I did the “best nine”-thing last week; my nine most liked posts on Instagram. Four of them were poetry, something I’m happy about. Having already discussed my fave reads of the year it’s time to look onwards. TBR is bookstagram-speak for “To be read”. And it is high time to think about what to read in 2018.
I don’t do “reading goals”; for me it’s counterproductive. I have in the past but it is a stress I don’t need so I gave it up. A few reading challenges? A reading ambition or focus? Much more my thing.
For 2017 my reading challenge ended up being Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. I toyed with the idea for a while, and a few other big books was in the running but that’s what I ended up tackling. For 2018 I don’t know yet what it will be, it depends where the mood takes me, and frankly what books I find under the Christmas tree. Undoubtedly it will to some degree be decided by what others do and what I end up reading otherwise.
I started 2017 with a very small stack of unread books, and those in that pile were very much bought late in December with the intention of reading in the year to come. This year the stack is big, and I have no idea where they all came from (publishers? gifts? bought randomly at the second-hand bookshop?). It’s thirty something books, some of which are huge, and I don’t stress it. Some really good books that I’m excited to read no doubt. It is what it is.
I’m one of the most prolific readers I know, partly because I listen to my reading mood and I’m consistent. My reading time is on the train which means I read 50-70 pages a day and man, it adds up. If I have time I also read a bit at home. I’ll get around to reading these books, someday, if they continue to feel relevant. I cherish the day when I learned to give up on books I don’t enjoy. Which doesn’t happen so often anymore, I’ve decidedly gotten better at choosing books. That doesn’t mean I “like” all the books I read; that has to be noted here, some books are a challenge in the way they are written, the topic, unlikeable characters etc. and (I’m flogging dead horse here) but I think there is a worth it reading books that take you outside of your comfort zone, and try to do so from time to time. Even if I don’t like something, I can still enjoy it. I’m perfectly capable of having two thoughts in my head at the same time, and so are most people if they apply themselves and try to be open-minded.
Regarding the reading focus, the ambition, I’m gonna continue down the poetry-path. It has made my life better for sure, and it’s such a ritual now that I’d feel a bit lost without a poem every day. However I will try to read more in Swedish; either Swedish poets or translated into Swedish from languages that are not English.
What are your reading ambitions for 2018?