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message 1: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Jan 07, 2009 10:35PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
This last year I set a goal for myself to read a certain amount of books. But this was difficult because then I felt I couldn't invest my time in longer reads like The Count of Monte Cristo with the group, and I so desperately wanted to read it.

So this year, having started with a huge book, I was thinking about counting pages instead of books. Set my goal that way. Might be a bit more fun and free me to read some of the longer ones I've been dying to get to - like Moonstone and The Woman in White and Les Miserables and Middlemarch and The Complete Dorothy Parker, etc.

Does anyone else have yearly goals they'd like to share? Might be fun to have a thread here where we can update an encourage each other along the way to our goals. What do you think?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

My yearly reading goal is "only" to finish off my to read pile. It has gotten way too big because I sometimes just can't resist buying a book when I walk into a bookstore and because my friends and family stopped getting me anything but books for birthday and Christmas.
I counted a couple of days ago, the pile is 71 books large. So my goal for that year is to read all those books plus the books we decide to read as a group plus those books I might get for birthday.
I guess I'll be pretty busy with that.

message 3: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I like your idea of reading pages! I had planned on reading 60 books (with children and chick lit books counting as half) this year. But your idea might work better. How many pages are you planning on reading?

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

My best friend and I evaluated how many books we read last year and the year before and wanted to set a reasonable goal--I'm aiming for 50. More, but not too much more than last year. I want to read the books on my shelfs I haven't read yet and I'm now a member of my local library (which leaves a lot to be desired, though books can be transfered from other branches). I'm still waiting for my copy of SLoB.

message 5: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I'm aiming for 60. That's around five a month. I hope to balance it between longer ones (Bleak House) and shorter ones...? Not sure which. Sometimes I can read a short book in one or two sittings, so I plan of a couple of those a month. Counting pages sounds interesting, though.

message 6: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hmatkins) I love the counting pages idea.... but I think i would have no idea how to set my goal.

Last year, a friend of mine and I were up really late and found a list of books (the BBC Big Read Top 100 list) and went into this competition to see who has read the most books on the list. Sadly, we found that we were both very lacking. We made a goal to have all of the books read by the time that we turn 30. My friend and I have grown apart since then, but I still make a list of books from the BBC Big Read list. I found another list (I'm a list person if you haven't noticed) in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I think it's a huge goal, but something that I think will keep me reading some classics and not frittering my life away with nonsense books. I found the list in an excel document that, once you check which ones you've read, it calculates how many books you should read every year. So my number is 16 books a year. So every year, I make a list of 16 books to read from my "big list" and several books from my "little list." Most of the time I end up reading a bunch of books in between. But, once I counted my lists I think my goal is 40 books a year. Because I'm in nursing school, I'm not sure its attainable but I'm trying. I guess my major goal is to continue reading (not matter what it is) throughout the school year. Most of the time I shut myself away from the world and the world of literature in order to study all the time. So it's my goal to keep reading during the school year. :) Sorry for the long post. :)

message 7: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Hannah, Where did you find the list in an Excel program? I saw a copy of the list, but it was just a webpage.

message 8: by Michelle (last edited Jan 08, 2009 01:39PM) (new)

Michelle (vorvesm) | 19 comments I don't really have a number set for a goal. My goal is just to continue my personal reading while I'm going to school. It's easy for me to feel guilty that I'm not reading school books, so I'm going to try not to feel that way and finish books when I start them rather than starting four books in a semester and not finishing any of them.
A goal of a specific number of books seems a little too daunting for me.

message 9: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hmatkins) Lori, I found the document through the group 1001 Books to Read before you die. Here's the direct link:

interestingly, I downloaded it a second time just to make sure that it was the right one... and the person who did the spreadsheet has updated it. It now includes links to info about the authors and books. Anyway, hope you enjoy looking at it.

message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Thanks Hannah! I can't wait to play with this!

message 11: by Stella (new)

Stella (stella_exlibris) | 57 comments Thanks Hannah for the link, and great thread!

My reading goal for 2009 is not to read a number of books, but rather more precise, a list of books I absolutely would like to read in 2009:

- Will try to read at least one book by George Eliot, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. (this is one I have been keeping for the past 2 years..)

