At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.
Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.
For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.
Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post.
Goal 3: read at least five autobiographies or memoirs
I already wrote in my mid-year update that I kind of forgot about this goal. However, I did read the following:
- The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
- Mindhunter by John Douglas
- ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King
I’m currently listening to Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ as an audiobook, which is an autobiography as well. I won’t finish that before 2019, but hey, that means it can count for next year ;-).
I think the reason I don’t read many memoirs or autobiographies is that I find it hard to decide which ones are worth it. This is especially the case with biographies, that often talk about someone’s entire life — I happen to not always be interested in ten chapters about someone’s childhood.
Goal 4: read more diverse authors
During the year, I kind of expanded this goal to not only include diverse authors but diverse fiction as well – because sometimes a story is diverse but the author isn’t. I have been making a conscious effort towards this goal, and I’m quite happy with the result. The books I’ve read that could be considered ‘diverse’ for one way or another are:
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (about an Asian-American family)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (about police violence against black people)
- The entire Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab (LGBT+ rep)
- They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (LGBT+ rep)
- I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (LGBT+ rep)
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (set in Japan)
- The Rift by Alex Perry (non-fiction about the relationship between Africa and other continents)
- The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan (partly set in Taiwan)
- IS tot alles in staat by Hans Jaap Melissen (Dutch book about Islamic State)
Reading this list I feel accomplished and not accomplished at the same time. I think I did pretty well for the first year focusing on this goal, but I also think I can do so much better. I want to read so much more by black authors, disabled authors.. but more about that in my upcoming 2019 goal post.
Looking back on my reading year, I’m pretty happy with it. Sure, I can still improve on pretty much every single one of these goals, but I think I made significant progress on all of them. My reading diversified so much this year, and I think that’s what I’m the most happy with.