I am a reader. I do it on purpose and with pleasure. I am a really slow reader so I never seem to finish enough books, but I know that even if I were a speed reader I would still not be able to finish my to be read list. I have tried speed reading books and classes to help me get through more books. They may succeed at getting more words per minute into my brain, but I don’t enjoy reading as much when I am powering through line after line, word after word. I need a reading plan for 2020.
Instead of reading faster, I am going to try being more disciplined and more strategic in 2020. By disciplined, I mean that I am going to choose to listen to a book instead of a podcast and I am going to have a book on my kindle to read while I wait in line or for an appointment, instead of the mindless scroll or meaningless match-three games. By strategic I am going to add a section to my planner outlining what I plan to read this week so that I stay on track with a daily reminder sitting right there in my open planner on the counter
I have four basic categories or modalities for reading, printed books (I love the feel of a real book), audiobooks, kindle books (considered mostly for convenience and cost) and finally the read-alouds I do with and for my kids. So I am going to be better at keeping track of each category, planning, and list-making so that I always know what I am reading next.
Reading Plan Rules
I made similar goals last year along with a plan to keep a book journal and never recorded a single thought. Let’s be honest about what happened in June of last year. One phone call changed everything and doubled my children. So I will give myself a pass on the small number of books I read last year and on the fact that I recorded zero thoughts on what I was reading. This year will be better. Not that I will have more time, but that I will manage what time I do have better and I will set realistic expectations for myself. So here is my list of do’s to read more this year:
- Have a book going in each modality at all times.
- Try to finish one book in each modality each month. That is 48 books for next year. But I will be happy if half that number (or more) is made up of picture and chapter books I read aloud to my kids. That is the season I am in and will embrace it happily.
- I want to track all my books and write at least a sentence on each one. I really enjoy tracking my books on GoodReads. I am not so great at keeping up with the read-aloud category on GoodReads. I also need to stay current with updating my lists, instead of trying to add them all at once at the end of the year.
- I want to read the books I already own. I bought a lot of books that I never got to last year. So if it’s not a book club read I am not buying it. That is a bold statement for a book hoarder and it might be the weak link in the declarative chain. Probably, I won’t buy it.
- Make a really good list of the books I want to read this year.
What about Bible Reading
A large part of my reading life is reading my Bible. I wrote about how I changed the way I read the Bible here. Well, this year I am giving myself permission to change things up again. I am going to continue reading the New Living Translation but I am taking a break from the chronological reading and jumping up to the Gospels. I was just getting stuck in Ezekiel and not looking forward to moving through the rest of the prophets. Now that I have a new Bible and started the New Testament I know what was wrong. I was just missing Jesus. I am reading Jesus’ words, thinking about how He lived and I am looking forward to reading my Bible again. Also, I got a large print NLT and am love, love, loving it! It is hard to get old, but the large print makes it easier.
Here is my list:
Category #1 – What our book club is reading:
February- This Is My God by Herman Wouk
March- Andy Catlett by Wendel Berry
April- Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
May- Four Seasons In Rome by Anthony Doerr
July and August- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
September- Beloved by Toni Morrison
October- 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
November- The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson
Other books I want to read in community:
to read with Ed – Going Deeper by Leo Severino
to read with my teen girls – The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner
to read with my movie class – Movies are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longing by Josh Larsen
Category #2 – Books I already own
The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham
A Well Read Woman: The Life, Loves and Legace of Ruth Rappaport by Kate Stewart
The Blue Castle by Lucy Maude Montgomery
Shane by Jack Schaefer
Finish David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman
Atomic Habits by James Clear
On my shelves
Dear to my Heart by Sterling North
100-year-old-man-who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared By Johan Johansson
The Universe Next Door By James W. Sire
Chance or The Dance By Thomas Howard
Crossing The Post Modern Divide by Albert Borgmann
In Defense of Sanity by GK Chesterton
The Monsters and the Critics by JRR Tolkien
The Art of Making Sense by Andrew Klavan
Another Kingdom part 3 By Andrew Klavan
Deep Work by Cal Newport
It is a long list. I have never started my year with a list of books I already own. I am always collecting new books that I don’t have time to read. Let’s see if I am able to power through more pages with a plan and spend less money on books by reading what is already on my shelf. Follow me on Social media to see my thoughts on these titles as I finish them.
What is your plan for the year? How are you planning to get through your stacks of books?