2021 reading intentions
I'm going all jargony here and saying that I'm setting reading intentions for the upcoming year rather than reading goals. I think this is going to take some of the pressure off me in terms of meeting 'goals', so that way I'll feel like less of a failure if I don't live up to one of my intentions rather than missing out on a 'goal'. Adding pressure to what is supposed to be my space of rest and relaxation and escapism just isn't doing it for me - but since it's always good to aspire to something, I am setting INTENTIONS.
Anyway, here they are:
Reading 100 books total. This is the closest to an actual goal, as there's something so satisfying about meeting a Goodreads challenge and seeing that percentage go up as the months go along. It's significantly lower than last year, because I will be going back to school to start my PhD either in April or in September and that will significantly lower the amount of free time and mental bandwidth I can devote to leisure reading.
Focusing on backlist titles rather than new releases. This is partly a financially motivated one, as my disposable income will shrink at some point this year and backlist books are easier to acquire secondhand, and are oftentimes quickly published in paperbacks. Partly, also, taking my eye off the cycle of new releases means that I feel like I can sit with and savor books longer, since I won't feel like I have to constantly be across the release radar.
Diversifying my reading. This means reading books from a greater diversity of perspectives (race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc) but also being less afraid of trying out genres and authors I've never sampled before. I am also going to try, this year, to read at least one book set on each continent - I tend to read stories that take place in North America and Western Europe, as those are settings I can most immediately project myself into, but I would very much like to expand that this year and explore some wider-flung stories. There are books in this category that I'm already quite excited to pick up, too, so this should be fun (Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line; Sharks in the Time of Saviors; She Would Be King; Le Rêve du Celte).
Doing more buddy reads! I've got two lined up now so far: one of Possession and one of King Hereafter, Dorothy Dunnett's standalone novel about Macbeth. I'm quite looking forward to these and hoping to make this a permanent part of my reading habits.
Not beating myself up for not sticking to my monthly TBRs. If I decide I want to take a break from my set reading to indulge in some more romances - that's fine; I'll do that. I'm going to invest in a bookcart so I can have a rolling cycle of 'priority TBR books' which will be the ones I focus on; but I'm going to give myself some leeway about reading what I want to read in the moment, and if it means I don't stick to my schedule, then I'm going to do that.
So that's it - those are my reading intentions for this year, and I'm hoping that my year in books will live up to expectations!