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Chapter 46 - My Reading Life 2024

I don't know about you, but I like to plan out my reading ahead of time. Of course new books get published all the time and I may not know about them until a few months before they come out. New books are like fishing lures to me. If the book is by an author or subject I'm interested in I will probably buy it. This, of course, makes my TBR (To Be Read) pile extremely large and, honestly, my TBR pile has really become a TBR room!

I used to make reading goals when I owned a bookstore. The more books I read, the better to talk and suggest suitable books to my customers. While I have always been a reader of many different genres, I really took this to heart before I retired. Now I find I am usually reading a nonfiction book at the same time I am reading a novel. Sometimes the two are related but not always. I also have backed off on the number of books I read each year. This is mostly because I'm doing lots of other things in retirement - traveling, writing, learning or refreshing foreign language skills, instead of reading. What I realized though is that I am enjoying books more by slowing down. Instead of my usual 100+ book consumption,

this year I have only read 73 so far and I'm not going to increase that amount by 27 by the end of the year. I have noticed though that, while I still have a large helping of new books in my reading life, I am not interspersing them with things either on my TBR pile or with classics which I'd like to read or reread.

So just trying to plan, here are my reading goals for 2024.

  1. Read classics, old or new, I've never read - one per month. This would, for me, include Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (I have a friend who swears by Edith Wharton and while I've never found her particularly interesting, it's worth a try.), David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty.

  2. Read one book on my TBR pile each month. Since there is a large stack of them I have multiple choices at any given time. In fact I might even be able to combine goals 1, 2, 3, or 4.

  3. Read one nonfiction book each month. For me that might include one on my TBR pile or potentially a new memoir, biography, or history.

  4. Read one new book a month. As so many come out each week I can't just limit myself to not reading new books.

  5. Read one book recommended by a friend each month.

  6. I belong to a book club and, I've never not read the book for the month, so that definitely has to be tucked into the mix.

  7. Last goal (and this is a biggie for many reading people) I am giving myself permission to not finish a book I'm not enjoying.

So that's it. The plan gives me up to 6 books a month which would be totally manageable for me even if I'm doing other things. I feel that I can commit to this without driving myself mad, still enjoying my reading life, and incorporating other things like travel, learning, or spending time with friends.

How about you as a reader? Do you have goals you are thinking about in 2024? Let me know!

As we will be traveling the next few weeks, this will be my last post of 2023. I hope everyone has a great holiday and a very happy start to the new year. See you in 2024!


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