GR will one day change this. They should.)

message 36: by Lia (new)

Lia Antonomasia wrote: "Lia, you can edit the number on the GR challenge downwards any time you want to, as long as it's before the end of the year.

(Also, challenge boxes don't display in the following year unless the ..."

Thanks! That's terrifying, like I might have my license suspended, or get kicked out of this exclusive cool kids club, if I don't hurry up and do something about this.

Oh December...

message 37: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2639 comments Mod
GR says there are 4,067,297 participants in the 2018 reading challenge and 18,418 challenges completed. That means only 0.5% of anyone is completing these things.

David, I might have shared this with the group at some point, so apologies if I'm repeating myself, but I put together this mental barometer based on how many books I'm reading...

message 38: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Lia wrote: "Antonomasia wrote: "Lia, you can edit the number on the GR challenge downwards any time you want to, as long as it's before the end of the year.

(Also, challenge boxes don't display in the follow..."

Nope. Stop the madness. Read what you want. Finish what you want. A challenge isn’t homework. No puppies die if December 31 winds to its close and some reader has finished 4 out of 200.

I like being able to record what I read, but I don’t care if I finish a single challenge or if someone has an opinion about my GR challenge including short stories and abandoned novels. I am bemused that there are significant numbers of readers who are competitive about their reading, whether measured by books or pages read. To each his own. Books —for me — are about joy, art and learning, and discussing them and listening to others’ thoughts and opinions feeds my soul.

message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 452 comments Oh. No resolutions. I resist the pressure to make them, be measured by them, create yet another source of guilt.

Not gonna happen. Wouldn’t be prudent. RIP GHWB.

message 40: by Antonomasia (last edited Dec 01, 2018 10:12PM) (new)

Antonomasia | 156 comments It's not terrifying in the least - you can go to the main challenge page and set the challenge to, say, 50, now and you'll have already exceeded it and nobody will care that it used to say more.

(That's the page on desktop where it lists friends' challenges, and at the top there's yours. It says "You have read xx of xx books." and to the right hand side there is a small grey link saying Edit. Click edit and you can change the target to whatever you like, including a number lower than the number of books you've already read.)

I think this is a general link, I don't think it's user-specific: https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/...

message 41: by Robert (new)

Robert | 426 comments Marc wrote: "Laurie, When I read your anti-plan to read more spontaneously I believe my actual spirit woke up and yelled YES!!!

Robert, what do you consider manageable? It's taken me almost a decade to get my ..."

At the moment it's 281. I would LOVE it to go down to 50. This means a lot of sacrifices, no book prizes, author binges, review copies etc and I don't think I'm up to it. I will try though.

message 42: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Marc wrote: "David, I might have shared this with the group at some point, so apologies if I'm repeating myself, but I put together this mental barometer based on how many books I'm reading..."

That graphic sounds about right. At the moment I have three books on the go, but one is a collection of short stories, one a collection of plays, and one a novel. I could see adding a non-fiction book to the group and not feel frantic, or possibly even another collection of short stories. But yeah, it's hard to imagine a situation where I have five books on the go or four books that are all novels and it not be a little bit insane.

message 43: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Marc wrote: "GR says there are 4,067,297 participants in the 2018 reading challenge and 18,418 challenges completed. That means only 0.5% of anyone is completing these things...."

In fairness, people still have four weeks to reach their goals, so this only means that few people get there early, but I did look up the data for 2017. In that year, 3,151,741 took part and 504,611 reached their goal, or 16%. Also of interest, it says that the total number of books people pledged to read was 144,421,592 and the total actually read was 45,960,370 or 32%. By both measures, it sounds like the reading challenge is like any other new year's resolution - something more often not kept.

message 44: by Neil (new)

Neil | 306 comments I am with Carol above. I read for pleasure and goal setting spoils it for me (I can understand why it is good for others, but not for me). By accident, I discovered the other day that GR says I am close to 50,000 pages for this year and now I’ve become a bit fixated on getting there. Where’s the fun in that? I will continue with my normal reading which means reading what I want to read and not knowing which book comes next until I start it.

message 45: by Lia (new)

Lia Carol wrote: "Nope. Stop the madness. Read what you want. Finish what you want. A challenge isn’t homework. No puppies die if December 31 winds to its close and some reader has finished 4 out of 200..."

