Let me begin by apologizing for using “much” where I should have used “many,” but it’s a play on Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Mostly Plants. Not too much.” thing, so I’m letting it go.
And yes, Pollan’s advice would probably make a better 2021 goal for me, but alas, this isn’t a food blog.
Here are my plans for 2021, a little more than 10% of the way through.
Self explanatory? This of course includes all manner of “book.” I don’t have much occaision to listen to audio these days, but I’ll count that if I do. Kindle ebooks, Libby ebooks, library books, Little Free Library books, books on my shelves, you get the idea. I’m not limiting myself in terms of buying new books, though some of my other plans might put some natural limits on that…
I should note that I’m still reading daily and weekly papers and plan to continue. And I read plenty of blog posts, I still get Bookforum and The Happy Reader, and read the odd article elsewhere The only kind of reading I don’t want to prioritize is posts (tweets) which I’m not taking a break from… yet. Maybe for Lent?
I had an idea of reading older books this year. Not classics, per se, and not just reading all the 2019 and 2020 stuff I didn’t get to yet. Just a little less of the moment. Some readers get excited when art imitates life, like, right away (e.g. various plague novels that happened to come out in 2020) but I still think it’s a bit too soon for 9/11 novels, let alone COVID, or god help us, Trump novels. This stuff needs time to simmer!
So I’m going to read mostly pre-millenium novels. Pre-9/11, pre-web 2.0, pre-adult me. At least I won’t get annoyed when authors refuse to reckon with technology. Maybe it’ll make me feel better.
Exceptions? I’ve got a few! New Franzen drops in October and you better believe I’ll be reading that. I have a bunch of library holds from last year that are coming in, some Booker longlisters and what not. And I made an exception for Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler, which seems like maybe it can reckon with today’s technology.
Not too much
This one’s less of a goal, and more of a grim reality. I’ve read one book in 2021. If this trend continues, well… see above, we’re ten percent through the year. True, I’m 500ish pages into two big novels right now, the equivilent of four or five of your standard 225-page, wide-margined literary novels, but still. It’s not feeling like a banner reading year. Luckily I don’t do Goodreads goals.
So this one’s more about taking the pressure off even more, if that’s possible. Or maybe having different goals, ones you can’t just power through. There’s a certain amount of brute force in voracious reading and it really doesn’t appeal right now. A writing goal perhaps?
I’ve already read many of your 2021 goals, but let me know what you think of mine.