100 books in 2020, Big Books in 2021

My big picture reading goal in 2020 was to finally crack the 100 books in a year mark which I have been approaching for a few years. I was able to accomplish that and so look for a different approach in The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-One.

Side note: I always feel a little guilty about counting graphic novels, novellas and other forms of very short books in my books I have read count. But this is in tension with my desire to read 100 books and to track every book I have read. And to be fair, I listened to a number of audio courses which are equal to quite large books given the number of hours involved. So I will call it even.

I will admit to sometimes being put off by very large books for two reasons. 1) hard to get to 100 if you are reading large tomes 2) I struggle to stay engaged and get a lot out of large books because I don’t always have the large blocks of time required to read such books well. I started thinking about this even as I was on track to read 100 books in 2020.

But as a way to challenge myself and read some books that I have had on my TBR pile for some time and have had recommended to me multiple times, I decided to declare 2021 the year of big books.

I also want to attempt to focus on some key interest areas in my reading: classics, books on conservatism, books on writing and books on faith and/or theology.

My Everyman’s Library & Library of America Collection

Classics: This falls into two categories. One, I have a number of Library of America volumes that I want to read. Two, I want to read some classic literature that can be seen as intimidating due to their length (some of these are beautiful Everyman’s Library editions which I also want to read rather than just being neat collections on my shelves).

Conservatism: I have a pretty large library dedicated to conservative thought, philosophy and history which I have done a poor job of reading since I was in grad school. In 2021 I hope to begin rectifying this by tackling some important books in this area. Given the debate about what conservatism means in the Trump era, seems like a good time to do so.

Writing: I want to work on my writing this year and so am looking to read some books on the craft of writing. I read a couple in 2020 which I hope to review but want to keep going in 2021 with a little more intentionality.

Faith/Theology: Lastly, I have been on something of a faith journey for many years as I have reconsidered my theology and approach to Christian life. It is very much a work in progress but one I want to continue.

The beautiful Bibliotech Bible Set

I have a number of books in this category I want to read but perhaps the largest challenge I have set for myself is attempting to read my entire set of volumes of the Bible produced by Bibliotecha, I purchased it a number of years ago but have not read any of it except in a few snippets. This year I want to commit to reading it everyday. Can I actually read the entire Old and New Testaments plus Apocrypha? Who knows, but I am going to try.

So those are my reading goals for 2021. Read big, challenging books, and write about them.

What about you? Any big goals for books in 2021?

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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