What to do about reading goals?
Normally, I start the year with a list of ambitious reading resolutions. I’ve done reading challenges, set myself quotas, tasked myself with reading more of X genre or books by Y. I abandon half of my goals by mid-year (have yet to complete a Book Riot or PopSugar challenge) and have succeeded with others (several 100-book years in a row, increasing the percentage of books I read by BIPOC, a few readathons).
Last summer, I seriously considered giving up on the Goodreads style reading challenge to ready XXX books in a year because I found myself sticking with books I didn’t like in order to add another book to my list. I ultimately kept going because, in a year when reading was HARD, I needed something to motivate me to read more. And it worked. I didn’t hit 100 books, but I think 88 books is rather impressive given, well, you know… And I read more after that mid-year crisis of confidence. Since I never learn, I think I’m going to stick with the completely unrealistic goal of reading 100 books in 2021.
I didn’t really set myself any diversity goals last year (e.g., reading X% by BIPOC or featuring queer characters). I did okay without those goals (23.6% of the books I read were by BIPOC authors; 27.3% featured queer protagonists; 77% of the books were by women), but I can do better, especially when it comes to books by BIPOC authors. So lets go with a goal of having 30% of the books I read being by BIPOC authors.
And what about a reading challenge? I love them (in theory). It’s a list! Of books! I get to cross things off! And find new books to fit the prompts! The lists I’ve looked at all feel arbitrary (PopSugar wants me to read a book with an oxymoron in the title or a book with a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover), overly prescriptive (Book Riot has me reading more YA than I would care to); or insufficient (the Reading Glasses Challenge is just too short). So what to do? A reading challenge can help bring a level of intention and focus to reading that I sorely need right now, so, inspired by the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge, I’m creating my own reading challenge. More to follow!