Reading Goals for 2021

Hi everyone! How has 2021 shaped up for you so far? It seems much like a repeat of 2020, but there are definitely positive signs that our future is looking more hopeful, don’t you think?

I ended December not completely satisfied with my reading year. There were a lot months where not much reading was done. Or where I read books that didn’t really align with my mood and whim. But I think many of us felt out of sorts last year (understandably!) so I have decided to shake it off and try for something more fulfilling in 2021.

At the beginning of January, I pondered exactly what I would like out of my reading life in the new year. Ideally, I would love to read whatever I feel like reading and read entirely by whim, but I don’t think that will happen until I retire from librarianship. However, I have never been able to create a comfortable balance between reading for my job and reading for my life. For some librarians, they are one and the same. But it’s never been the case for me because I do prefer reading classics more than I do contemporary books and I also enjoy reading British authors who don’t have much of an audience in a suburban Arizona library.

So, what to do, what to do? I have ultimately decided that life is short and I want to read my favorite things now – not wait until I don’t have work obligations any longer. Over the past 4 years I have had a series of health troubles that seem to be continuing this year and who knows what the future will bring. At the end of the day I would rather have been loyal to my own passions and pleasures than to my job. And, really, I can be a good librarian without personally reading all of the hot, buzzy titles that seem to come and go with every new season. Also, just to be clear, I am the only one putting this pressure on myself – my boss and colleagues don’t think I am shirking my duties by not reading every single trendy book out there. It is purely self-generated guilt and obligation.

Those of you who have been reading here for a while now (if anyone is still out there!) know this conflict has been a theme for me for many years. But I am finally ready to let it go and lose all the guilt about reading what I want to read. So here are my goals for 2021:

  1. Read what I want
  2. Read from my own shelves
  3. Don’t read as many galleys (mainly because I love books in print format so much better than digital books)
  4. No guilt, no guilt, no guilt
  5. Read some (not all) of the popular fiction in my library
  6. Be happy with my reading life and my choices

I know I might struggle for a while ( I already have) with the thought that I need to read every book that receives a starred review in the professional journals, but my aim is to let that all go this year. I need to read for me.

Did you set any reading goals for the year?

Also – I do want to blog more often this year (something you’ve also heard before, haha) and share some of my gardening successes with you all. If I have any. I am learning just how difficult it is to grow things in pots in the desert!

Happy 2021!

10 thoughts on “Reading Goals for 2021

  1. I’m so glad to see you back, I nearly joined Twitter and Instagram just to ‘see’ you. Absolutely, you should read for your own pleasure with no guilt involved at all. I hope that your health improves this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing your gardening pots.

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  2. Three cheers for reading what you want! I think that’s the very best reading goal, and I am trying to do the same myself. In particular I’m trying to be cognizant of my desire to REread, because I’ve noticed that I tend to order myself to read new things all the time, when often what I really want is to be revisiting old favorites. I’m rereading Robin McKinley’s Beauty right now, and it’s such a treat.

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    1. Last year I discovered the pleasures of re-reading (something I have not done much of in the past) so I completely understand your having to bypass old favorites for some new discoveries! I have never read Beauty, but it has always intrigued me.

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  3. No guilt! Just think what a niche expert you can be on books that aren’t the “hot new releases.” I’m sure many patrons would welcome someone familiar with lesser-known works. And you’d be able to speak of them with passion. πŸ˜‰

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  4. I drew up a similar list not too long ago, except I don’t have access to galleys. I want to re-read as well, without guilt over the TBR stacks. Hopefully we can keep our book resolutions!

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