Archive | January, 2015

Where have I been? Reading in a wood, mostly.

23 Jan

Ah, London. How many more ways can I find to spend my time in you?

Between attending some beautiful weddings of good friends (very fun) , working away at my day job (also pretty fun), and you know, having a social life, I spent the last year or so trying to read more, and write more fiction, and spend less time watching TV and knitting. I love TV and knitting too, but I did a lot of that in Korea.

I realised my first year back in the UK that I only read 12 books that entire year. About four of those I read over two months in the summer. There were huge periods of time where I wasn’t currently reading ANYTHING. That was so unlike me, and I felt like I’d missed out. So to encourage myself to watch less forgettable TV and read more things, I set myself a Goodreads Challenge.

People seem to be torn on reading challenges like this, but I say if it works for you, fuck it. Yeah, I tried to hit that target (I set myself the challenge of doubling my total, and reading 24 books in 2014). Yeah I put down books I wasn’t into, and I picked short books up instead of epics sometimes, and I read them faster than I might have. But all that didn’t stop me highlighting, discussing, absorbing and enjoying them. In striving to reach that target I found a way to motivate myself to put down the remote, turn off Netflix, and take on the more active task of engaging with a book.

I didn’t hit my target. I read 20 books last year (including graphic novels/collected comic paperbacks). For the curious, you can see them here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/1141045. Not bad I reckon. 9/20 women (poor, not even 50%). 18/20 white (very poor, must try harder). I think The Goldfinch was my favourite this year, but True Grit was a close second, with Wool in third. Worst book I read? A tie between the frustrating The Fault in Our Stars or the self-mythologising Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I’m setting myself the same target for 2015. 24 books in 12 months. This time I also want to read more female authors than male, and more non-white authors. I would say ONLY female authors, but I have a couple of comics lined up that I really want to read. This new rule might mean 2015 is another year I don’t re-read the Lord of the Rings. Maybe I’ll re-read Harry Potter instead. That’ll bump the books-by-female-authors quota up.

I’m currently reading Moby Dick, which is kind of a terrible start. Although I’ve never read it before and I’m kind of enjoying it a lot so far.

What about you? Do you set yourself reading goals? What do you want to read more of this year? And what was your favourite book of 2014?

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