Welcome to 2014! The fact that I was going to post yesterday about my reading plans for the year and then didn’t reveals the state of those plans. They have fluctuated from elaborate to minimal and back to elaborate and yesterday I threw my hands up into the air and asked for mercy from the reading gods. Please, end this torment! I must say they have not obliged, but when are gods ever truly obliging?
As I have been thinking about my plans, I also had a good think about why I read in the first place. My brain went into meltdown every time I directed my thoughts that way. It bothered me a bit, do I not have any good reasons? So I asked Bookman why he reads. He thought a moment then replied, “To quiet some demons and enrage others.” And then he thought a little more and said, “You might as well ask why I breathe.” And everything clicked into place.
But how does that help me with 2014 reading plans? It does and it doesn’t.
In past years I made a list of books and authors I wanted to read, specific and general, and some years I do so well I complete, or almost complete everything on the list. Other years I am lucky if I manage one or two items on the list. Most years I fall somewhere in the middle.
This year, I am going to do something a little different. No lists of books or authors. I have really liked the last couple of months making a plan for each month. December went awry due to an influx of library book holds coming in all at once, but October and November went really well. So I am going to try a whole year of one month at a time planning.
Also, I am going to pay more attention to my TBR lists. So often I never look at the things and find myself wondering what’s the point of keeping a list I never look at? It’s time to start looking! And it is time to read more from my own shelves too. Less than half the books I read last year were ones I owned and a chunk of those were NYRB subscription books I got in the mail, not books that had been on my shelf for any length of time.
I will, of course, continue with my poetry project, that is an ongoing thing, reading Pulitzer and US Poet Laureates. I think I might add Nobel Prize winners too for some international flavor.
Really what my 2014 reading plan comes down to is this:
Read good books.
That is a plan I am sure to succeed at!