Thanks Carol, wise words. Except My brain skipped the “no” and went straight to picturing puppies dying. 😬

I think part of me wants to be pushed a little to read things I otherwise wouldn’t “spontaneously” commit to. Like rehab or intervention against turning books into web-browsing, against this habit of skipping to another book as soon as I’m no longer curious or entertained.

I’m at 59/75 books right now, I can still make it if I read 16 books this month, and I have some 200+ half-read books looking dejected on my shelf, so it’s not like I’m going to hurt myself doing this. But choosing that means I’ll have to put away the books I really want to read right now, especially the ones I’m reading with groups.

message 46: by Doug (last edited Dec 02, 2018 08:28AM) (new)

Doug I just think the GR Challenge is a fun way to keep track - it doesn't stress me out any if I don't make it (unlike, say, weight goal resolutions), nor am I competitive about it at all. I've often either lowered or raised my goal, depending upon where I am towards the end of the year. The past two years, I'd set 240 as my goal, and thought I'd reached it, but then discovered several books had been marked 'read twice' in GR's nefarious system, so once I'd deleted those, I actually HADN'T... but that didn't bother me any. This year I reached 240 before the end of November (and checked already for duplicates), so upped it to 260 and am 7 books away from reaching that, which I think is doable without too much effort.

message 47: by David (new)

David | 242 comments Lia wrote: "I have some 200+ half-read books looking dejected on my shelf..."

I don't even know how to understand that idea. Does this mean you have some books that you started years ago, did not finish, but still consider them books you might pick up where you left off?

Marc, if your Tasmanian Devil level is at 5 books, I can't imagine what kind of madness happens when you get to 200!

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 245 comments I did the challenge this year, though I wasn't sure I could see the point of it--at the beginning of the year or now. For me, I have so many unread books on my shelves, I really want to stay dedicated to reading them, otherwise I'd start to wonder why I have them. So the challenge became for me a way to (kind of, sort of) measure how well I was doing when it came to reading all the stuff I purchase on a whim at library sales and thrift shops. Any other use of the Reading Challenge to measure a quantity or a quality seems too abstract to me.

That said, I include e-books and audio books in my challenge count, so even my flimsy reasons for joining in the challenge is suspect. On the other hand, I exceeded the number of books in my challenge last month, and will probably overtop it by 20%. Boy, do I sleep good at night! I feel sorry for all those poor suckers who are still scrambling to finish their challenge!

(You know I'm kidding)

message 49: by Lia (new)

Lia David wrote: "I don't even know how to understand that idea. Does this mean you have some books that you started years ago, did not ..."

Well... like I said, I read anthologies. I’ve read over 80% of the essays in my Arthurian literature guide, for example, but I really don’t care for the few essays on historicity, I think the debate is pointless and adds nothing to my enjoyment or interpretation or “shopping” of Arthurian books. I also have Penguin’s Malory Arthur, which is a collection of Malory’s version of Arthurian tales. They’re loosely related, but not truly coherent, and I really don’t see why I have to read them all when I’m no longer interested.

I also have a bad habit of rushing to put my name down for the library queue as soon as a longlist is published. It’s kind of random how soon I can get my paws on those books. Typically, when it rains, it pours. I sometimes end up with 8 brand new recent publications at the same time, and I don’t always have time to finish them before I have to return them. Or it turns out it’s not something I’m interested enough to renew the loan when it’s due.

And some of them are “classics” that you puzzle over and reread. The Homer, Ovid, Dante, Kafka, Borges, Joyce, Nietzsche, Heidegger. I tend to spend months on one text, until I’m exhausted. Or something else interesting comes up (usually an inviting group read,) and I “abandon” them for the time being.

But yes, I have a habit of finishing books years after I’ve started ... usually in December.

message 50: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2627 comments Mod
I have never set the challenge target high enough to be stressed by it but even though I passed this year's target several weeks ago, I will not be increasing it next year...

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