I have a confession to make. I love the thrill of a challenge. 52 Books in 52 Weeks, 43 Things, NaNoWriMo, Team in Training. I like the adrenalin of starting something new. I like the camaraderie that projects like this create.
But I have another secret for you. I'm terrible on follow through. As much as I might want to do something at the start, if the motivation to do it doesn't come from within me, I'm not going to finish.
I've noticed lately, probably because we're coming up on the start of a new year, a lot of reading challenge sign ups, both on Goodreads and various book blogs. Usually, the challenges are linked to what you're reading in some way-- read x number of YA novels, read x number of first time authors, read every book on this list of classics, etc. One of the more attractive challenges to me was about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying different styles or genres. Sometimes I wonder if my reading interests are too narrow, and think that a challenge that forces me to read something different would be good for me.
And this is where I always get hung up. I don't read because it's good for me. I read for entertainment. I read for pleasure. Reading a book I don't want to read is like forcing myself to gag down lima beans. I don't like it, and I'll avoid it whenever I can. Add that to my little quirk about not starting a new book until the last one is finished and suddenly there's a whole lot less reading in my life. Not good.
That said, I do like having reading goals. What's the difference? My goals involve the number of books I read in a year. The subject matter is totally up to the whims of the moment. And I have many reading whims.
I think I'm going to create two goals for myself this year. The first goal is to reach 500 in my little red book. (I'll talk more about that in a future post.) My other goal is to read down some of the massive TBR list waiting for me on my Kindle and Pocket. I may even go so far as to say no buying books for a certain length of time or until I've read a certain number of books in my backlog. I'm not certain about that part yet. A no buying policy could lead to another book binge in the week between Christmas and New Year's, especially if there are any good coupon deals.
So, that's my tentative reading plan for 2011. What's yours? Have you thought about it at all, or is everyone just trying to hang on until Christmas?