Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 -- Goals of a Bookish Nature

Amazing... it is amazing to me how being a mother has drastically changed how I view myself as a reader.  For years major life events -- both happy and sad -- have been remembered by What I Was Reading at The Time.  Now my life is so so so full and I've felt like motherhood is the one tasked that has pushed me, in a positive way, towards not defining myself by pages and words.  Books are still a very important part of my life and a passion that will never abate.  However my life is all the richer because I don't freak out if I don't read for a few days at a time or if I've taken eons of time to read a simple YA novel.  Rather than allowing my impatient and perfectionist self to push towards MORE challenges, books, pages, blog posts, events... I'm approaching my reading -- and other areas of my life -- with an eye to quality, pleasure, and experience.

2013 will be a year of big changes.  Persephone Jane will be here in February.  Sam will start college in May.  Hope will be a teenager.  Atticus is quickly moving away from being my baby to being an independent kiddo.  Work is still going on and while I really want to be the best Interlibrary Loan Specialist I can be, work is really just a paycheck.  The main challenge of this year will be money.  Two kids in daycare is scary.  Essentially Sam's entire paycheck -- save $30-$50 -- will be going towards daycare and he will be working for insurance coverage.  2013 will be a year of more thrifting, handmade gifts, and a mostly handmade/thrifted Christmas.

All this to say... I am a Reader, but I also I'm working to improve myself as a wife, mother, and friend.  I'll be revisiting my weight loss challenge while attempting to make a fully satisfying brioche.  I'll be working on learning to knit something other than a square or rectangle and finally growing a garden that functions as more than a feeder for rabbits and deer.  There are so many things going on right now and my previous single-minded focusing on reading goals is out the window.  I take great pleasure in blogging my reading goals because in a way they seem so neutral, so solid, so easy to achieve.  Either I read the book or I don't and *poof* my "stats" change. Doing something like have a productive garden is ... well... so much more subjective.  The 5 deer who hang out in my yard believe me to have a most excellent garden, but I can't really cross that off my "to do" list until I at least harvest one item for the humans in the vicinity to eat.

I cannot help but to plan and play with book lists and ideas so I've still assembled some ideas/goals for next year.  I've decided to join one challenge and then I have a few more goals.  The main difference from years past is that I've decided to attempt to read 3 books a month for a total of 36 books.  Normally I like to push myself to read 5 - 7 books a month and that truly isn't feasible.  Balance.  It is all about balancing my readerly nerd-trovert self with all the other things going on.

Enough with the blabbity blabbity... on to the goals.

Goal #1:  Read 36 books
Goal #2:  7 will be read-alongs, GoodReads group reads, and other collaborative reading projects
Goal #3:  5 books will be re-reads
Goal #4:  12 books will be library/interlibrary loan books
Goal #5:  12 books will be books I own
Goal #6:  Complete the TBR Challenge (list below)

2013 TBR Challenge:
  1. Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander (DONE! 05/13)
  2. A House and Its Head by Ivy Compton-Burnett
  3. Civil to Strangers by Barbara Pym
  4. East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Wood
  5. The Children's Book by A S Byatt
  6. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  7. Queen of Last Hopes by Susan Higginbotham
  8. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith
  9. Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
  10. Heat of Day by Elizabeth Bowen
  11. The Skin Chairs by Barbara Comyns
  12. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
  13. Green Darkness by Anya Seton (alternate)
  14. Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh (alternate)

I'll still be updating my end of the year stats, but first I'm going to do my darnedest to finish The Return of the Native prior to January 1st!


Chris Howard said...

These are fantastic goals Amanda and you sound like you're doing a really good job of making life work for you. All the best in 2013 dear!!!

Roof Beam Reader said...

Your kids names are Persephone and Atticus? That is amazing. Good luck to you with all these changes! I hope you manage to find plenty of reading time throughout the year. And I'm glad you're participating in the 2013 TBR Pile challenge. Your list looks great. I haven't read any of these books, but many are on my own "to read" lists or wish lists. The Sylvia Plath book sounds excellent, and I like Evelyn Waugh, though I haven't read Handful of Dust, yet. The Children's Book (and Babel Tower) have been on my shelves for ages - Byatt is one of the most brilliant, impressive, talented writers of our age, in my opinion - but I haven't been in the mood for many "chunksters", lately. So, there they sit. Maybe I'll read at least one of the two this year.

Good luck with the challenge! I'll definitely be back to read your thoughts on all these.

Lindsey said...

It sounds like you will have a full plate in 2013! I think the important thing is just to pay attention, since your goals and balance will change depending on the rest of life. Have a happy New Year's!

Kristen M. said...

Balance is a fantastic goal for the year. And East Lynne is a fantastic book -- you're in for a treat! Have a great year!