Another year starts, and we’re all encouraged to plan ahead… Well, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I don’t have targets. I don’t set challenges.
What I have instead are goals: something to generally aim for but no pressure other than satisfaction at reaching them or even making the initial effort.
A better metaphor might be a framework: something that provides shape but the cladding for which is more random and the amount of cover more arbitrary. Imagine a big wide open goalmouth, the posts set wide apart and the crosspiece high, the netting a patchwork of different materials and loosely spread over. It’s pleasing to get the ball in the net but, heaven forfend, I’ve never had dreams of being a Premiership player…
So, Reading Goals. (No, not Reading Gaol, that was Oscar Wilde.)
1. Goodreads Challenge
The Goodreads site invites readers to choose how many or few titles they will read over the year. In 2018 I comfortably managed a little over a book a week. I don’t see why I can’t achieve 52 this year as well!
2. Ultimate Reading Challenge
Last year’s challenge to read one book from each of 52 categories saw a total of 39 completed, so this year I’d like to complete the missing 13, maybe even before April Fools Day. We’ll see. (Or is this a foolish thought?)
3. Dewithon and March Magics
March sees two online reading events lined up. Dewithon, aka Wales Readathon, is a new venture initiated by Paula Bardell-Hedley at Book jotter.com focused on “literature by and about writers from Wales”. And hopefully Kristen Meston at webereading.com will be continuing with a possibly restructured March Magics — formerly #DWJMarch, and a celebration of the works of Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones, both of whom died during this calendar month, and who will always be remembered.
4. Witch Week
This is (as if you couldn’t guess) a week-long event spanning the tail-end of October and the start of November which was founded and imaginatively run for many years by Lory Hess at Emerald City Book Review. In 2018 Lizzie Ross and I jointly assumed the mantle, deciding that the 2019 theme will be Villains. Watch this space for the planned activities!
5. Classics Spin
I shall of course continue working my way through my list of classics this year — but the periodic Classics Spin that the Classics Club sets up will mean me reading a title that I would otherwise be reluctant to embark on.
I have a few very generalised goals, unquantified, maybe even not fully qualified, such as reading more fairytale-related books (fiction, collections, studies), reading more titles in translation (or even in the original language, maybe with a parallel translation) and reading more books from outside the Western tradition. Even if I read just one or two works from these vague categories that’d be a start!
And that’s it! Wish me success! And, of course, I wish you Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo, Bonne Anneé, Frohes neues Jahr, Buon Anno, Gott nytt År, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda…