Since I’m 200 pages into Little Dorrit (800+ pages in total) this seemed like a dandy time to see how I measured up to this year’s reading resolutions. To sum up, I had two resolutions this year. First, I would read down my to-read list. Second, I would re-read a book I own. I regret to say that I only managed to achieve one of my goals by fudging; I completely blew the second goal.
Until this year, my to-read list has hovered around 150 books. It’s been up over 200 in the past, but 150 or so usual. I would read books from the list, so it wasn’t entirely an aspirational fantasy. The problem is that I read so many book reviews to get ideas of titles to buy for my library that I would add one more titles for every one I took off. I never got ahead. So I set myself the goal of reading three books from the list each month. I’ve been pretty good about following this goal…I just still had the problem of adding more books to the list than I was reading. It didn’t look like I was making any progress. So I looked over the list a couple of times and started taking things off the list. I culled:
- Books that probably sounded interesting at the time but now made me wonder what I hell I was thinking.
- Books that were aspirational fantasies such as experimental fiction.
- Books that had been on the list for ages that I still hadn’t read them. I finally faced up to the fact that I just wasn’t going to read them.
The to-read list now sits at 87 titles. This is the first time since I joined Goodreads that the list has been under 100 titles.
I completely failed at the second goal. The books I really wanted to re-read are already blogged here, so I would have had to slow down my review pacing and that turned out to be harder than I realized. Then there were a couple of months were I got bogged down with new titles that I needed to review before they were published. Once you skip a month or two, it gets very easy to keep skipping.
I haven’t entirely decided on my goals for 2017. I want to continue my good work whittling down the to-read list. I also want to return to reading classics. Several of my friends have given me crap about reading Little Dorrit (“A book about debtors in prison? How cheery!”), but I’ve missed the rich vocabulary of older literature. Other than that, I have no idea what I will challenge myself with next year.