There are a mere 66 days until the end of the year. Lifetime is already showing Christmas movies 24/7, we’re in the last week of Halloween season, my mom is already doing the “do you want it for Christmas” routine — it feels like it only dropped below 80 degrees here yesterday! The leaves aren’t even changing in my neck of Georgia woods, but here I am, already planning how to end my reading resolutions for 2019 on a strong note.
My 2019 Goals
For 2019, I made a few resolutions for reading within my goal of reading 30 books. The 30-book goal was a really lax one; it was honestly just a number to give Goodreads. I hit 30 in June so I upped it to 75 in July, and I’m nearly there, but this year was more about the types of books I was reading over the number of books I was reading. I had taken a look at my reading behaviors at the end of the year in 2018, picked ones that I wanted to change or adjust, and planned my reading goals accordingly. This is the first time my reading goal has been multi-layered, and not just a number goal on Goodreads!
Within my 30 book goal, I wanted to read at least 12 nonfiction books. I have pretty much stayed away from nonfiction in my leisure reading, not for any personal reasons, but just because I didn’t naturally gravitate towards them. I liked my nonfiction short and sweet — articles, essays, reviews. This year, I pushed myself to pick actual physical books, and I managed to read a pretty wide range of topics. I not only met this goal this month, but I really enjoyed doing it. I don’t think that challenge turned me into a nonfiction fanatic, but it definitely made me linger a little longer in the nonfiction sections of the library.
My second goal was to read 15 books over 500 pages. This one has been a doozy, but I expected no less when I set it. In the past two years, in an effort to read a larger number of books, I became shy of books over 300 pages because they took too long. I was letting my attention span get shorter and shorter because I didn’t push myself to commit to more time with certain books. When I thought of this goal, I largely did it with one book in mind — Samatha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree. It was released in February and I set this goal in December for this book because I was excited about it. Surprisingly, I haven’t read this book yet, but part of that is due to an unfortunate incident of rebuying after my dog ate the cover off my cherished preorder. Ah, well. We have two months left in 2019, and I am only half-way into this goal. It’s been hard. In planning what I want to read for the end of the year, I am hoping to get to at least 10, which is less than my goal, but I think the purpose of the goal itself has been achieved here, because I’m not shy of large books anymore!
The final part of my reading goal was to read at least 20 books by women authors. This was easy. I naturally gravitate towards female-centered stories written by women authors.
A little into the year, I wanted to work more seriously on getting through the PBS Great American Read list, which I’ve been working on since last spring. I’ve managed to do about fifteen of them, so I’m feeling good about that! I’m planning to talk a little more about the PBS list so stay tuned for that.
The Rest of the Year
So far as the rest of the year goes, I have two books that I want to finish by Halloween — The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and The Shining by Stephen King. I’m really struggling with both of these but I’m not sure if it’s them or me. The Shining will meet my 500 page goal, so I’m putting the heat on myself to get that one finished up. I’m a little over half-way, so I should finish it on time. I’ve been reading 50-100 pages of The Ninth House before bed most nights, and I’m half-way on that one too, so hopefully I’ll meet that deadline. Stay tuned for author posts on both King and Bardugo, because I have some Thoughts.
For November, I want to focus on getting another 500 pager in, and I’m hoping I can complete Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke. I’ve already begun it but it got put away for Spooky Reading Season. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read, but it takes time to get through, partly because it’s dense and partly because it’s so enjoyable I don’t want to rush, so that’s the only book on my TBR for November. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and then fail, but I also might sneak in Tolkien’s The Two Towers.
For December, I have Beartown by Frederik Backman, which comes highly recommended by my sister, Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Dickens will meet my 500 page goal, and Barron will be my Christmas season read.
Overall, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made this year on my reading goals. I challenged myself a little more, added a few obstacles, peppered in a little mindful behavior practices, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far, even if I don’t meet the 500 page book goal.
What does the end of your reading year look like? Are you going to achieve your resolutions? Have you started to plan for next year yet? Tell me in the comments!