- Finally get around and read Gone with the Wind!

- Read all of Austen's remaining works, I haven't read yet: only Lady Susan and her minor works are on that list.

- Would like to read at least 1 more novel from Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Bronte.

- Read Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.

- Read Love in a Cold Climate and then The Mitford Girls biography.

- Read more historical books.

- Discover Doris Lessing, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

- Read more non-fiction, biographies, etc.

This is not the final list, just what I put together this first week of January, so I'm pretty sure some additions will come to it.

message 12: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I also have unread books sitting on my shelf, and I plan to read all of them this year. They include Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (one more Austen to go! Well, except her unfinished works), Dickens' Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, and Orwell's 1984. There are also some books that my sisters have that might be interesting. As for number of books, I set up a goal of 50 books last year and thought I'd barely made it, but I got to 52 in the end. So this year I'm setting up the same goal and with a little luck I think I hope I can do the same, or better if possible. I also want to do some longer books like Middlesex this year and make it up with some fluff or short books along the way.

message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Stella, That sounds like a great list. I hope you accomplish all of your goals.

Dini, I wish I could set the goal of reading everything on my shelves. Maybe I should clear off a shelf and put all of the pressing books on it and pick from there. But it feels like different things press at different times.

message 14: by Stella (new)

Stella (stella_exlibris) | 57 comments Thanks Lori! :-) I tend to compile a Classics-reading-list and then each time I go to a bookstore or so on the net a modern book which interests me I buy it and depending on how I can resist the pull to read it right away may end up on my list quite impromptu :-)

But I wouldn't even attempt vowing to try reading first all the books I own before purchasing new ones, I know my own limitations, and know this would be a hopeless case..

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Lori, that's what I just did - I got a new bookshelf for Christmas and I put all the books on there that I have not read yet because I realized that I tend to miss them when looking for a new read when they are standing between my read books. So far, choosing only from those books is going really well - but I don't have that much time at the moment to read.

message 16: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I think if I tried to read all of the books I own before I buy new ones, I wouldn't be able to buy new books for at least 5 years, depending on how fast I read.

I have my "personal library" organized quite nicely (Americans, British, French, Russian, Poetry in one bookcase; Little Books [meaning the pocket editions:], non-fiction and books that would get me kicked out of the English department on another) but I don't have things ranked in any order of importance to be read. I just flounder for a few days after I finish something, trying to decide what to read next. It's an awful system.

message 17: by Amira (new)

Amira (liightningbolt) I've set myself a target of 50 books this year. It almost equals 1 book a week but I think it can be done. I hope I'll be able to balance it out with College.

message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Amira, I plan on getting most of my reading done over breaks from school, especially summer.

message 19: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hmatkins) I organize my books as to a shelf for those I haven't read and for those I have read. Or at least I used to. Now they are all kind of mixed simply because I am running out of space in my small bookshelf in my apartment. Perhaps I will organize my books again one day soon. :) I like your system Lori.... But I think I'll have to wait until I have more bookshelf space. :)

message 20: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Hannah, I had things in order, but I kept buying books and just sticking them wherever and it was chaos. So I spent a day rearranging. Every so often, it's good, for me, to reorganize things.

message 21: by Amira (new)

Amira (liightningbolt) Lori: Yes, it's probably going to turn out like that, haha. But with set books for school.. Well, it'll be interesting to see at the end of the year. Oh, and your personal library is very organised!

message 22: by Erin (new)

Erin | 76 comments Lori - I laughed when I saw that you have a special section for books that would get me kicked out of the English department!!

message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jenmarie1117) | 18 comments I've had the same resolution for the past two years: A book a week. The first year I got close (51, but I think I undercounted!) and last year it was 49. I try to mix it up because some books are way longer than others, so I'll do a long one, and then a light read over a weekend to "balance it out". I don't NEED to finish a book by a Saturday or whatever; it just averages out.

message 24: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Maybe I should clear off a shelf and put all of the pressing books on it and pick from there. But it feels like different things press at different times."

