Reading goals for 2016: 12/19/15
As the new year looms at the horizon, it's time to reflect on the course of the blog as it reflects the course of my reading and growth as a librarian. This blog has been and always will be a work in progress. The book reviews started as a way to track what I was reading with my children. Next came the reading challenges and BookCrossing: reviews as a way to prove I had read what I said I would. Then it became a way to highlight ARCs and review copies submitted by authors and publishers. Now it's more a matter of curation, exploration, and research.
Goal #1: Stay more current
Although I'm aware of new books that are published throughout the year, I'm terrible at keeping up. Even if I buy them brand new, I'm always three to six months behind in reading them. Add in the lag time for writing and posting reviews, and I'm often looking at October or November before I get my first book review up for the current year.
While I see the curation process as being a long tail one, with lots of "back catalog" material, I would like to participate more in the year's excitement. To help with the process, I hope to read one newly published book a week, or a minimum of 52 books in the year. I would also like to get all of those books reviewed within the same year, meaning that 1/7 of next years reviews would be of books published in 2016. In comparison, this year I've only managed to post 17 reviews from the 70 I've managed to read.
Goal #2: Read a more diverse selection of Canadian literature and nonfiction
The reading challenge I've stuck with is the Canadian Book Challenge run by John Mutford. I tend to stick to my favorite authors. I feel like I'm consistently reskimming the surface like a Zamboni. I need to actively seek out a wider variety of authors and subjects.
Goal #3: Read a more diverse selection of American literature and nonfiction
Same goal as above, just from my own country. As a book reviewer and librarian I want to be able to recommend good books by a diverse range of authors. This is something I've been working for the life of the blog but in the recent years of the the We Need Diverse Books campaign, it is even more important to be dedicated to highlighting the diversity available while continuing to encourage greater representation.
Goal #4: Read more ebooks.
Print is not dead. Print is not dying. Ebooks though have found their way into my life through three main ways: earlier books in a series long since weeded from the library, Google Book scans of some of the earliest road trip books for my research, and spur of the moment experimental reading.
Goal #5 Read more of the older books on my shelves at home and cull my collection.
I'm not a very sentimental reader. I don't hold on to my books after I'm done but I do buy them faster than I read them. I have about a three year's worth of reading on hand that slowly churns as I read and cull and purchase anew. I'd to get that working to be read collection down to more like one or two years. I live in a small place with three other voracious readers.
Reading vs reviewing
What I read and what I review aren't a one to one relationship. I do pre-write my reviews and post them by themes of my own devising. Not every book that I read as a part of these reading goals will be part of my 2016 reviews. You might seem them mentioned or quoted or otherwise live blogged on Tumblr, but not final reviews for each and every book.
I also want to shorten the length of times reviews linger on my computer. I have a bunch of really old ones that I need to get published. These might end up going on Tumblr directly. Who I was and where I was when I wrote them isn't who I am and where I am now. I won't, mass spam the blog though with them as that would go completely in the face of goal number one, namely, staying more current.