I thought I would start the year off with planning out my reading habits for 2017. I normally write a small list in my journal of the books I want to read in the year, but this year my list is planned out in a slightly different way. Last year I made a list of 14 books but I purposefully did not complete the list. I can be a bit of a perfectionist so I made the effort not to read everything on my list so I could learn to deal with not completing a task. The list I have created this year may be slightly ambitious because I am about to enter my final semester of my undergraduate degree and (hopefully!!!) start a MA at the end of the year. However, I hope I do not tick everything off this list this year because I want to work on being less of a perfectionist.
Last year I read more poetry, memoirs, and Russian literature which I was really pleased with. I also read a lot of large books (500+ pages) which I am really proud of because the average book I would read would usually be about 280 pages. I also used audiobooks more and borrowed from the local library.
This year, along with my other goals, I want to use the university library more for pleasure read books. I wouldn’t say I am a person who buys lots of books, but I want to make sure I limit my spending when it comes to book buying. Unless it is a book I really want to own, I am going to use the library instead. Anyway, here are my reading resolutions:
1. Read three Shakespeare plays.
The last time Shakespeare play I read was The Tempest when I was in college. I did have to read it again for my first year at university, but I cheated and didn’t because I know the text backwards.
Considering I am a literature student, I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read many Shakespeare plays and I want to change that. This year I want to read one Shakespearean comedy, one tragedy, and one historical play.
2. Read five new plays.
The only play I read in 2016 was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so this year I want to try harder and read five plays. I have already read A Streetcar Named Desire this year, but I am not counting that because I want to try some plays I have not read before. If any one has any recommendations, that would be great!
3. Read 2/3 of the books I own but have not read.
Over Christmas I counted the books I own but have not read and thankfully the number wasn’t ridiculous. Since moving to university and living in a city with amazing secondhand bookshops, I have acquired quite a number of books because they are cheap so I buy them before I never see them again. There are some books on my shelf I really want to read this year, such as: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and I, Claudius by Robert Graves because I have owned those books for a couple of years and have not read them. I also own Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde which I want to finally get to this year. I have written all the books down in my notebook and hopefully I will cross a lot off this year.
4. Read a Dickens novel.
I have only read A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I really wasn’t a fan. I remember downloading Great Expectations on a reading app on my phone when I was 15 and it took me a year to read because I really did not enjoy it and I would stop reading it to do other things. I was resilient and eventually finished the novel but I decided I did not like Dickens. At the time I was new to classics and wasn’t used to the writing style of nineteenth-century novels. Now with a broader insight to literature, maybe my opinion will change. I think I might Oliver Twist or Hard Times.
5. Read more ancient classics.
I’ve wanted to do this for some time. When I was little I loved Greek mythology but over the years I have forgotten most of it. One of the first texts I read at university was Ovid’s Metamorphoses and I loved it. I want to try and read more Greek and Roman myths so I can understand references in more modern books. This goal could tie in with my aim to read more plays this year, but I do want to read a diverse range of plays and not just several from one literary movement. Again, any suggestions of what to read would be most welcome!
6. Read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
Every year since I was 15 I said I would read this book and every year I fail to do so. I will read this in 2017. This is the one goal I must complete because it has been nearly six years since I said I will read it. I read War and Peace last summer so I am hyped and I am going to do this. I’m going to find myself a copy with a readable font and a good translation and hopefully that will encourage me to finally read it.
I will stop my list there. I feel like a lot of the stuff on my list are things I should have already read so this year I want to tick some off. With saying that, I do not want to restrict myself just to this list. Last year I gained an interest in late twentieth-century American fiction so I read a lot from that time period so I strayed away from my list.
Currently I am reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and re-reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. After A Little Life I am going to concentrate on my course books and then hopefully find some time in the semester to tick off some of my reading goals!