In 2014, I made a lot of reading goals for myself. I challenged myself to read 600 books through the goodreads challenge (which I recently attained (over half of which are picture books)) and aimed to read many books with starred reviews or a lot of buzz as well as new books in series I’ve already started. The far majority of what I read was published in 2014 and most were children’s or teen titles.
Reading goals can be great. Having goals pushes me to read more and read wider than my usual interests. However, between reading goals and putting pressure on myself to read ALL THE BOOKS so I can be a great librarian, I often end up reading just to get through a book so I can say I read it and move on to the next. I rush rush rush through books I feel like I should be reading.
So while I think I’ll return to lofty reading goals someday, my goal for 2015 is simply this: Read whatever the hell I want. For the general population, this is pretty common. But for a librarian and book-obsessed, starred-reviews-and-awards-obsessed person, it’s hard.
Of course, there are some exceptions (such as my monthly book club book). And then there’s one REALLY BIG exception: I’m serving on the 2016 Geisel Award committee. This means throughout 2015 I will be reading many many many books written for beginning readers so I can help decide which are the most distinguished. Sure, this books are short. But I have to read them multiple times and view them from a critical lens. This is going to take up a lot of my reading time.
It is because I’m on this committee that I’m doing away with any of my regular reading goals for the year. I will be spending a lot of time on this “required” reading, so I want the rest of my reading to be completely my choice without consideration of what is popular or what is notable. My choice reading might be one book every few days or maybe just one book a month. Maybe I’ll only want to read romance or graphic novels. Maybe I’ll go stretches without reading any non-Geisel books and focus my time on binge watching TV instead.
In 2015, I’m setting aside my own expectations of what I should be reading. I’m putting away pressure to read the latest and greatest. I’m just going to read whatever I feel like reading and when I feel like reading. And I think I’m going to start with a re-read of the entire Princess Diaries series.