2020 was a fairly successful reading year in that I met the majority of my reading goals. The 'read a book published every year since I was born' 2020 goal was a wash, however. While I read 40 of 57 books, that goal unmet, and the year 2020 for all its angst, is the very reason my reading goals are shifting for this year, 2021. 2020 turned out not to be the year to tackle a serious book challenge and I decided for 2021 I will - I must - take a breather. I am not cutting back on reading. Book club is still on! I will continue to host my book club in my home once a month. I will continue to read reviews and flesh out an array of thoughtful, fabulous titles to include into our quarterly book club picks. Jeff and I will continue to read books aloud, together, each morning before work. I will tackle classics to suit my long-term goal. But, for 2021 I am taking a minimalist approach toward my reading goals. Similar goals to previous years, but altogether simple reading goals.
Read 100 total books. Sure, I have read more books in past years. This year is not about quantity, but quality. I don't want to race through what I read unless it is truly one of those un-put-down-able books that everyone loves and that I am finding I just cannot put down. Not really a goal but I would like to read books from my own overflowing bookshelves. Tackle those bookshelves and flesh out those books I maybe thought I would read one of these days and those that will remain on my to be read, ever-growing list. This, of course, is not to say that I will forego the library. I plan on updating my Holds list before the end of the year and rotate books through as I lose interest or find other books I'd rather be reading. As someone who is a mood reader, holds are always hit and miss and often arrive at inopportune times. When I first put a book on hold at the library I'm excited to read that book but I have found the excitement wanes and when that exact book is ready for me to pick up I either don't remember adding it to my Holds list, or that ever-changing mood has won out.
However, between the books on my shelves and the books on my library's shelves, the books Jeff and I will read aloud and the books I will buy and read for my book club, and those classics, I'm pretty sure I can read 100 total books in 2021.
Read 8 books aloud with Jeff. We have a finely tuned habit each week day morning before I head to work. We read portions of our latest Christian non-fiction book, and then we read the Bible, together. In 2020, we didn't quite get through the entire Bible so in 2021 we'll finish out reading and checking off those last books we still need to read and then we'll begin again (probably using a different Bible reading plan). We have already started the first of 8 books, Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson (he is the author of The Message Bible translation), that we'll finish in January 2021 sometime. These 8 books will be part of the 100 total books I want to read in 2021.
Read 12 books for Book Club. We read one book a month and meet the last Monday of every month to discuss what we've read. It's a true book club in that we talk books, probably, 90% of the time. If we see each other outside of book club, we generally always mention - books! We already have our January 2021 book picked out, even. We will be reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.
Read 12 Classics for The Classics Club. My goal for The Classics Club is read 51 Classics in 51 Months. In order to continue to move toward that goal at a steady jaunt I hope to read 12 classics this year. And continue to document the classics I have read.
Finally, I will be documenting what I've read via memory keeping. Similar to my reading goals my memory keeping will take a minimalist approach. I will use a 4 x 8 Citrus Twist album (I haven't decided on the color). This will give me flexibility in what size I create my pages. I can insert 4 x 4, 4 x 6, 3 x 8, 4 x 8 pages, fold-outs, or double page spreads of any of the mentioned sizes. I plan on creating a mix of digital, physical, and hybrid pages while landing on the minimal: clean lines