After all the enthusiastic endorsements in my earlier blog post, I set up a Goodreads account and dove right in. The only thing I’m regretting is not doing this years ago; it’s exactly what I was looking for, with the added bonus of letting me snoop on what other people are reading. (I love doing that.)
I also set myself a pretty lofty goal: 100 books in 2011. I read every single day without fail, and I’m a fast reader, so this is not an impossible goal. The trick, for me, is for it not to be 100 rereads of books I’ve read a dozen times. I’m pushing myself to read new things, to expand my reading horizons beyond the usual narrow genres I gravitate towards.
Goodreads is definitely going to help with that, since I can add things to my to-read list rather than just making a mental note of a title. (My mental notes are not very useful.) The iPhone app means I can scan a book and add it to the list, which is helpful when 90% of your books come from the library. I’ve been known to take photos of books I want to read when I’m browsing in a bookstore, but this is much more efficient.
Plus, let’s face it. Personal accountability is all well and good, but knowing that other people can see and comment on what I’m reading means I’m much more likely to work a little harder on reading more diversely. I’m not going to pretend I don’t read fluffy books sometimes, and professional interests mean I read a lot of young adult books. But sharing everything I read definitely means I’m going to aim for a slightly more intellectual selection than I might have otherwise.
So far, so good. I read 13 books in January, all but one of which were new books I hadn’t read before. Two of them were memoirs, one was straight non-fiction (something I almost never read), seven were young adult, one was pretty fluffy, and two were lengthy adult novels. It’s a pretty respectable mix, and a strong start towards 100 books. (That was intentional; January is very conducive to staying inside and reading, and I know I won’t read that much every month.)
Has anyone else set themselves a goal for reading in 2011? Did you read anything particularly good in January? My top two from those 13: Will Grayson Will Grayson, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.