The Sunday Salon: 2011 Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Last week I posted my 2010 Year In Review, including my Top 5 Books of 2010, and several “reading superlatives.”  Today, in a bright shiny new year, it seems fitting to write about the year ahead.

Last year, my new year’s post was filled with measurable goals e.g., to read a set number of certain types of books, and participate in specific challenges.  Not in 2011.  Back in October, I decided to abandon reading challenges, and read what I most want to read at that very moment.   I still had a small pile of books I’d planned — but genuinely wanted — to read, so initially my reading wasn’t really all that spontaneous.  But with a new year comes a fresh start.  Welcome to my “Year of Reading Normally” !

What does “reading normally” mean to me?  I’ll try to describe it in terms of a few new year’s reading resolutions:

  1. I will not set quantitative goals, since they intensify my “urge to plan.”
  2. I will not read ahead of myself *.  I will wait until the last week of a month to choose the next month’s reads.
  3. I will take part in reading events, including Orange January/July and The Classics Circuit, because they are a fun way to discover new authors and chat about great books.  If you’re paying attention you’ll have spotted a contradiction here.  So yes, book events are a permitted exception to resolution #2. 🙂
  4. I will not join reading challenges.  This one has an exception as well (!!):  LibraryThing‘s monthly “Take it or Leave it” Challenge.  This event challenges readers to find books that fit specific categories.  Its very nature will force me to stick with resolution #2.  Win-win!
  5. I will make steady progress on all reading projects, but especially the Booker Prize, Orange Prize, and Virago Modern Classics.  No quantitative goals here (see resolution #1), just reading books that catch my interest.
  6. I will make a noticeable dent in my stacks, reading books acquired before 2010.  Trust me, I have plenty to choose from.

* excellent phrase borrowed from Buried in Print.

And I think that’s about enough, don’t you?  I’ll be back later this week to talk about Orange January and celebrate my blogiversary.

Wishing all of you excellent reading in 2011!


Read more from The Sunday Salon here.

14 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: 2011 Reading Resolutions

  1. “Reading ahead of yourself” is an excellent phrase. I hope you have a wonderful year of reading, and as always, I look forward to reading all about it on your super-dee-duper, most excellent blog!

  2. Hi Laura,

    Sounds like you’re getting ready to “retire” and read for fun. Anyway I look forward to reading your blogs throughout the year.


  3. I like your reading plans for the year! They sound very reasonable. My goal is to do something similar, although I already find myself stacking books that I want to read next. So much for not reading ahead. LOL

    Have a great week, Laura!

  4. That looks like a sensible and workable plan, and I hope it results in a wonderful reading year for you.

    I can’t resist challenges completelyt but I’ve cut back hugely and I’m going to work on longer term projects and listening to the books that call loudest.

  5. I’m happy you like the phrase. And there’s comfort in knowing that so many of us do it from time to time!

    My reading projects took a backseat much of this past year; I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them in the next while. One benefit of having such large projects as we do…you can still wander through your directed reading plans because there are still so many books from which to choose!

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