As I wrote earlier this week, 2014 was a banner year for my reading life. I read more books than I have ever read in a single year and I finished one of my long-term reading objectives – to read all the plays of Shakespeare. I suck at running, but on this reading shit, I’m not too bad.
In previous years I’ve never set reading goals. I’ve just let the winds take me where they may. But this year, I thought it’d be an interesting experiment to set some parameters on my reading.
So here’s the goals:
Fifty Percent Women Writers. When I went back and looked at the books I’d read last year, I was pretty shocked to see how few were by women — it’s inexcusable to have read only three books by women.
Why did this happen?
Because I’m a dude? Because women writers are not as heavily promoted as female writers? Because some of my areas of interests (spy novels, stupid books about running) tend to have male writers? Probably all of the above. Regardless, this year, I want to do something about it.
I’m setting a quota – fifty percent of the books I read this year will be written by women. If I pay just a little more attention, this should not be very hard.
Now, if you were to look closely at my 2014 list, you’d also see African American writers, African writers, Chinese writers, LGBT writers, Indian writers, and many, many others were also under represented. I’ve thought of various ways I could rectify this – and in future years I may try — but for now, I’m starting with women.
52 Books. Part of me thinks last year’s large number of books was a bit of an aberration. I read a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays, most of which are under two hundred pages, and I read a number of dude thrillers that I could finish in a day or two. This year, I’ll likely read a number of dude thrillers; but I won’t be reading any Shakespeare (thank god).
Maybe reaching 52 books again is too lofty a goal. I’m not sure. We’re half way through January and I’ve yet to finish a book. That isn’t a good sign. Still, I’m going to give it a shot. A man’s got to have dreams, right?
Complete Basic Book Project Research. For years now I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book on this thing. If you know me in real life, you’ve probably heard me talk about it. I don’t really want to say more about it here besides noting that one of my goals for this year is to make a real dent in the research necessary to write the damn thing. It shouldn’t be a huge deal to get the background reading done. We’re only talking about a dozen or so books, it’ll be the writing that will drive me insane.