Update, December 2019
According to Goodreads, I’ve read about 40 books this year, however, only a few of them are from this list (Charlotte’s Web, Wild, The Alchemist, and a book set partly in Edinburgh). I also read a couple which at least touched on racial themes (item 6), and I’m part way through a title by JoJoMoyes (for item 8).
And what I learned is, although I welcomed the nudge to read a little more widely, I hated turning reading into a “should do” instead of a “want to”. I belong to a book club and that already does a pretty good job of introducing me to new topics & authors. I also enjoyed lots of non-fiction this year, which was mostly absent from my list below.
For 2020, I’ll be going more with the flow, reading what I fancy, when I fancy. How about you?
And here’s the orginal post:
Do you like to set yourself a reading challenge for the year? I recently enjoyed a gorgeously illustrated book, Bibliophile by Jane Mount. This, along with some recent challenges by Modern Mrs. Darcy (2019 here and 2018 here) inspired me to get a little more intentional with around half my reading.
Here’s the list of categories I came up with, and some likely contenders:
- 3 classic children’s books (I have my eye on Little Women, The Little Prince, Charlotte’s Web, Black Beauty)
- A memoir or biography (possibly Wild by Cheryl Strayed)
- A classic you’ve been meaning to read (The Alchemist)
- A classic you’ve been meaning to re-read (Sense & Sensibility)
- A book set somewhere you’re planning to travel (that might be Edinburgh for me)
- A book with issues of race
- A book nominated for an award (Little Fires Everywhere)
- A book by a favorite author
- A book recommended by an indie bookseller
- A book about books
- A book about animals (Watership Down, The Soul of an Octopus )
- A book of short stories (This is Chick Lit)
- A book of poems/essays (Owls and Other Fantasies)
- A book gathering dust by my bed
- A book with wisdom from a famous person (You Learn by Living)
- An uplifting book (Man’s Search for Meaning)
That list of 16 categories hopefully leaves me scope for book club choices, non-fiction (I read loads of productivity and writing books), lighter picks and some impulse choices too.
If you want to create your own challenge:
- Be realistic about the type of books you’ll actually read, but…
- …Aim to stretch your horizons a bit too.
- And I recommend you plan for no more than about half the books you can read in a year, to allow plenty of spontaneity in your book reading choices too.
How about you? Have you ever tried a structured reading challenge? How did it go? What are your reading plans for 2019?
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