Thursday, December 29, 2011

On 2012 Goals and Resolutions

Here's how I generally handle goal-setting and resolutions: I get super excited about something, usually due to outside influence (hellllooo peer pressure, I haz susceptibility). I set goals! I write them down! I put them places where I can see them! I then proceed to completely ignore aforementioned goals and forget they even exist because in the end, I'm going to do whatever the hell I please.

This is not to say I'm against living (reading, blogging) with intention. Looking back on your year and making sure you're on the path you want? Good idea. Planning ahead to make sure you continue on that path? Also good idea. Micromanaging that planning into I WILL READ X NUMBER OF BOOKS and they will all be by authors who were BORN ON A FULL MOON type stuff...doesn't work for me, though it seems to work for a lot of people. This is why I sign up for a million and seven challenges in December, only to forget they were A Thing come January 2.

So, with these personality foibles in mind, I've decided to set resolutions/goals/whatevers based on things that have actually been bugging me or that persistently have come up in 2011. They are as follows:

1. Figure out what to do with thoughts on contemporary literature. Based on my stats for this year, I actually read about half contemporary literature and half classics. I've just been throwing my reviews of the modern stuff up on Goodreads, but I feel like that's kind of the slacker way out. But I don't know if I have the steam to start a whole new blog in addition to this one. I dunno. *CLUTCHES PEARLS*

2. Read The Iliad. For reals, I'm doing this, starting January 4th. The Classics and the Western Canon Goodreads group is doing a discussion-readalong-thingy. The pace is nice- only two books a week- and the discussion over there is always fascinating. JOIN US. *sloshes Kool-Aid on your head*

3. Be more willing to DNF. I've started to master this in December. Since I started working at a bookstore and have access to all these ARCs, I have abandoned page-number rules and just give up when I start getting bored.

4. Let the haters hate. With an internet presence comes criticism. I'm just going to stop trying to answer all of it. There's a line between having a conversation and feeding the trolls. I think I found it this year, and I'm going to solidify it in cement.

I love this guy.

5. Continue the Summer of Rereading. I spent a lot of this summer revisiting classics that I Say I Love But Don't Actually Remember Anything About (including Anna Karenina, 100 Years of Solitude, The Great Gatsby, etc..). It was one of my favorite reading times of the year. I'm going to do it again.

Have you set reading goals for 2012? I would also like to participate in more events on other blogs, including Dewey's readathon, but I can't plan that far ahead. Tell me your goals so I can steal them.


  1. LET THE HATERS HATE. Totes, man. Especially those with no sense of humor, because they need to LEARN by not being responded to (even though it probably just makes them feel smug and oddly justified -- DAMN YOU HATERS).

    Also, I find this vagueness of goals hilarious because I literally JUST finished a spreadsheet for 2012 of which books I'm going to read in which months. Which I've never done before and probably will fail at accomplishing BUT making the spreadsheet was fun.

  2. I'm just like you - I set goals, and promptly forget about them (on purpose, which really just amounts to ignoring them) and then read whatever the hell I want. But this year is balance for me: I want to try to balance books read for review with those read for pleasure, and balance fiction & non, modern & classics, etc. I haven't set any number goals or specific definitions of "balance" though, so I can make up the rules as I go!

  3. Thanks for mentioning the group read on Goodreads. I started the Iliad last year and stopped because things got crazy. I'd love to start again, and I love the idea of following along with the discussion also.

    I don't have any specific goals for reading. I find it works better when I don't force myself into reading anything. I just read as the mood strikes. I've only joined TBR list challenges to encourage myself to get to some of the books that have been hanging around on the shelves the longest.

  4. When it comes top signing up for challenges, I seek out ones that mesh with my personal plans. I'm hosting a Neil Gaiman challenge and participating in a classics challenge and reading the Outlander series.

    I do set a goal to read x number of books in a year. For the most part it does keep me motivated and it helps me give up on a book if I am not loving it. I used to hate having DNF's.

    Another major goal of mine is to read Atlas Shrugged. I've wanted to for a few years but am so intimidated by it's length and chunksters usually don't scare me.

    Good luck on your goals and happy stealing! :)

  5. I can't even keep to such basic goals as "read the five hard-copy books I have on my shelf before moving to a different country" pathetic. This is my year to pretend that reading challenges don't exist, and to work on not finishing books that make me feel like I lose a little more life with each page I turn - I love that that's a goal of yours...also, I am so, so glad (as always) to see someone not attempting to regiment her reading by author gender/place of author's birth/novel setting/etc etc etc.

  6. Reading Rambo- I want to see this spreadsheet. Seriously. Email me the spreadsheet.

    Kerry-Making up the rules as you go is the best way. My new rule for 2012 is that finishing a book= a cupcake.

