Here’s Why . . .
I noticed that each year I write goals for Grab the Lapels, and those goals aren’t well-planned. I swear to read more black women, more LGBT writers, more graphic novels, books from other continents, books about fat women, books I own, more memoirs, more short story collections. And to some extent, I achieve these goals. But I don’t really have actual numbers that I want to achieve, which I realized after reading Fiction Fan’s “New Year’s Resolutions” post. Thus, my end-of-the-year post is pretty squiffy: “I think I may have achieved some bookish-type things and reading?” That’s how I sound.
Also, I bought a lot of books in 2017. The moment I saw those books, I loved them. The problem is I feel guilty that I have other books I own and haven’t read, so I end up feeling bad about whatever I read, like I’m wasting time, money, books, life, who knows. Getting organized always helps me reduce my anxiety!
I have some vague goals for my reading:
- Keep reading fat female characters — because I want/need to.
- Read books by black women — because I love Black lit and have studied it a lot. Many books I buy are by black women!
- Read books I bought — because I have a TBR pile that’s scaring my husband.
- Have some room for flexibility — because I’m in a book club, and also because some books I need to read to help me get through a situation/emotion.
The Plan . . .
I’m actually good at sticking to plans, so here’s what’s what: my goal is to read/review one book per week. This is a reasonable goal given that I’m teaching three college courses (two of those in a correctional facility) and leading 8 capstone projects.
But I can’t read just any books.
- A book from the fat fiction list.
- The oldest book added on my Goodreads TBR shelf.
- The newest book added on my Goodreads TRB shelf.
- A random book (book club, mood fits, etc.)
I made a big spread sheet to get myself organized, meaning the books are all picked. The only rule I imposed is that I wouldn’t use any books by men that I added, and I wouldn’t use books in a series. If I did, the series would be spread out for months. All the books from Goodreads that I added were from the pile of books I own. If I’m reading the oldest and newest books I added, eventually I’m going to meet in the middle of my TBR pile!
I may also do other reviews if I end up reading more than one book per week. That often happens in the summer when I’m not as busy. But I’ll start each month with a post introducing the four books so you know what’s coming. After a poll/conversation on Twitter that I started, I decided I’ll also be adding short bookish posts about what I’m up to and your posts that made an impact on me. In addition, I want to add my thoughts about you. For instance, I was reading a Smithsonian Magazine article about Russia and wanted to tell Fiction Fan, but didn’t. Or legal issues that I want to gab with Amal about! Or some new fantasy series I’m reading and want to get Alicia’s perspective. There are just a few examples; I have so many! One post (a book review) a week suffices, but just, so I’m getting more social in 2018!