I'm SO with you on that one, Lori. I'm just the same way. What's worse is I WILL spend the time to pick a group and plan to read those books and be all excited, but then after the next book or so I'm wanting to change it up because my head is somewhere else or I need something lighter or more intense and I've read that selection... and on the cycle goes. So I do the floundering bit fairly often. Though since I've taken the pressure off of myself as far as "needing" to read things, I've not had as much trouble with that. I more have trouble with being into it, but getting distracted by life and even though I want to finish it very much, I'm now craving a different type of book. (I think this ties in with my wanting to have the ability to read a book a day!)

Because I haven't the space for all my books, as soon as I finish one, it goes to a box for storage (I currently only have a single tiny room and some storage space, but that will change and I will want my books). The only "read" books I have in my room are my Nigella cookbooks and the Harry Potter series because I reread it often enough. So at least when I go to select a book, I won't be searching amid those I've already read.

As to the number of pages, I haven't figured how many I want to say yet. But it's a LOT harder to cheat on if you get behind than with the number of books thing. Actually I'm so strict with myself when I make commitments to and goals for myself that I'm thinking of keeping it vague so that I don't get so down on myself if life throws me more of those curves. (I'm getting nauseous from how curvy it's been lately - and I don't GET motions sickness!)

I like the idea of author goals. Or maybe genre goals. Because I love that variety... but then again, who wants to be boxed in at the end of the year with three histories or biographies to read in the last weeks. I mean I love them, but not all at once!! Well anyway, I'll figure it out here soon.

I'm just psyched I finished that thousand page book in less than a week with two days in there where I didn't have time to read a single word! That gives me hope for my goals, whatever they may turn out to be! LOL

message 25: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
I didn't realize that was so long... sorry!

message 26: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Erin, I don't think I'd get kicked out. But people would definitely talk about some of those books. (People in my school's English department are malicious gossips)

whichwaydidshego, I try to keep my goals vague too so that I don't get boxed in and because when I say, "I AM reading this and that," an "avoid" alarm goes off in my mind. I wish I had the ability to read that large of a book that quickly, but I'm unfortunately distracted whenever the TV is on. I'm quite nauseated by how curvy things have been as well. Hopefully I've learned the trick to not getting stressed out so badly. I had to put a bookcase in my closet because my room felt too cluttered and I don't want to leave my precious books in the living room where anyone could hurt them.

message 27: by Elizabeth (last edited Jan 11, 2009 08:40AM) (new)

Elizabeth Everyone's goals are so ambitious and I really admire all of you for it! But now as I actually write my out I realize that mine are quite ambitious too.

Maybe we can have follow-up threads once a month or so, to see how everyone is doing and support each other so we stay on track? I know that I'll have trouble staying focused at least!

My Goals:
1. Read the whole Bible this year. I need to read about 4 chapters a day. (It sounds easy and I've started off strong, but it will probably fall apart on me as soon as some sort of distraction comes up.)

2. I'm also attempting the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. I need to read 19 this year to stay on track.

3. Read everything on my to-read shelf, which is about 30 books right now (but that number will probably increase given that I also have a problem with acquiring more books everytime I go the library or the book store).

4. Read all monthly selections made by our Rory group.

message 28: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hmatkins) Elizabeth, I love your goals. and I wish you great luck on finishing them. I read the whole Bible a couple years ago when I was in high school. I really enjoyed and was very proud of myself after I finished. I did find though that I got really behind in the first couple months and caught up in June and July. :) Do you have a specific plan? I just read straight through, but I have found plans since then that have the chapters split throughout the Bible.... like Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms, and I think that would be very helpful especially once you get to Leviticus and Numbers. :)

I also love your 1001 Books goal. I have the same goal, though my number is 16. Good luck. Are you a member of the group on GoodReads? I joined a little bit ago, though I find that I want to read at my own pace and am loving keeping up with this group so I'm not active in the 1001 Books group. But perhaps we can chat on different books if we end up reading them at the same time. Do you have a specific list of the books you want to read or are you just picking out whatever ones sound good at the time?

I haven't equated my book number goal to the weeks. Thanks everyone for point that out. It makes it more attainable. :) Almost one book every week and a half for me.

message 29: by Michelle (last edited Jan 11, 2009 12:20PM) (new)

Michelle (vorvesm) | 19 comments I want to read the Bible this year too and my mom gave me a list to read it chronologically so that's what I'm going to do. It was funny cause there was a scholarship about Genesis last year and I read the whole thing in like 2 or 3 hours and I thought to myself "Wow, if I devoted that much time to this everyday I'd have this done in no time!" but then I never did lol.

