First of all, happy new year everyone! (I hope it is not too late considering that January is nearly done, HAHA). It is a new set of 365 pages we can write on.
As part of a yearly tradition, the new year also brings in an opportunity to set goals and resolutions to guide us for the year. To kick start start my new year, I have come up with my personal reading goals and resolutions, the third time I will do so. Whilst I fared better in 2020 compared to the previous years, I still failed some of my goals such as reading two nonfiction works (I read none last year) and two works by Filipino authors (I was one book short). Again, for the nth year running, I failed to read more and buy less. Nevertheless, I more than achieved my goal of 60 books, managed to “Beat the Backlist”, and complete all my 2020 Top 20 Reading List.
Quantifying my goals helped in my reading journey these past few years although I still missed the mark on some. I step into 2021 with the hopes that I get to accomplish my goals for this year (at least in terms of reading). Without more ado, here are my reading resolutions for 2021.
1. READ MORE AND BUY LESS!
I guess this resolution will forever be a constant. I failed the first year and again I failed last year. It has shaped up to be a yearly tradition as I simply fail every single time. Haha! I used to set a limit for my quarterly purchase but I won’t be doing so this year. I’ll just have to hold the fort and trust in my constitution this time and just resist the temptation of buying even more books that are bound to collect dust in my (burgeoning) bookshelf anyway. Tsk!
2. Read at least 60 Books.
Because of the pandemic, I have more than hit my reading target last year. My initial goal was 60 books but I ended the year with 93 books completed. As the times remain uncertain, I am keeping the status quo, hence, I am setting my goal to a realistic 60 books. The good thing is that I have a lot of books to choose from (HAHA).
3. Read at least 50 pages every day
I failed on this last year. Because of tedious month end reporting, I missed the mark. However, I am still adding this to my 2021 resolution as I believe it will help me achieve my second goal for the year. Barring my mood and the demands of my job, this is something that I feel is something that I can accomplish.
4. Read all 21 books in My 2021 Top 21 Reading List.
For two years running, I managed to succeed in completing all the books in my yearly Top 20 reading list. This year, I upping the ante and picked 21 books for my reading list. My 2021 reading list is a diverse mix of various genres, and nationalities. The main goal , is to read all this year. This is a yearly tradition that I always look forward to.
5. Beat the Backlist.
As I have mentioned repeatedly over the course of 2020, I am a back list type of reader. Majority of the books I read were backlists. Despite making a decent progress into the backlist, I still have several books published beyond 2021. To solve this puzzle, I am signing up again for the Beat the Backlist challenge hosted by NovelKnight.
In 2020, I managed to complete all 12 books in my list (again, thanks to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic). To be realistic, I am again listing 12 books (one book per month). However, I still haven’t come up with my list yet but I will publish it in the coming days. Here’s to hoping I’d be able to read them all this time around.
6. Read diversely.
With the healthy mix of historical, magical realism, and fantasy fictions I read, I can say that my 2020 goal was a success. If there is one thing that I can be proud of in terms of reading is that I am able to adapt to various genres and subjects. It is an effective way of getting over reading slumps. It also helps me fight reading boredom. Although this has become quite implied, reading books from a wide array of genres and themes will again form part of my 2021 reading goals and resolutions.
7. Read at least three works by Filipino authors.
I have failed my 2020 goal so I am carrying this over in 2021. I used to be averse to the idea of reading works by Filipino authors but lately I have built my appetite for these works. In 2019, I was (gladly) able to accomplish my target of reading two works by Filipino authors. I, again, managed to read two works by Filipino authors, a book short of my goal. It is again my goal to aim for three books in 2021.
8. Read 20 books from the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.
My 2020 goal was a modest 15 books from the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. I have more than successfully hit my target for I managed to tick off 24 more books from the list. For 2021, I am challenging myself even more, hence, I am aiming for twenty books. I know it is quite a tall task but I hope I get to find the time to tick off more books from this expansive list. To optimize, I have to align my goal with other other reading challenges I have signed up for this year. Choosing which ones to read won’t be much of a problem for I have 60 unread books belonging to this list.
9. Read at least two nonfiction books.
Alongside reading works by local authors, I have made it my goal to expand to nonfiction books. I read my first nonfiction book in years last 2018. I again managed to read one in 2019 but I failed reading even just one last year. I wanted to read Flora Rheta Schreiber’s Sybil but I was too wrapped in my “new” books journey that I forgot about it. For 2021, I’m keeping my original goal setin 2020.
10. Read at least one book from each of the six continents
2020 was lit. I managed to read a lot of works written by African writers but I failed to read at least one from Oceania or South America. But this journey further underscored one of my most recent realizations, that each corner of the globe echo with different voices and stories. As part of my advocacy for diversity, I am aiming for at least one book from each of the six continents.
11. Post regularly here in my book blog.
This was part of my 2019 and 2020 resolution. It was in late 2019 that I participated in various book blogging posts such as WWW Wednesday, Top Five/Ten Tuesdays, First Impression Friday, and Goodreads Mondays. All these activities ensured that I have my hands all tied up. Nonetheless, these are book blogging activities that I enjoyed and will carry over into 2021.
12. Complete book review within a week of finishing a book.
(This is a big if!) I can be a laggard in terms of writing a book review. This was also part of my 2019 and 2020 reading resolution but I failed, horribly. At the end of 2019, I found myself with a list of 15 books for review. 2020 was even worse for I doubled my 2019 pending book reviews. I did complete over 70 book reviews last year but it wasn’t enough because I read over 90 books. Haha. My hands are still tied to completing these pending reviews. I hope I get to complete all of them before the quarter ends.
13. Publish at least eight book reviews a month.
On top of my ambitious 12th reading resolution, my goal is to publish at least eight book reviews a month. This, I hope, will also help hasten my growing list of pending book reviews. My original goal was 10 book reviews a month but that is too tall a task considering how much of a laggard I can be at times!
14. Complete one book tag per month
Doing book tags is a fantastic way for me to let other fellow readers know more about me and my tendency, at least vis-a-vis books and reading. In the past two years, I managed to complete at least one book tag each month and I am hoping to keep the tradition alive in 2021.
15. TAKE IT ALL IN STRIDES.
After years of reading, it is important to give myself space and time and not be driven by stresses of the various forces that is flowing in from all corners. To reiterate, reading is not about the quantity but about the quality. It is supposed to be a safe haven, an escape. Slow down if you must. Read at your own pace. What is important is that you appreciate the book on your hand. A gentle reminder to myself and to fellow readers who are hampered by various pressures: drink in the books one page at-a-time.
The same last year, the only thing that I am looking forward to this year is that the books I read fill my soul, give me a deeper insight of the world, and offer me a broader perspective of life and its peripheries. I hope it will do the same to all of you fellow readers! Again, happy new year!
How was your 2020 in terms of reading? What are your reading goals and resolutions this year? Let me know your thoughts and let’s talk down in the comments section.