Starting to Compile my Goals for 2018 Reading.

I have a Kindle and I also read on my Overdrive app on my phone (Overdrive in Canada does not loan Kindle books). I also do occasionally borrow physical copies if I can’t afford or can’t borrow the e-book.  But my Kindle is where the love remains, mostly.

While I do have a goal of “Number of Books” to read, I’ve also decided to create topical goals to keep me interested.

  • Read a Book or Series Recommended to me by my In-laws.   They have good taste in literature and I’ve rarely been disappointed reading something they’ve put on my radar. This year it is the Gamache Series by Louise Penny. My husband has been reading aloud and I’ve been reading along with him on my Kindle.
  • Read at Least 2 new (to me) Public Domain Reads from Project Gutenberg.  I have already read a great many classics and have favorites. However there is always more to discover in literature that has stood the test of time and become “classic”.
  • Read a Book that Appears to Sympathize with a Concept I Disagree with.  The title “Adultery” by Paulo Coelho. I noticed a comment by someone who is currently reading it that says it looks like the author is making excuses for reasons why people commit adultery.
  • Read a Cozy Mystery Series in order.  My current choice, subject to change, is the Savannah Reid series by G.A. McKevett.  Even if I don’t finish all of the books, I want to read them in order.
  • Re-read one Old Favorite.  This will be the least difficult goal to accomplish. I mostly reread so this is not really a challenge, but a no-brainer.
  • Read 2 or more Young Adult novels.  I like young adult novels, and this will be fun. I hope I read something new that I will enjoy.
  • Read one Stephen King Novel. I’ve only ever read one novella of his. “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” (from which the 1994 movie was adapted). This is contained in his Short Story compilation “Different Seasons” I want to read a whole novel. I’m pondering the most recent one “Sleeping Beauties” that he co-wrote with his son Owen. (Again, subject to change). His genre is usually not something I am attracted to.

This is very different from last year. But last year made me realize that I needed to give myself specific goals rather than just “randomly pick whatever” (Using the “Smart Goal” way of thinking).

Books

In my year (in which I posted very little) I discovered something about my criteria for what makes me want to read a book. CONTENT RATING! Similar to how movies and TV shows are rated (on IMdb for instance). with a heads-up advisory about what you might find in it.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of support in the book world for this type of thing. Especially if you happen to be “thinking of the children”. Said concerned people are often told, “Whatever gets them reading! Why censor?”

I’ve always been puzzled at the hypocrisy about how video games get rated, Movies get rated, television shows get rated, and parents who place certain boundaries and limits on what they allow them to watch or play are applauded. To admit doing the same thing with books and people blanch and are horrified. What is so sacred about books that they get a free pass in letting certain content in?

I don’t agree (in the slightest) with banning books, but I do agree with parents and potential readers being warned of sensitive content (rape, violence, explicit sex, swearing and cursing language). As of the date of this writing, neither Goodreads, nor Amazon has such a segment where users can add such things. You have to comb through hundreds of reviews, and maybe you will find one that warns about sensitive content.

My children are all grown now, and they make their own choices about books.

My primary concern is for my own self. I’ll be reading all about a recently published book, and believing the story is right up my alley, will promptly put the book on hold at the library. Then 26 pages or so in, Person A will grab Person B’s xyz and a lot of gasping and groaning happens and continues for a dozen pages before the actual story continues.

I also don’t want to be limited to Christian literature, (I am a Christian but I don’t want to be preached at in my literature, I want morals to just be a given rather than a finger wag), baby books, YA literature (much of which also contains some sensitive scenes).

So I’ve joined some “Clean Reads” groups on Goodreads. Because it appears that I am not alone.

My tastes in what I watch and read have started to align more with my core morals. Not because I don’t believe in FUN, but because it’s a law of nature that we reflect upon and dwell on things which have entertained us and moved us, and I want to keep the clutter out of my mind, and enjoy the good things in life.

Not Really New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve started my year of dedicated reading.  I’ve been enjoying Watership Down by the late Richard Adams. This book had, until now, always eluded my TBR (“To Be Read”) list in spite of it’s standing of a well-loved classic. When the author passed away on Christmas Eve I decided to make that first on my list for 2017.

I’d never really been attracted to novels featuring talking animals. I suppose years of having A.A. Milne read to me as a child, whether or not I liked it, kind of turned me off.  As I’ve grown older I’ve been more variable in my tastes.

At Christmas I had decided to have reading goals for 2017. I had never been attracted to “read as many as you can” type of goals. It seems to me to be more of a stunt than a vehicle for genuinely enjoying literature.

So, for this goal I decided to read a vaguely unspecified number of books (For the benefit of Goodreads I said “12”) but  my goal is mostly to improve my reading habits. My previous “bad habit” was that I would start a book, and whether or not I lost interest, I’d get instantly attracted to starting a new one only a few chapters in. Thus, leading me to have a year of only partially read books.  What’s the fun in that?  I also am not someone who can focus very easily on more than one book at a time.  So this for me, is an adventure in my recreational life.

I will abandon a book, unfinished if I am not enjoying it, though.  That will be my only reason to stop.

So, I have been taking my time since January first, and am 25% of the way through Watership Down. I bought the Kindle version for $5. Which brings me to my next subject in this journal entry, one of the reasons I have chosen e-books over printed books (for the most part), the acquisition of less “stuff”. A journey towards minimalism.

This is also a year of “culling”. Again. Not really a “resolution”, but something I’ve been half-heartedly working on for a while.  Today, I managed to recycle and donate a few bags of things and it is a good feeling.  I have been leaning towards minimalism for a long time. I’ve never felt at home around a giant pile of clutter where I never really “know where it goes”, and as my children have gotten older I’ve gradually been encouraging them, too.

I came across a post in Becoming Minimalist which addresses some of the myths surrounding Minimalism. I agree with the issues raised in that post.  I have no intention of depriving our family of the things that we clearly enjoy, have actual sentimental value for, and or actually use.  But looking around I’ve seen so many items whereby just looking at them makes me exhausted. And yes, I am lazy.  Or am I? I get a lot of energy when taking care of things that mean a lot to me, my knitting, my keyboard, my guitar, but anything extra and I just want to throw it across the room.

My children have actually gone a step ahead of me in the summer. As one of my daughters was getting ready for college and embarking on a new phase of her life, it gave her a chance to reflect on which things she wanted to take with her, keep here at home, and just either pass on to someone else, or throw it out.  She set a very good example and was inspiring to me.   I am looking forward to taking more and more action in having fewer unnecessary things. so I can focus on the possessions that mean more to me.

Happy New Year!

 

My first post from the Android app.

I’m wanting to get more into two things: podcasts and reading.

What better way to re-start these two interests than by listening to a podcast about reading?

On occasion I had watched the Book Riot videos on YouTube,  and listened to some of their podcasts.  So I started up Podcast Addict on my phone (I like this app so much I ended up buying the ad-free version) and discovered that for over 20 episodes they have a newer podcast called All the Books.  The link takes you to their archive so you can download it on any device you wish.

I enjoy listening to them talk about up coming releases and ideas for my ever growing queue of TBR books.  I use my library card for both digital and physical copies. 

I also am thinking of starting a diary for my books.  Nothing fancy, just loose-leaf in a duotang, or a scribbler.  Titles will often pique my interest and then of course life will boldly interrupt my daydreams. I like to keep track of where I first heard of a book,  why I’m interested in it,  and then the results.  I do use Goodreads for the social media side of things.  But it’s good to have a place to ramble about random nothings, too.

I want to start being a better reader.  All too often I’ll get excited about a book, start it and then get distracted.  I’m excited about finding new books to read. 📚