Thoughts on 2018’s Reading

Last year was a terrific reading year. The variety, the intensity, the pacing: all so satisfying.

My read-o-lutions for 2018 are much as they were for last year: keep on reading on.

Perhaps a little more emphasis on illustrations and translations would be good.

Series

With eight series, I either managed to complete the series or I brought it up-to-date with the latest publications. And while I did start four new series (two of them for new 2017 projects – books by Mazo de la Roche and Louise Erdrich), I am reading onwards in all of them.

Short Stories

Through the year, I read 18 collections of short stories along with some memorable singles in magazines and journals: Summer 2017Autumn 2017Winter 2017. Along with my Mavis Gallant reading, another four of her collections, I hope to read even more stories in 2018.

MustReadEverything Authors

Only 12 struck from these lists over the past year, and new titles added as well, but I did not choose those deliberately, rather, natrally, so I’m pleased with that.

This year, I will finish with both David Mitchell’s and Louise Erdrich’s books, but fortunately they are both still writing stories.

My 2018 has already gotten off to a terrific start. I’m wondering whether W.G. Sebald and Amitav Ghosh might become MRE Authors for me too.

20-Somethings and Stucks

Both longtime projects – books neglected on my shelves for more than twenty years and books which I’ve begun to read more than once but faltered with completing – saw a bit of progress (seven and eight books, respectively).

Rudyard Kipling’s Kim was on my shelves for decades. John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany was a particularly tough bookish nut to crack.

Ten, of each, could be a reasonable goal.

Better

Well, one thing I need to do better with. There is a particular stack of books in one corner of a room. I no longer recall the impetus for having sorted them into that stack. But they do not have proper shelved homes. None of them have been read: they have that in common. They need some love.

What excites you about 2018?

2018-01-17T12:42:57+00:00

28 Comments

  1. Alley January 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Ha read-o-lutions. Love this. I wish you all the luck in 2018. I believe in you. You got this

    • Buried In Print January 29, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Yup. Cuz we’re just Reading Harder all the way to the last page!

  2. The Reading Life January 25, 2018 at 3:32 am - Reply

    I have read Amitav Ghosh trilogy about the opium trade in India. I highly recommend this. I recently completed by read through of the four novels of Sebald, I read Austerlitz for the second time in November.

    • Buried In Print January 25, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

      You were part of the inspiration to read the Ghosh novels (Eva and Aarti raved about them too), Mel! And for the Sebalds as well, which sat for years on my shelf (all unread except one). Austerlitz was mesmerizing and now I am reading readying for Vertigo, reading them like bookends (latest, earliest). Have you read any of Ghosh’s other novels? They look good too.

  3. Laila@BigReadingLife January 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I’m excited in general for my reading in 2018, probably because my “goal” (read at least 12 books of my own) is so small and do-able. So far I have also made progress on one of my “do-betters”: I’ve read two short stories by Sherman Alexie so far, and Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible is linked short stories, so I’m making progress on reading more stories! Good luck with your projects and goals!

    • Buried In Print January 24, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

      Oooooo: you mean you’re actually trying that thing where you intersperse short stories here and there? I mean, other than the Strout, which is linked and intended to be read more like a novel? I think you were wise to make that your goal, especially with your sense of challenge-panic at the end of last year!

  4. jessicabookworm January 20, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

    I am just excited to see what I will read this year 😀

  5. annelogan17 January 19, 2018 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    So it’s strange but i’ve never actually ‘sorted’ my books, thus I don’t have an interesting anonymous stack like you do. But, once you do figure out what they have in common, do tell!

    • Buried In Print January 24, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Now that I’ve been staring at it more determinedly, I think there are small chunks of things in there that were once grouped. Clumps of 2 or 3 which share a backstory (finds in a library sale, etc.), but then there are several singles in-between, which is, ironically, probably what made it grow to nearly chest-height and, simultaneously, made it seem that much harder to approach.

      So – there is not any kind of order to your books? There was, once upon a time, one book, and then the collection grew, one after the next, with no thought to storage? This completely baffles me. :0

  6. iliana January 19, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    These are all great readoloutions! I didn’t do so well on reading short stories so I’d like to read more this year. Here’s to lots of great reads ahead!

    • Buried In Print January 19, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Short stories demand their own kind of reading energy, I think; it’s hard to get used to making time for them.

  7. Wendy January 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Happy January! I love this concept of read-o-lutions and it always make me happy to know that there are other readers out there that organize their stacks. The goal of 2017 was to reread some of my favourites from 30+ years ago when I first started to read. I think I might have mentioned that some of the books stood up and others I couldn’t finish (eg. Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice, House of the Spirits – Allende). And then there were others that I loved rereading such as Handmaid’s Tale and A Celibate season by Carol Sheilds (o.k this one is only 26 years old). I have 2 read-o-lutions for 2018: 1. no short story collections (they just aren’t my thing) and 2. Use the library more (Saskatchewan has an excellent library system) and this year’s reading has gotten off to an excellent start with Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto and Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From. I look forward to your posts in the coming year! happy reading!

    • Buried In Print January 19, 2018 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Hey there: I was wondering how you were doing! I think it’s funny that one of your read-o-lutions is a not-reading read-o-lution, rather than what you ARE going to read. This is actually pretty smart, as you don’t have to do anything to achieve your goal: I love it! A Celibate Season is on my list of rereading for this year too, so I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it on re-reading. So does the idea of concentrating more on the library affect how you’re selecting your books, too: is it more about browsing this year rather than working from a list (as with your re-reading)? I’m heavily dependent on my library and not concerned about adjusting the habit for as long as I’m living in a city with 100 branches and a terrific collection, providing I am also reading from my own shelves (which I used to be terrible about, but that habit has shifted nicely).

