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.
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.
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?