Final Reading Plans for 2013 and Bookish Dreams for 2014

ImageI’m in the final stretch of my 2013 reading year. I gave up on Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. I’ve read it before and loved it, but I found my attention wandering this time around. I shelved it and picked up The Book Thief. I freaking love The Book Thief. Yesterday I stayed home with a head cold and easily sailed through 300+ pages of this novel. I already know that I will do the Ugly Cry at the end of this novel. I’ve already had a minor breakdown once while reading this book. The writing is breathtakingly gorgeous and I either ache or loathe the characters. This is so good and I hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow.

I have several things lined up to finish before the end of the year and I know I won’t get through all of the titles I hope to read. After The Book Thief I plan on reading Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. I read Oryx and Crake nearly 10 years ago and I need to re-read it before delving into Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Next on the list is Rebecca Lee’s short story collection Bobcat, which I ILL’d from my library. Of course The Frozen Deep for Wilkie in Winter and maybe I’ll get started on The Woman in White. Oh yes, I did throw the YA novel Code Name Verity onto the pile and I decided to re-read Middlemarch, because of course I’ll have time to read a large Victorian novel while my children are home in December and I’m prepping for Christmas. A girl can dream, right?

Speaking of dreaming, I’ve been prepping and planning for next year. I love nothing more than prepping, planning, and list-making. Okay, my kids, my husband, books, and coffee… but list-making is certainly number five on my list. I’ll let you in on some of my plans.

First off I’ve developed a sort of reading schedule. See, I over estimate what I can read on the weekends and I tend to just stick to one book at a time and that eliminates me from participating in side-projects or group reads. Hence a realistic schedule that will allow me to read three different things guilt free.

Sunday:  One short story or essay. This is perfect for my busy Sundays. All the kids are home and Sam spends the afternoon doing homework at the library. I find I’m much more likely to work on projects, cleaning, baking, or playing with the kids. I don’t know why I always thought I’d be reading huge chunks on Sunday.

Monday – Friday:  Read 50 pages a day from my “main” book. Part of making my 50 page marks means that I will need to read more intentionally. I tend to wait for huge blocks of time to really sink into a book. Night falls and I crawl into bed to read and then I fall asleep less than 20 pages in. I need to carry my book with me always and embrace those tiny reading moments. That means sitting in the car and reading when I get to work early, reading at lunch, and reading when I’m nursing Persy (ahem… I need to get off my phone apps and READ).

Saturday:  Read 50-75 pages of a “project book”. I have several projects planned for next year including working through the Man Booker winners with a coworker (at the pace of six a year), The Great War Theme Read, read-alongs, and Classics Club projects like the sync reads and the classics spin. It may take me a little longer to finish my “project” books, but I won’t feel like I have to ditch my other reading plans to participate.

Another project in the works is that I am going to attempt Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Challenge; yes… the challenge I horribly fail every stinking year. It is a mere 12 books, but I give up or get distracted after three books. Usually I get distracted by book recommendations from bloggers and friends. Last month I solicited reading recommendations from friends and bloggers and assembled a list. Six books and an alternate are all ready on my shelves and six books and an alternate will need to be picked up at the library (or purchased).  I’ll go ahead and share the list now:

From my shelves:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Belinda by Fanny Burney

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris

Green Darkness by Anya Seton (alternate)

From the library:

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

More Than This by Patrick Ness

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Mariana by Monica Dickens

Westwood by Stella Gibbons (alternate)

The only other bookish project in the works involves me reclaiming the study over the holiday and turning it into a well-ordered book paradise and not the room where we stash everything we don’t want a toddler to throw or a baby to chew on.

How about you all? Let me know what bookish plans you are forming for 2014.

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11 comments

  1. 50 pages a day? I wish. I must say I admire your determination. I loved Code Name Verity and as for The Book Thief, well what can I say? I hope the movie does it justice. I’m still reading The Magic Mountain for a group and Five Days at Memorial (500 pages) so when I went to the library to collect The Guns of August for The Great War Theme Read, I saw the new Wally Lamb, also 500 pages and picked it up. Huh? At least the Tuchman was underlined throughout and I returned that. The worst thing is that I have no children and all the time in the world. It’s the internet that keeps me from reading all day and night.

  2. LOL on this…

    The only other bookish project in the works involves me reclaiming the study over the holiday and turning it into a well-ordered book paradise and not the room where we stash everything we don’t want a toddler to throw or a baby to chew on

    Our study has become a dumping ground too for all non-baby friendly stuff.

    I love how you have planned your reading for next year…very organized.

  3. I love list-making. Seriously, it’s so satisfying! All of your plans sound great. I get bogged down when I feel like I can’t participate in reading challenges because I’m already reading! So I think it’s wise to give yourself time each week for the things that are important. That way your reading becomes guilt-free, which is the best kind of reading there is. 🙂

    I’m still trying to figure things out for next year. The TBR challenge sounds like a good one!

  4. I play to keep my seasonal TBRs going. I’ve been picking 10 books per quarter from my stacks to focus on and filling in with mood books around those. It’s working so far, so why mess up a good thing? I also plan to read more diversely in 2014–more authors of color, more international reads, etc. Yay for plans!

  5. I love your plan, and I love that TBR challenge. The hardest part for me is crafting that list. My biggest goal for next year is going to be reading more from home – actually, that’s not quite it. Buying fewer books is the biggest goal. I’m reading from home now – I just can’t “get ahead” on the TBR piles because they never stop growing. I’ve been continually mulling over ideas that would motivate me to buy less next year (it’s getting to be a little obsessive), and I have vague ideas, but nothing in sharp focus yet.

    1. I keep trying to come up with plans for buying less, but — oddly enough — they lead to me buying more. I’ll say that I’m going to read 5 books from my shelves and then reward myself with more books. I’ve accepted that I will always own and buy a ton of books. I could be spending my money on high heels, or vacations, or handbags. Instead I chose to spend money on the far less expensive books. After all, I guess I want money to go to publishers and bookstores to keep them going. See… I’ve done it again. Now I want to go shopping! LOL

  6. I’m laughing with you. That is me. I’ve created monsters, though…all four of my kids asked me at different times, “Should we put more bookshelves on our Christmas list, or is that considered ‘home maintenance'”? Good problem to have, I suppose…although we’re starting to run out of walls! 🙂

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