Oh, the anticipation of a new reading year. I can't help myself, I'm going to start 2013 with a pile of books and a new reading list. Actually what's going to be significant about this year is that these aren't "new" books, and not library books, but books from my own shelves, which I hope to read over the course of the year. And I hope that the rest of the books I choose will follow suit.
So here we are in a new year, but today doesn't feel all that different than yesterday (other than reality has set in and I need to change my mindset back to work mode--I knew my break would be over in the blink of an eye). I didn't quite get though my list of last reads for 2012, but I came close. I'll tick those last few books off in the next few weeks while I begin reading all the lovely newly chosen books that now grace my night table (and sidebar).
A few plans and then the books. Although I know there are several reading challenges or dares to help readers focus on reading from their shelves, I'm not officially joining in any of them. I tend to fail miserably when I attempt most reading challenges, though it is certainly nice to have company and added inspiration when setting out to accomplish just such a bookish task. I'm just going to try and be more cognizant where the books I'm reading are coming from. I love my library immensely and will always support it (well, them--both the public library and the library where I work), but I am going to take a little break and try and look for books on my own shelves that I am always 'meaning to read', but tend to get ignored in favor of shiny new books with those meddlesome and distracting due dates.
I don't really have many other reading plans (so I say but then looking back over my post I seem to have lots of them)--other than to continue a few projects I began last year and then let them and the books guide me in my reading choices. I am, however, going to follow in Simon's footsteps and have created a Century of Books tab. To start with I am not doing anything formal to fill in the currently empty slots but will just add books randomly as I read them--one book for each year (by publishing date) from 1900-1999. I expect this will take at least two years to fill in and that's okay.
Otherwise I hope to continue reading more diaries and finally get a real start on my Penguin Great Food series of books. Molly Keane is most decidedly going to get more attention this year, and I have not forgotten about Camilla. With so much holiday and end of the year busyness I knew I couldn't give her the attention she needed, but I am looking forward to getting back to the book. There are lots of genres I want to continue exploring, but I'm going to pick them up as my mood dictates.
I am hoping to read more short stories this year--either collections or just single random stories. One a week and maybe I'll try writing about it. I'm not sure how I'll tackle that wish, but I'll see what works out easiest. It's not meant to be a chore but a pleasure. I'm hoping to keep up with my Art of the Novella and NYRB Classic subscriptions, too. Again, these are meant to be enjoyments not work.
The only thing I would like to change about my reading habits this year is to not cave in quite so easily to beginning new books when I haven't finished something already in progress (easier said than done fo rme). If a book isn't working then back onto the shelf it goes (no questions asked). Otherwise I will end up once again with a huge backlog of partially-read books that sit by my bedside and make me feel guilty for not having finished them in a timely manner.
So. More reading from my bookshelves and sticking with those books until I finish them. And for a little inspiration I've come up with a list of potential reads (I want to say I am going to read each and every book on this pile this year, but we'll see). Some of these books have been sitting on my bookshelves for a very long time indeed!
Fatherland by Robert Harris: A longstanding shelf-sitter and one that sounds really good, a reimagined outcome of WWII.
The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier: DdM's first novel.
At Weddings and Wakes by Alice McDermott: This is an ARE that I got from an independent bookstore where I worked years ago. It was published in 1992! I should say the store got the ARE (not me) and I chose it from the staff shelf to read but never got around to it.
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: My last unread novel by Sarah. She had better publish something new soon.
The Last of Summer by Kate O'Brien: A random (but very appealing-sounding) Virago from my pile.
Rosa by Jonathan Rabb: Have been meaning to read this for ages, a thriller/mystery set in WWI Berlin.
Bowen's Court & Seven Winters by Elizabeth Bowen: I'm planning on reading some of her fiction, too.
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively: I loved Oleander Jacaranda and must read more of her work. She won the Booker for this one.
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis: I need to read more history, especially American history and the Revolutionary era greatly appeals to me.
Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok: New York in the 1930s and 40s, I was just looking for a book set in this period and place, remember?
Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe by Christina Hardyment: I've owned this so long it's now out of print. It's a travel narrative, a genre I enjoy reading but have gotten away from lately.
Triangle by Katharine Weber: Had to have this when it first came out. Bought it in cloth and it still sits unread (long after the paper has been issued).
Resistance by Owen Sheers: Ditto. See above.
Oh, I'll still be reading along with other readers for certain books--I'm looking forward to this year's Literature and War Readalong and I am sure I'll occasionally read along one-on-one with other readers, too.
Any plans for your reading year or are you letting whim guide your choices?