Last week I took an unofficial break from from blogging to focus on finals. With school basically over for the next four weeks, I can finally come back to reading and blogging.
Two weeks ago, Michelle from Galleymith, Jennifer from The Literate Housewife, Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog, and myself were all on Twitter discussing our reading plans for next year. Rebecca came up with the great name, A Year of Reading Deliberately. I had been thinking about my reading plans for a while before the discussion. This year a lot of the books I read were ‘blah’, nice but nothing I want to keep on my shelves or buy. They weren’t memorable. I would like to blame this on being a moody reader but I can’t. Thinking about my favorite reads of this year won’t be too hard because the favorites really stick out. Next year I want to read more challenging books. Books that I have ignored because of their pace or subject matter. I want to get out of my comfort zone and pick up books I probably wouldn’t have without it being required reading.
Next year reading deliberately means:
Diversity. I’ve read a few books written by authors of color this year but not enough. Last week I read Chameleon by Charles R. Smith Jr. It’s the story of a young African American boy growing up and trying to decide his future. I would have missed this book if it wasn’t for Jodie over at Book Gazing. Next year I want to read more books by authors of color, more GLBT titles, and also more books by non-American authors. I’ve signed up for the GLBT and Canadian Book challenges to help me reach that goal.
Re-reading. Remember picking up a book you’ve read before and reading it again? I do too but it’s been a while since I’ve re-read a book. There have been a lot of times this year where I want to re-read favorites but instead read something new. Next year I plan on diving into my favorite books like East of Eden by John Steinbeck, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld, and others.
Project Fill-in-the Gaps. I started this project earlier this year to “fill in the gaps” of my reading of classics and contemporary fiction. Sad to say I haven’t worked on it much. I’m hoping to read at least twenty of the books on my list. It’s important to me to feel at least a little well-read. Some of the books on my list I’m taking off while others are going to be added on.
TBR Pile. I have a lot of unread books on my shelves right now and I’m not happy about it. Some of my books have been sitting on my shelves for a few years. I love my local library so I ended up reading library books more than the books I own. I want that to change, so next year I plan on using the library less.
Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. Earlier this week Rebecca over at Rebecca Reads wrote a post about being a selective reader. In it she says that she doesn’t know very much about any particular genre. She’s learning a little bit of every genre that’s important to her such as the classics. A few semesters ago I shared a class with a guy whose passion was mythology. He spent much of his time reading and re-reading Greek mythology and its re-tellings. I loved listening to him talk about it. It made me want to read more mythology myself. So what I want is to be well-read in an area that I enjoy reading. So I’ve picked Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. This year I’ve read about ten plays that won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and enjoyed them all. I plan on reading as many as I can next year.
So this is what reading deliberately means to me. What does it mean to you? Are there any areas in your reading you would love to read more in? If you end up writing a post about reading deliberately, email me or comment below and I’ll add your link to this post.