"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

01 January 2015

2015 Goals

I don't even remember everything I read each year.

It seems like everyone is posting their resolutions and/or reading goals for the new year.  Some have chosen specific lists or types of books to read, or have posited that the Goodreads Reading Challenge creates too much reading-related stress and that they will not participate this year.

I have completed a Goodreads reading challenge for all three years that I've used the site. I've always read a lot, even before the challenge, and when I was in library school I had time to read even more, especially since much of that reading counted as part of my homework.  However, I've been setting my Goodreads challenge bar so high that I, too, have fallen victim to the stress of seeing my Goodreads page remind me that I am 1, 2, 5, 20, etc. books behind on my goal.  And even though I don't get a prize for finishing or experience any punishment for not finishing, I like to stay on top of things. Like others, I have found myself rushing through stacks of picture books and frantically adding them to my Goodreads page simply so that I can say I finished my challenge. Meanwhile, my "to read" list keeps piling up with starred review books, Newbery contenders, books featuring diverse characters, or whatever the latest children's or YA trend happens to be.

With all of these books sitting in my "I hope I actually read them some day" list, I've discovered something: I can't both enjoy reading and simultaneously keep up with a huge reading goal each year. And it's much more important to me that I enjoy reading and am able to share that joy with my patrons than that I read 500+ books a year.

So this year my goal is to read whatever I want.  I will still read titles with starred reviews, I will still probably participate in the Hub Reading Challenge (even if I don't finish it), and I will still definitely read books with diverse characters.  But I might also re-read Lev Grossman's Magicians series, and I might read a few adult paperback mysteries, and I might spend more than a week paging through What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night.  I might revisit the gajilliony-jillion books stored on my Kindle, or the stack of ARCs that currently takes up my desk at home. And maybe I'll take time off of reading so that I can play Agricola with my wife or binge-watch the episodes of Bones I keep missing because of my commute. And I'll probably be happier, since I won't be trapped in my car listening to yet another audiobook with a terrible narrator, just because I know I can finish one more book per week that way while I drive to and from my library.

So, what about you? Do you have any specific reading goals for the year, or types of books you'd like to focus on, or whatnot? Are you using the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2015?

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