I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs and YouTube videos about peoples’ reading goals for 2022. They’ve been very thought-provoking. Some people have really elaborate goals while others have more general one. Or people don’t want any goals at all, as they feel constricted by them. At first, I came up with some very detailed and specific goals, but then I decided that I didn’t want my every reading moment driven by some kind of goal. I like goals, because I like the feeling of accomplishment when I’ve met them, but I dislike goals when I feel that they don’t leave enough space for spontaneity in my reading. Striving for a reasonable balance, I came up with this list:
- Read the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.
This is this year’s buddy read with my friend. This will be easy – the book is divided into a frame narrative about ten people that fled to a country house from the plague in Florence (in 1348). There’s ten days in which each character tells a story, so 100 stories altogether. The stories are quite short, and we’ll be reading one of the days per months. We’ll be finished in October at that rate. I’ve already started (almost done with the “First Day” and it’s great fun.
- Read Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
I’ve been wanting to read this amazing tome in six volumes since I first heard of it during my studies at university. It was published between 1776 and 1789 and covers the period between 98 and 1590. It was an great scholarly achievement at it’s time of publication and is supposed to be very well written – so far I’ve read the first two chapters of the first volume and I’m enjoying it. The prose is clear and lucid, not at all convoluted or obscure. I’m taking it slowly and have planned to devote two months to each volume (but if I feel like reading faster, I will).
- Continue with last year’s focus on Louise Erdrich and read at least the four books of her Love Medicine series that I didn’t get around to in 2021.
Kind of self-explanatory. Maybe I’ll even get around to some of her other novels.
- Do a focus year on Virginia Woolf and read at least four of her works.
Some years ago, I had a Virginia Woolf phase and got a few of her works. I still have some unread books from when that phase petered out that I want to read. I haven’t decided which of her works I am going to read, but I’ve started with a selection from her diaries.
- Finish J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike and Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series.
I had so much fun last year catching up with Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series that I want to get up-to-date with a couple of other series (also, reading crime novels and series is easy and relaxing for me). I’ve read the first two books of Rowling’s series last year and will just continue with the next three. I own 14 out of 18 of Crombie’s series, which used to be one of my favourite series (and still is) but I’m not sure if I’ve read all of them. Maybe I didn’t read the last two or so, I can’t remember. In any case, I will start at the beginning and work my way up.
- Read at least one book per month that I own but haven’t read yet.
Some of the books listed in the other goals count for this one – two goals for one.
- Don’t buy any new books in 2022 either as hardcopy or ebook, unless I read the new book immediately.
I don’t want to end up with more unread books in my personal library, but I also don’t want to do a no-book-buy year because I probably wouldn’t be able to stick with it. But this seems doable. I just have to make sure not to get seduced by cheap Kindle books.
Those goals make up 48 books (or less, if the sixth goal is partly covered by the other goals). Last year I read 119 books and if that’s about the amount I’ll manage this year, that means more than half of my potential reads can be spontaneously decided upon. I want to make sure that these reads will be diverse in subject matter, genre and authors. I want to continue reading poetry and short stories, so I will keep an eye on what I’m reading apart from my explicit goals.
I want to keep track of my goals more regularly than I did last year and plan to check on my progress when I write my monthly reading reports.
That’s it for my reading goals. Now I have to check how I did on my general goals last year and what I want to do for those this year (if anything).
Keep safe, world.