For me, reading goals are quite flexible and I change them throughout the year. I start with a few intentions at the start of each year however I don’t always stick to these and I change them depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m doing at that point. I thought I’d write a little update (mainly for myself as a little bookish check-in) to see what may have changed and how I’m feeling about my 2020 reads so far.
I’m going to start by talking through my original intentions from the beginning of this year and how I’ve been doing/if I’m changing them before going onto any new ones I may have.
My main intentions were:
- To read more non-fiction
- Read books I own that I haven’t yet read
- Read more books set/from countries outside the UK/USA
- To finish my reread of the His Dark Materials trilogy
In terms of my non-fiction goal, I have actually been doing quite well! 4 of the 12 books I have currently read in 2020 have been non-fiction and I’ve really enjoyed them. These are:
- Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered (SSDGM) which is a brilliant joint-memoir by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark of the My Favorite Murder podcast
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic which is a graphic novel memoir by Alison Bechdel
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race which is an amazing book by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I’ve read it, it’s definitely a must-read for everyone – I will post my thoughts on it some time soon
- Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, a memoir about the author’s time in a psychiatric hospital in the late 1960s – read my review here
I’m really glad I read all of these books, particularly SSDGM and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. I have a fair few non-fiction books on my shelves that I want to get to and I know this is a goal that I will carry on doing all year. The ones I’ve read so far have given me so much to think about and I can’t wait to start the array of others on my to-read list.
My second goal was to read more of the books on my shelves as I have way too many that I haven’t yet read. This goes hand in hand with what I used to call a book buying ban but (not a brag!) I’m actually pretty good at just not buying books and it hasn’t really been an issue for me the last couple of years. I’ve been stricter with budgeting for myself and I also get overwhelmed having too many for the space I have in my room (I already have more than I know what to do with!). All the books I’ve read so far the year have either been borrowed from a friend or I already owned them. The only exception is Paper Avalanche by Lisa Williamson which I was kindly gifted by David Fickling Books.
I’m happy with this and I haven’t felt much of a want to buy many books. I’ve probably bought about 4 so far this year? Two of which were for signings and the others were treats! The only time I’ve been near to caving is when I’ve had trips to Gays the Word whilst in London – it’s one of my favourite bookshops, if not my number one, but I had to save money! Especially with being in lockdown now, I plan to pretty much solely read books from my shelves and cut down that backlog!
Reading more books set in/from countries outside the UK/USA is one goal I’m aiming to improve upon. So far, I’ve read:
- The Refugees by Viet Than Nguyen, a collection of short stories about refugees set between Vietnam and the USA
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which is a brilliant book set in Nigeria
- Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard, a queer YA book set in Canada
I want to read way more than this and I’ve particularly been looking into translated novels. I think (just like with films) we miss out on so many brilliant stories and creators because so many of us stick to only to books set in or written by authors from UK/USA. I’ve been making a conscious effort to watch more films from a wider range of countries, why not books too? I’m definitely looking to improve this over the next few months.
I haven’t yet started the second book in the His Dark Materials series but I aim to get around to that within the next couple of months. To be honest, I doubt I will finish the series this year and I think I’ve accepted that I don’t intend to do that. I’ve gone off reading series a lot recently and enjoy picking up an unfamiliar book after I’ve finished one, rather than staying in that same world.
I don’t have many new intentions as I have a lot to be getting on with as it is! However, I have just restarted Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy after starting it and only reaching halfway a few years ago. I do aim to actually finish it this time around! I’m enjoying it so far and I’m excited to get more stuck in. I’d also like to do more co-reads with friends as I really enjoy doing that and chatting about the chapters as we go.
I hope you enjoyed the post! I personally feel great after writing this all down and seeing where I’m at currently. It’s nice to reflect on goals and intentions and change them every few months. I’m really enjoying reading right now and picking up things I’ve wanted to read for a long time!
Let me know how you’re feeling about your reading goals/intentions or if you prefer not to have any!
Keep well and stay safe