The Books Ahead

As 2011 draws to a close, I’ve been thinking about my reading goals for 2012.  Normally, I set a number of books I hope to read (this year’s number was 50) and dedicate at least 25% of my reading selections to classic literature.  I blew by 50 books in 2011 and now predict a grand total of 68.  The highest number since I started keeping track in 2008.  It really helped that I was unemployed for half the year.  Next year’s goal will remain the same as I hope to find a job again soon.

2011 also brought success of the TBR shelf variety.  I had probably 40 books or so that had sat on my shelf for years – many since before I graduated college.  Of those roughly 40 selections, I probably only have around 10 left to be read.  SCORE!  Unfortunately (or fortunately), I still have 100 books physically on my bookshelves that I’ve bought over the past 12 months that remain unread…then there are kindle books…and a new subscription to Audible, oh dear.

With all this in mind, I sat down recently to create a reading schedule.  I mapped out my selection road plan for each month which looked something like this:

4 books a month:

Litwits book club selection

A book from TIME’s 100 Best list

A childhood favorite

A random selection from my shelves/kindle

The very next day I ruined said schedule by reading The Night Circus for January’s Litwits meetup a month in advance.  I couldn’t help it – the need was too strong.  And then I realized that there was no way to stick to such a strict plan and tossed the sucker out entirely.

Now I’m left all willy-nilly to read whatever my little heart desires.  Of course, I’ll still have 11 more selections to read for the Litwits and still hope to read 12 or so titles from TIME’s list, but other than that everything is up in the air.  I thought about joining some reading challenges, but quickly became overwhelmed by the massive amount of blog challenges and dropped the notion.  I find I’m quite at peace with reading whatever strikes my fancy and look forward to what roads the new year will lead me down.

I do know that my first book will be The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht as I intend to follow along with the Huffington Post’s book club online.  And February will find my nose deeply entrenched within The Art of Fielding’s pages for the Litwits!  I also know that I’ll be rereading Emma, The Great Gatsby, Jane EyreThe Hunger Games, and The Hobbit at some point.  So despite the lack of well thought out plan, I still have much to look forward to in 2012 and hope y’all will join me on some of my adventures!

Let me know what you plan to read in the new year in the comments!  I’m going to wish everyone Happy Holidays now as I doubt I’ll be posting again before next Tuesday.  Next week I’ll be back with my views on Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell and Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

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