Friday, April 16, 2021

2021 Reading Plans: First-Quarter Check-In

Three months of the year have already passed, so I wanted to take some time to see how things are going with my reading plans so far. First I'll take a look at my reading goals.

Goal #1: Stop tracking picture books and board books.
This is going fairly well, although I think I will go back to posting about brand-new picture books on Goodreads and just not put in a date, because otherwise I am having trouble keeping track of what I have and haven't reviewed, which makes it harder to submit feedback to publishers on time. But for other books that my kids read and that I read to them, I've just been making notes in my homeschool blog posts and that's working great.  

Goal #2: Read exactly 200 books, and no more.
Because I gave up audiobooks for Lent, I started April behind schedule, and as I'm writing this, I'm 6 books behind schedule on Goodreads. Since I tend to read a bit more in the summer, I imagine I will pick up this slack at some point well before the end of the year, so I'm not going to adjust my goal/limit of 200 books at this point. If things change by mid-year, I'll revisit the number then.

Goal #3: Read 50 e-books.
I have read 16 e-books so far. Considering I need to have read 25 by the end of June to be on track, it seems like I might even be a bit ahead right now. Reading three a month for the next three months seems doable. 

Goal #4: Cut back on audiobooks.
At this point last year, I had already listened to 24 audiobooks. This year, I've only listened to 15 so far. I've been able to get more into a few podcasts and sometimes watch shows on Hulu at night instead of always listening to books, so this level of cutting back seems just about right. 

Goal #5: Keep up with Goodreads reviews.
This went well in January and February, but I didn't write any of my March reviews until after the month ended. In this next quarter, I want to be more intentional about reviewing as I finish reading each book.

Goal #6: Write down more quotes from books.
I have been doing this with some books and not others. I'm fine right now with not being that stringent with this particular goal. 

Goal #7: Host a read-a-thon.
I actually forgot I had included this goal. I still want to do it, but as I said in my original reading plans post, it will be most likely be in the second half of the year.

Goal #8: Read the Bible in a year.
This is going so well. I am loving The Bible in a Year podcast and the most I have ever fallen behind so far is two days. I'm so thankful for Father Mike Schmitz. I would never have made it this far trying to read on my own.

Goal #9: Fill in Literary Listopia journal.
I haven't done much of this yet, but it seems like summer might be a good time to catch up on it.

Goal #10: Write 1200 words per week. 
This started out bad and got worse. Writing every day doesn't work for me, and apparently writing every week also really doesn't work for me. I probably should have either set a goal to do NaNoWriMo again, or to revise last year's NaNoWriMo novel. Or maybe I should decide it's time to give up on writing fiction. Either way, this goal is on hold at the moment, and I'm still thinking about how I might change it. 

As for my two challenges, The Unread Shelf Project and the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge, things are going very well. 

For my Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge, I chose 12 prompts, and decided to read 3 titles for each. As of today, I have read 22 of 36 books. 

I've completed five prompts: 

  • Three Newbery Award winners (When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller, Sounder by William Armstrong, The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois)  
  • Three books by the same author (The Late Show by Michael Connelly, The Black Echo by Michael Connelly, Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly)
  • Three Catholic nonfiction books (Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo, Be Bold in the Broken by Mary Lenaburg, Motherhood Redeemed by Kimberly Cook) 
  • Three general nonfiction books (Romance is My Day Job by Patience Bloom, Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West, And Then They Stopped Talking to Me by Judith Warren) 
  • Three books published in 2021 (Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt,  Treasures: Visible and Invisible by Catholic Teen Books, Sunshine by Marion Dane Bauer) 

These prompts are in progress: 

  • Three books that are the last/most recent in a series (The Love of Friends by Nancy Bond, The Heart of the Family by Elizabeth Goudge) 
  • Three books of more than 500 pages (Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy)
  • Three books under 200 pages (Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather)
  • Three books about books or reading (How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster)
  • Three books about writing (The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr) 
  • Three re-reads (Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien) 

And this is the only prompt where I haven't made any progress, because every audiobook I've listened to so far has had a different narrator: 

  • Three audiobooks with the same narrator 

For the Unread Shelf Project, I have read one book for each monthly prompt so far: 

  • A book with high expectations (January): Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt
  • A book you got for free (February): Treasures: Visible and Invisible by Catholic Teen Books
  • A book you bought on a trip (March): In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 
I've read 13 books from my own shelves so far this year.

So that's where things stand for now. I'll check in again at the end of June! 

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