Happy New Years to all.
It’s January 4th and the first working day for many in the good old République d’Irlande so, naturally, I’m thinking about “goals” and specifically for this post, reading goals…
Normally, I use Goodreads to track my books however I find it invigorates a rat race of ‘HOW MANY BOOKS CAN I CRAM INTO MY EYES!!’ rather than cultivate an ongoing love affair with reading.
And that’s really how I feel about reading. I love it. It relaxes me by taking me outside of myself. And, as a writer, I try to read words in the manner Terry Pratchett suggests – like a carpenter eyeing up trees.
Having a goal of 100 books, for a slow reader like myself, completely demotivates me and takes the fun out of reading. So how to read a lot and read meaningfully?
This year I decided alongside an arbitrary goal of 12 books on my Goodreads, to have a couple of supplementary goals. These are:
- Read the full work* of a chosen author (*or as much as I can. read: slow reader)
- Read a short story every day
Now I’m terrible with reading every day. Some days I only read for ten minutes and others for hours. So I imagine this will be more of a A Story For Every Day rather than a story a day, if that makes sense. Basically, by the year’s end I should have 365 stories read.
This is a practice very much inspired by Matt Bell; his reading habits and monthly newsletter were really big inspirations and sources of light to me in 2020.
The author I’ve chosen to read all of is Brian Evenson. He’s a writer I’ve really admired and tried to emulate ever since I read Fugue State while hitchhiking around New Zealand several years ago. He’s dark and horrific while also being really funny and tender. I love his work.
Last year I even attended a short class he did on opening sentences and afterwards he even critiqued one of my stories and turned me onto the writing of Anthony Michael Hurley (The Loney was a firm favourite from last year).
Evenson does have quite a few books, though, and I’m debating whether I should include his work as B.K. Evenson. Since one of the works is co-written with Rob Zombie, I’m leaning towards a strong yes.
Hope you have a great year of reading ahead whatever your ‘goal’ is.
Do you have any reading goals for 2021?