Last year, I read more than 95 books which was honestly a staggering amount and it helped that for the first half of 2019, I had a very light schedule as a senior in college. This year, I don’t have any illusions of that happening again so I set my goal at 40 books. It’s still pretty ambitious (for my schedule) but I do think I can reach it if I read during my breaks.
Recently, my reading (as a hobby, not as a requirement) has absolutely been hampered by the demands of law school. Goodreads tells me that I read 31,000 pages last year but in reality, I must have read thousands more than that in law books and cases. This year, I’m kind of changing my goals to reflect that.
The new year brings in my second semester in law school and after the summer break, I’ll begin my second year. While I have less courses than last year, the ones I have to take are more difficult and will only become more difficult. So that I don’t have to give up on my hobby, I’m setting the following goals for myself.
1. Read Shorter Books
I think it’s funny in a way that I started this blog reading big fantasy tomes. At some point, I got kind of tired of them and I think it’ll be better for me to read shorter works. I even dropped Deadhouse Gates (or rather, put it on hold) at around the 550 page mark. Longer books no longer really do it for me because looking at them inevitably only brings guilt and shame at not reading law books and cases. Meanwhile, I can finish a 150 page to 300 page book in the time I carved out for myself before bedtime. Or even a book less than 400 pages within two to three days. Will I exclusively read books with short wordcounts? Of course not. They are just the better fit for me at the moment.
2. Read More Classics
Why does it seem like I make this a goal every year and almost always fail to achieve it? In 2020, I want to challenge myself and read more classic books, preferably in the vein of those I already enjoyed although I am willing to broaden my horizons. This means I won’t just read genre classics, which is very tempting to do, but also more literary books. A big plus is that a lot of them are short and easy to read in a day or two.
3. Diversify My Reading (more)
Last year, I also set this as a goal and I do think I was able to somewhat succeed but not really to the level I’d hoped. Most of what I read were still Sci-Fi and Fantasy although I managed to read more contemporary books, some mystery books, a few thrillers, and some romance. I want to achieve a good mix of the books I’m reading this year although I do think I’ll have more SFF books than others there still.
4. Read More Quality Books
I read so many books last year and honestly, most of them were pretty forgettable. I wouldn’t say life is too short but time is too limited to read books I’d forget the next day. They’re fun for a lazy afternoon but not when you start to realize you like something with a little more substance. With that in mind, I’d probably start reading more reviews before I pick up a book and maybe not request arcs anymore- unless it’s from authors I already trust. I’d like to be significantly pickier about the books I read because although I enjoyed most books I read when I first read them, they really aren’t anything special.
5. Challenge Myself
Okay, this last one is a pretty weird goal to set while in law school but I thought, might as well. Previously, I only read books I think I’d like and as I said in the previous number, a lot of them were forgettable. Reading for fun is nice and all, but at some point, I realized that I wanted to be challenged and read something that may be difficult at first, but prove to be rewarding (just like law school, I hope).
What do I mean by challenging myself? Maybe books that are more experimental or with more difficult prose or maybe they have themes, subtext, and layers to unpack. Either way, I do have a clear idea of what kind of books I want to read. Again, odd goal but I was reminded of advice I’d received once not to “dumb down” my reading. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with something fun but I do think about that a lot and how my tastes are starting to change.
So that’s it for my reading goals of 2020! This year, I want to read less books, but with more quality. What are your reading goals of 2020?