I don’t normally do a post like this at the end of the year, but as this is not a normal year by any means, I thought I would join in with a bit of goal setting for 2021.
I normally set a Goodreads Challenge of between 95 and 100 books per year as this is a manageable number for me. In 2020 I read 117 (at time of publication – I have one more I hope to finish tonight!), which was helped in no small part by the first lockdown. The number settled down a bit towards the end of the year as I got a new job, so had less time to read in general.
For 2021, I think I will set an even 100 books, as I feel like there will be similar restrictions on our free time as in 2020, so I should be able to manage this with no stress.
Since the year we turned 40, my friends and I have developed a challenge where we choose ten categories of books each (40 total) to expand the types of books we read. I mainly post my books for this challenge on Instagram, so do follow over there for updates on that. I’ve added a picture of the categories below, if you would like to join in – or make some suggestions!
This year, we’ve included an additional 2 categories in tribute to our dear friend Michelle, who died in August (I mean, really, fuck 2020 in the ear). She very often joined in our challenges and was with us on our last trip to YALC in 2019, so 41 and 42 are for her.
What an absolute state my Netgalley is! Back when I first joined, I went buckwild downloading books and, I’m sorry to say, not managing to fit them in to read and review.
Mid-2020 I decided I was going to clear up this shameful state of affairs and in the end I was able to read 25 books from my Netgalley shelf. I still, however, have 72 titles to read going back to 2015.
My aim with this is to read 20 books from this shelf in 2021. I will add a caveat that it has to be 20 of the books that are currently on the shelf as some of the blog tours I participate in deliver their books via Netgalley – these new 2021 titles don’t count!
Because I’m invited to participate in blog tours for such a range of amazing titles, I very often take too many and then feel overwhelmed with not having time to read them. In 2021, I’ve decided to confine myself to 4 tours per month, unless a short-notice gem that I just can’t resist comes up (there were quite a few of those in 2020!).
On that basis, I’m already quite busy with blog tours and have some booked in as far as April but some of these are for books I would’ve bought anyway, or from authors that are consistently good, so I don’t expect any disappointments on that front.
Keepers and Books to Move on
In keeping with recent years, I am being much more harsh in deciding which books are keepers, and which can be safely moved on. I still have far, FAR, too many books, so am trying to approach each paperback copy (and review copies) as books to move on which then have to be something totally outstanding to be kept.
I have had some surprises in 2020 on this score, so I’m excited to see which books make the ‘Keeper’ list next year.
During a discussion with my friend, I recounted the funny relationship I have with Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Funny in that I have bought second hand copies, and given them away multiple times in a will I/won’t I read it situation several times over the years.
Shortly after this, I saw two copies in a charity shop (two copies – no need to rub it in Book Gods!) and resolved to buy it and to read it in 2021.
If I get to this time next year and have not read it, you have my permission to remind me in the strongest of terms!
So that’s it. What are your reading intentions for 2021? Do you undertake challenges, or are you happier to just read as the mood takes you?
It just remains for me to wish you all a happy new year – I personally am tiptoeing into 2021 in a quiet manner – I don’t want to scare it after all!