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) i went to a bible college so the bible became like a textbook for me..and throughout the time i was there i read the whole bible..but i really want to read it through again..not like a textbook.

message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (vorvesm) | 19 comments Yeah! It definitely makes a difference when you have to read something for school and when you're reading it because you want to.

message 32: by Elizabeth (last edited Jan 11, 2009 04:04PM) (new)

Elizabeth Hannah wrote: "Elizabeth, I love your goals. and I wish you great luck on finishing them. I read the whole Bible a couple years ago when I was in high school. I really enjoyed and was very proud of myself after..."

Thanks Hannah. I'd love to discuss the 1001 books with you. I am a member of the Goodreads group but lately there has been a lot of non-list book discussions that kind of defeats the purpose.

I actually tried to read the whole Bible two years ago but got stuck in Leviticus and never pushed myself through. This time I'm following a different plan that has the reading split up. I'm hoping that it will help me keep my focus through some of the dryer parts.

message 33: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hmatkins) Elizabeth, it sounds great to discuss. I have been a little disappointed in the 1001 Books group. I don't want to bash on other groups, but I do have to say I am very thankful for how respectful everyone is in this group. It is a delight to post with everyone, and I don't get the same joy out of the 1001 Books group, sadly. So I've decided to simply look for discussions on the books I am reading if I need them. Do you have a list of certain books you want to read this year, or are you just winging it with your interests at the time?

message 34: by Stella (new)

Stella (stella_exlibris) | 57 comments Oh, it seems this is a Bible-reading year :-D Because I have been planning on reading the whole Bible this year too. Just a few chapters at a time, thinking it through, a more thourough reading than we did in school years ago.
Seems I won't be the only one doing that :-)

message 35: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Hannah and Elizabeth, things like this are exactly why there is a section here for "other book discussions." Turns out I wasn't all that welcome in another group on here, but they had/were discussing a book I loved and was dying to talk about. So I started a thread here. It was really great how many people got involved.

While I don't plan to read all of the 1001 books, because frankly that's just one person's opinion of what's good and I have my own (plus he changed the list a few years later - what's that about??), I do use it as a reference for remembering some of the classics I want to get to. Some of the modern books I'll consider, but unless I'm already interested or they are recommended by trustworthy people, they're really not all that important for me to get to.

Being a list and goal person, the hard part about this is that I have several lists including 1001 (and Rory's) and I get neurotic about having to complete them. So me saying I don't mind leaving some of them behind is, like, HA-YOU-JAH (*huge). So I must make my own up. Does that make sense?

Geez did I get away from my point. AGAIN. What I want to say is that I'd love it, as I'm sure others would, if you wanted to discuss them here.

Ooo! Like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day! That was SO FANTASTIC. It'd be fun to discuss it with this group. So consider.

message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Hannah wrote: "Elizabeth, it sounds great to discuss. I have been a little disappointed in the 1001 Books group. I don't want to bash on other groups, but I do have to say I am very thankful for how respectful ..."

Hannah, I sent my list directly to your Goodreads inbox. Let me know if you don't get it.

message 37: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker whichwaydidshego?, I'm a list person too. I have some specific goals about books I want to read in my lifetime. And reading the books (at least most of them because I'm not 100% about some of the modern ones) on Rory's list is one of those goals. It's actually how I found GR. I did a Google search for Rory's book list and this site came up. Lucky, no?

message 38: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessikareads) I'm going to try to read the books on my five-shelf bookshelf and kinda re-organize things. I like donating books that I don't want anymore, so I'm going to try and make some more room. I really want to read all of these books, though, because I have a bad habit of buying more and more books without reading them, so I end up really behind on my to-read list!

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Lori, I found GR like that, too : )

message 40: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 283 comments Since I have amply reading time, I don't think a book or page number would challenge me. Perhaps something daunting. Last year I read Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar, which I've been trying to read since my twenties. (I only did the first read through, though, and part of the second). Gravity's Rainbowby Pynchon has been sitting on my shelf for years, I might tackle it again. I admire the people reading the Bible through, no matter what version I use, I get bogged down in Leviticus.

