2020, the longest year that ever was, is over. As the seconds counted down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, we collectively held our breath, ready to exhale and say goodbye to that strange, tumultuous year. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think 2021 is a big reset button and we’ll all be back to normal. I’m not naive, but I am sure that there’s hope on the horizon. In terms of books, I’ve thought a lot about what I want my 2021 reading goals to be.
One of the things I realised about myself last year is that it’s easy to get sucked in by the numbers. Instagram, Goodreads, page count, etc. And to be honest, numbers really aren’t my jam. I spent most of my teenage years trying to grapple with why I would need to know half the things I got taught in Maths lessons. If X = 1 then what is Y? Who knows. But I definitely don’t think the point was for you to work out your engagement levels on social media. If X = LIKES then Y is Validation? Urgh, no thanks.
The reason I read is to escape, to learn, to be moved. These are the sort of things that you can’t quantify. So, my 2021 reading goals aren’t going to be driven by numbers. I’m probably not even going to set an arbitrary reading goal on Goodreads (which, by the way, goes against every competitive bone in my body). Instead, I am going to focus on reading things that excite or interest me. The way I did when I was younger and didn’t read to tell people about it. (I realise the irony, this being a book blog, lols). And I am so ready for it!
My 2021 Reading Goals
Read new genres
Last year I dipped into a couple of genres outside of my normal comfort zone (read: women’s fiction) and absolutely loved it! I read more fantasy and historical fiction than I have in years and found them to be some of the most absorbing reads of the year. I’m keen to keep this up and explore new genres this year.
Discover new authors
Similar to the first goal, I am really looking to discover new authors and step away from the formulaic lists of what everyone tells you to read. Shall try not to cut my nose off in spite of my face though – I remember when I was younger I didn’t want to read a book about a certain young wizard because everyone else was which meant it was probably rubbish … ahem. Anyway, this year is the time for rummaging and picking up something from a different voice and perspective.
Revisit old favourites
When I was young I would reread books over and over and over. These days, I honestly can’t remember the last time I reread something. I’ve always thought ‘too many books, not enough time’ and ploughed on to the next. But not enough time for what, I ask? To revisit old friends? To bask in the warmth of a comfort read and remembering why you fell in love with a book in the first place? I think not. Top of my reread list is Little Women and Anne of Green Gables because ladies, it’s been far too long.
Finish War and Peace
Last year I started reading War and Peace as a read-along but got horribly distracted and couldn’t focus. I really want to finish it this year! It’s a tome, so it’ll take me a while, but I really think it’s something that I will feel proud of. Also, my nan always told me of how she read it whilst my uncle was a baby and it took her years of stolen time to get through it, so I’d like to read it so we can chat about it together.
Start the day reading
You’ve probably been reading about everyone’s intention setting or similar, and a lot of it seems over-complicated to me, but one thing I that resonated with me was someone who said that they think about what they could add to their morning routine that would bring joy or calmness. I thought that was such a simple and positive way of thinking about it, so I’d like to add some reading time in my mornings (perhaps instead of watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, again.)
I’d love to know if you have any 2021 reading goals as I’m sure they’re all very different – please comment as I’d love to chat about it!
Most importantly I hope 2021 brings you all health, happiness and some new books.
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I’d love to be able to read like when I was younger again, too! Though, for me, the numbers have never really added that much pressure. The biggest difference is that I’m so much more critical now that I no longer love everything I pick up… Which is kind of sad, in a way.
As for my 2021 goals, I’d love to read a few more non-British classics! I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s out there, so I really want to get a bit of an overview this year 😊
That’s such a good point about being more critical as you get older. Also, that’s a great goal, what is on your list?
I haven’t actually made a definite list – I’m such a mood reader that setting a fixed TBR can often make me less interested in reading a book 🙈 But I do want to read some of the more famous American texts this year (I still haven’t read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for example) and get to some of the great Russian classics (I’m eyeing Anna Karenina). Other than that, I think I’m going to see what I’m in the mood for and what my library has to offer 🙂