It seems like a lot of book bloggers are setting goals for 2012, in many different ways. Listing just a few books that they really want to get to, aiming to read a certain number of books from the TBR shelf, hoping to get to a certain ratio of male/female, Western/Non-Western, Classic/Non-Classic or read in more genres. I have thought a lot about the goals that I want to set for my reading in 2012. In what direction do I want to take my reading? How many books do I want to read? What subjects do I want them to focus on? How many books in translation do I want to read?
And after mulling and philosophizing and sighing a great deal, I came up with the following:
I refuse to set any reading goals for myself. I said differently in my Best of 2011 post, I know. I saw my stats and was disturbed. But, you know what? I am really proud of the way I read in 2011 and I didn't ever think back over my 2010 goals and try to read according to those goals. I read what interested me and awoke a response in me and made me want to continue reading. In 2011, that was mainly women's history, with an attempt to learn more about minority women's history in America. In 2012, it may be something completely different.
As book bloggers, we put so much pressure on ourselves. We not only want to read more, we want to read more diversely, read more classics, read more globally, read in tandem, read on deadlines, read certain genres, read certain numbers. The list of goals and projects and challenges goes on and on, and people get so stressed and upset for not trying harder or pushing further or being more cognizant of books they feel they should have read, rather than enjoying the books that they did read.
I don't really want to have any part of that. If I have a goal for 2012 at all, it's to just read what I want when I want to read it, and enjoy it. I don't care if I end up reading a disproportionate number of male authors, or fantasy novels, or books set in England, or ones that were not on my TBR list. In looking over my Best of List for 2011, six of the eleven best books I read this year were impulse reads- ones that I just picked up because they appealed to me at the time, and then immediately absorbed me in their narrative. I don't think that's a coincidence. I firmly believe in the right book at the right time, and I'm going to let the literary fates have their way with me.
So I have no idea what 2012 will have in store for me, reading-wise. But I am very excited to find out where I'll go next.