Or maybe I'll do what I did last year, and go where my fancy takes me.

I have noticed that lately I'm reading more non-fiction.

message 41: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Jess, where do you donate your books to?

Deb, here's a challenge: Proust. Just a thought - and one with a Rory tie-in!

Lori, I think we were separated at birth! By the way, reading all on Rory's list (at least the original one) is something I want to accomplish as well... although there are a few in the modern that I'm just not all that interested in - a couple of the non-fiction specifically. That's why it's so weird that I haven't kept up with the group's monthly selections. But oh well. We all have our own timing issues now and then. I'll get there!

I'm reading so much right now, I'm thinking of throwing in some of the ones I've missed in the last year every now and then. Just so I'm not pressuring myself and enjoying it, plus getting in some of the others on my shelves that I'm really into reading, then I'm sure I'll get them all accomplished!

message 42: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker whichwaydidshego?, Sometimes I think you stole my thoughts or are reading my mind. I'm trying to work in my various groups' monthly selections, especially if I own the book. I should probably get moving on those.

message 43: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessikareads) whichwaydidshego?, It honestly depends on where they will take them. Most of the time, I donate to my local library, other times I donate to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army because I know people that will go through the shelves there looking for books to read. Then there are times when a friend of mine will say that they want them. So it all just depends :)

message 44: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Jess, I asked because I was trying to be inspired... I was recently trying to think of places out of the ordinary like youth centers or homes for the elderly. Also I remember when I was traveling how I loved finding great books in the youth hostels. I do tend to hoard my books (even sending them home from Europe!), loving having the collection, but recently have been thinking of downsizing. (This is HUGE. Mayn't actually do it, but to even consider it is amazing!) Anyway, thanks.

Lori, love your style! LOL

message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I've made a contract with myself. I will read All the King’s Men, Anna Karenina, Atlas Shrugged, The Beautiful and the Damned, Brideshead Revisited, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jane Eyre, John Adams, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Little Women, Lolita, Pride and Prejudice, Summer of Faulkner Books, Swann’s Way, and War and Peace this year. I will also read other books to get up to 60. But it's important to me that I finish these. Some of them are ones I've been wanting to read for a while and other I feel that I need to read. Another important trait is that I own all of them.

message 46: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessikareads) whichwaydidshego?, I totally understand about the downsizing thing. Being a sophomore in college without a place of my own, my parents usually hound me about having too many books (oh, please)! My bookshelf is crammed full, though, and many of the books I haven't read. My problem is that I feel like each book deserves a chance to be read, so I need to go through and read them all. Usually what I do is that if I read a book and don't particularly like it, that's when it's up for grabs.

message 47: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany | 59 comments whichwaydidshego?, have you ever tried bookcrossing? If you go to their website you can register your books and release them into the wild. I think it is fun to relase and then see if someone picks them up and registers them. It is just a fun way to let your book travel and also see how many people in your town are participating.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

I know where you are coming from, talking about donating your books or swapping them... But this is something I am honestly unable to do!
I NEED to keep all my books. Sometimes, I even need to buy books I borrowed from the library, because I like them so much and have to have them in case I want to reread them, or just to see their beautiful spines on the shelf.
Honestly, you should see my room. I have got 3 huge book shelfs that are going up all the way to the ceiling (my room is about 2 meters high), and they are all full. I've only got a tiny wardrobe, but that's ok as all my money goes into books first anyway ; )

message 49: by Morgan (new)

Morgan My goal is to read all the books I own. I'm forever buying them at thrift stores and from the library, but then am so involved with books from clubs or that others pass on, and I never read what I have. Even if I only got through half of my un-read pile, I'd be happy.

message 50: by Stella (new)

Stella (stella_exlibris) | 57 comments Great list Lori! and not a too easy one either :-) From your list I would like to read Anna Karenina and Lolita (just won a lovely new edition of it in a contest recently) this year, but since they came as a whim and I haven't been meaning to accomplish them for some time, I thought I'd give way to my older challenges ;-)

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