      • Wendy January 21, 2018 at 11:34 am - Reply

        I’m requesting library books from my goodreads to-read list which has over 300 titles. I don’t feel as much pressure to finish book that I’m not into when they are from the library as I would if I had purchased them. I did buy less fiction books last year but I’ve started to a trend on purchasing way too many vegan cookbooks. If I enjoy a library book then I’ll perhaps purchase it as I like the idea of supporting writers too! happy reading

        • Buried In Print January 24, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

          That must feel quite satisfying. And that’s a reasonable number, especially when, as you say, borrowing sometimes results in a “not-quite-for-me” discovery, which can send you more quickly onto the next read. I’ve borrowed several vegan cookbooks from the library too, but I don’t make the best use of them that way; cookbooks are best bought, if one can do so, and I’m sure it’s a worthy investment in the end!

  8. Naomi January 18, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Well, now I am very curious to know what is IN that particular stack in the corner… oldish? newish? biggish? hardish?

    • Buried In Print January 18, 2018 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      There are 38 of them. At the beginning of January, I resolved that I would read 500 pages of the stack this month. It seemed a small, do-able goal. But I’ve finished a few other books already this year, and nothing from that stack has even made its way out of that room yet. Poor things.

  9. Liz Dexter January 18, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply

    I read stuff or don’t read it, I’m quite firm with myself on that, and if I don’t read it, it goes. Or rather it goes onto the pile(s) to go. I am mostly excited about having a year of Iris Murdoch a month, and also that I’ve postponed reading Jerusalem by mutual consent with my husband, as he has to use up some Audible credits and my TBR is horrific. So I’m looking forward to NOT reading that this year!

    • Buried In Print January 18, 2018 at 8:47 am - Reply

      I’m moving towards that state, but only after a couple of solid “gathering” decades; it’s been a challenging transition and I suspect it’ll take another few years yet, to really get things to where I’m imagining that I’d like things to be. That Alan Moore looks so intriguing though. I’ve seen mention of it, but I’ve never actually looked at a copy; your mention, however, nudged me to check our local branch of the library, and they do have a copy, so I’ll snatch a peek at it when next I’m picking up my holds. Wouldn’t it be funny if I end up reading it, just when you’ve been celebrating that you’re not? Ah, no, I must read The Sandcastle first! See, this is how the library beckons me in. Or, was it your doing? Either way, I’m sure I’m not responsible.

      • Liz Dexter January 23, 2018 at 3:31 am - Reply

        Not my fault … hm, might be my fault. It would be v useful if you read and reviewed Jerusalem before we get to it. As my husband said, one of us is bound to hate it – but which one?

        • Buried In Print January 24, 2018 at 11:49 am - Reply

          Hah! And now that you’ve commented on its potential usefulness, you realise it would be totally and completely your fault! Today I was picking up the next in the Amitav Ghosh trilogy from the stacks, along with some holds, so I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to move from the G aisle to the M’s: you remain blame-less, officially, for now.

  10. BookerTalk January 18, 2018 at 4:32 am - Reply

    You sound like a girl on a mission! Love the labelling of the 20somethings and stucks – I’m sure I have plenty that would fall into that category 🙂 For 2018 I’m determined not to get sucked into challenges – I like the idea of them but then find they are ruling my reading too much. So I am going for a year without them – I’m calling it my year of naked reading….

    • Buried In Print January 18, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Challenges can be hard to manage when one has one’s own reading intentions, and you are often reading newer books, so you will still have plenty of points of connection with other readers, so foregoing challenges and events won’t leave you lonely. Now that more of my reading is backlisted (and sometimes a bit obscure), I find the challenges are a welcome opportunity to join in. But, yes, sometimes one needs a year of naked reading; it refreshes one for the next year of falling in love with dressing up again. 🙂

  11. A Life in Books January 18, 2018 at 3:43 am - Reply

    There’s a tone of steely determination about that last one despite the mention of love!

    • Buried In Print January 18, 2018 at 8:06 am - Reply

      You’re onto something there! I know they need love, but our relationship has become strained over the years as they’ve grown in stature and occasionally threatened to topple. 🙂

  12. whisperinggums January 18, 2018 at 3:31 am - Reply

    Love your read-olutions Buried. And I love the way you’re presented them too. I wish I had the time resources to have some MREs but I don’t, though in my head there are some Aussies I’d like to read everything of. And I too have books that have been in my shelves for more than 20 years. I think I read one of them last year, though am too lazy to check. I don’t do read-olutions, but I do want to read more of my TBR pile, read some more Aussie classics, and increase the fiction proportion from what it was last year.

    • Buried In Print January 18, 2018 at 8:05 am - Reply

      The thing with the 20-something books is that they begin to fade into the bookshelf; it’s been so long that you have NOT read them, that the idea of actually reading them does take some getting used to. Once I put them on a virtual shelf (made a list), a few years ago now, the idea of reading them became an actual goal. One year I read all the Oz books, and that was fun, but reading Rudyard Kipling’s Kim over the holidays was much less enjoyable. For me, I work best with numbers when it comes to trends in reading; whenever I say I want to do something more or less, I am meaning (in my mind) significantly more or less but, unless I track it, it turns out to be a couple of books more or less.

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