    Kristi- OOOOO Yes join us! I moderated a discussion of PARADISE LOST over there awhile ago and it was so much fun. They're all genuises (genuisi?)

    Jenn- ATLAS SHRUGGED, oye. Good luck. It's actually quite a fast read despite the length, but it can be infuriating.

    Ellen-Yeah, I can't do the read x number of female vs. male, whatever, goals. I get why some people do, but I would just rebel against myself. YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME, SELF.

  7. I think you should just throw the contemporary lit thoughts in with the current stuff you've got going on here. I'd love to read your thoughts on the current stuff.

  8. I think you should just add your contemporary reviews to this blog, I for one would definitely be interested to read them.

    Happy reading in 2012!

  9. I have been toying with the idea of reading mostly Australian literature this year as there is an embarrassing gap in my bibliography, considering I am Australian.

    I am sure you will enjoy the Iliad group read. I read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with the group and it vastly enriched my reading experience. David Malouf, a respected Australian novelist, wrote Ranson, a version of part of the Iliad. Also, I think Seamus Heaney translated The Iliad? There is bound to be loads of great information in the "background information" thread.

  10. I REALLY like the idea of Summer of Re-reading. Might just bite your style on this one

  11. I usually make a long list of different things I want to do, but fail most of them. This year my only real resolutions involve making progress in getting my TBR pile down. I have a post going up in the new year with my plan, but it mostly involves using the library more for untried books and only buying the new books for series/trilogies after I have read a certain amount of books from the pile.

  12. I always enjoy mapping out next year's reads and then have fun seeing how far I veer off course throughout the year. Actually, my main goal for 2012 is to read LESS books than I did in 2011. I want to take my time and participate in more read-alongs! Plus reread my favorite classics (I will be doing Anna K. Next year). I'm really going to try to be more active on Goodreads next year -I'll have to check out your reading group...

  13. I too have a fine line for planning/organizing my reading...I like a certain amount of structure, but too much and I feel like I'm suffocating. And that line can be crossed quickly...before I realize what's happening. I'm making some plans but I'm leaving wiggle room as well...and making resolutions that matter to me and me alone :) We read because we want to, right? :)

  14. I second Sam that I'd like to see your other reviews, although maybe I already follow you in GR; I'll have to check. You could always argue that those authors are destined to become the next "dead guys" in a more inclusive sense. No? Ah well, worth a shot.

    My main reading goal for 2012 is the Around the World in 52 Books challenge I came across in GR, but I'm also doing the Orange Month in January, where you read as many Orange prize nominees or winners as you can. I always read the nominees for the Hugo, Nebula, Booker, and National Book Award, but this year I'm also paying to join the organization that will let me vote forthe Hugo.

  15. I'm thinking--but only THINKING at this point--of devoting myself to a reading diet of writers' biographies, coupled with reading a book from their canon which I'd not read previously. So far, I've got Dickens, Melville, Raymond Carver, Hawthorne, Flannery O'Connor, Edith Wharton, Nathanael West, Richard Yates and about a dozen more lined up.

    I doubt I'll follow through on this....but it's a nice thought from where I sit here in December.

  16. feel free to steal my goal: to follow 23 reading challenges! here is the list at the end of my 2011 recap:

  17. Ignore the naysayers, fer sure, eh!

    I love your reviews, although I don't always agree with you - but isn't that life? (And what difference does it make what I think?)

    As for my goals: I've tied myself into a very specific reading list for this year due to being a challenge addict and having entered - wait for it - 52 challenges. Every book I put on that list I wanted to read when I put it there, but now...what have I done to myself?

    Anyway - happy reading in 2012!

  18. I'm definitely joining The Iliad read-a-long. Thank you for mentioning it!

  19. Yes, please put your contemp reviews on here too - your readers demand it! (please)

    I love your blog! Thanks for writing!

  20. Oh, The Illiad. The first book I read for college and the first book I read for college that made me yawn. Good times.
    Anyway, I love the goals you set for yourself, including the no-goals goal. I'm the "make-lists-and-stick-to-them" kind of girl, but I do forget most of my New Year resolutions most of the time. I'm hoping to achieve them this time around.
    My main goal? To blog. Seriously. I opened my blog in January 2011 and only started posting regularly a couple months ago. And since you don't seem to have that problem you can't steal my resolution ;)

  21. Would like to see what you thought of Henrietta Lacks. I saw you gave it three stars on goodreads.

  22. Mine is to read more (which it is every year). My husband's is to stop making grunting noises when he stands up or sits down. You gotta have goals.

  23. LOVE the idea of reread summer. And I LOVE the Iliad. Enjoy your year of reading!