My 2022 Reading Intentions

These are my reading intentions for 2022.

Blogging

I have always tended to think of myself as a reader who blogs rather than just a book blogger. This is partly why not every single book that I read gets a review written for it. And in the past year, there have been occasional moments when I have thought about stopping blogging. There have been various reasons for this, partly it sometimes feels like a job, where I think that reading should be a pleasure, secondly that I am not sure if I am having that much of an impact when I see others who have 10,000 plus followers on their various social media platforms. That said, I have been doing this for five years now (in April 2021 and I missed it) so I am going to keep going.

Review Copies

I am grateful for every single review copy that lands on my doormat. Thank you to all publishers and publicists that keep filling my bookshelves. I am sorry that I can never read them as quickly as I would like, hence why I have quite a big backlog. I am going to try not to ask for too many this year, partly because of space issues, but also because it is not fair on them to send me a book and I take waaaay too long to get around to reading it.

My Own Books

I have a lot of books at home and I mean a lot. Nine bookshelves in total as well as lots of Tsundoku around… I seriously need to make a list of the books that I want to read and pass on to family, friends and donate to the library and start reading them to relieve some of the pressure on my creaking bookshelves. I really need to stop buying books too, but can’t see that happening any time soon… This is something that a fellow blogger, Lisa of Owl Be Sat Reading, (https://owlbesatreading.wordpress.com/) is doing this year, Follow the hashtag #BeatTheBacklog on Twitter to

Library Books

I do have far too many library books out, and I am finding that having a full card means that you don’t get that chance to pick things up at random as there is no room. I would like to get from 100% to around 75% or ideally 50% full on my two library cards

Female and BAME Authors

I have been hovering around the 35% mark of female authors read each year and I am hoping to get to 40% this year. I am aiming to read more by BAME authors too. I have a number at home lined up, but I kept a list from the Observer that I will be picking others from.

Poetry

I didn’t manage to read twenty-four poetry books in 2021 so I am aiming to read eighteen poetry books in 2022. If I read more that will be great. I found a copy of A Poem For Every Night Of The Year in a charity shop and I am aiming to read a poem from that every day too.

Literary Awards

Last year I was a bit rubbish at reading some of the shortlisted books from my favourite prizes (again). I get too distracted by other books! Would like to have read all the books from the past three or four years on both the Stanford and the Wainwright prizesby the end of 2022.
Wainwright
Royal Society
Baillie Gifford
Arthur C Clarke
I would like to read some of the winners from other prizes too, including:
Republic Of Consciousness Prize
Rathbones Folio Prize
Women’s Prize for Fiction
Jhalak Prize
The Portico Prize

Challenges

I quite like book challenges. It is a way of finding new books that you might not have come across before to fit a particular brief. It kind of follows my philosophy of reading widely and reading deeply.

The World From My Armchair Challenge
My ongoing challenge is to read a travel book set in or that passes through every country, sea and ocean in the world. I and about a third of the way through and even though I thought I could complete it in four years, I didn’t. It is not a problem, I am going to keep going with it and if possible I’d like to read another 20 books towards it.

Nature Challenge
I recently joined a nature book group on Facebook and they are setting a challenge for 2022 to read 45 books that meet particular categories or themes! I have a spreadsheet. The scary thing was that I already have 37 books that meet the challenge

Read the Decades Challenge
This is for a group that I kind of still run on Good Reads. At the moment, I haven’t got the mental time and energy to keep it going and the other moderators have to a certain extent dropped by the wayside too. But I do set up a challenge each year for the few members that still participate. All this is, is to read a book from each decade from the 2020s going back as far as you like.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Aiming again to average at least one a month for this. Science fiction is good for expanding the mind and as Terry Pratchett says: Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.

Photobooks

I have bought an awful lot of art & photobooks in the past year (some of which are shockingly valuable) and I want to read some of these books next year. Aiming to read at least six.

Other Bookish Stuff

As I mentioned above, I have a lot of books around the house. Even though I know a lot of what I have read in the past, when I am perusing charity shops and second-hand books shops, I have been known to buy the odd duplicate. Sometimes this is deliberate, it is in better condition or signed etc, etc. Sometimes I do not realise that I already have a copy and then find the earlier purchased copy… So, what I want to do this year is to actually catalogue my books, partly so I know what I have at home, but also, I have an idle curiosity to know just how many books are sharing the house with me. Does anyone use a book cataloguing app that they can recommend?

The main way that I manage my reading is through Good Reads, but as a backup I use spreadsheets. This is mostly for security, so I don’t lose records of all that I have read and want to read. The way I have configured them means I can extract a lot more data than I get from Good Reads. At present I must have around 30 different spreadsheets that all do different things and what I want to do is start to combine them to get down to about five or so. I have always tried to keep the layouts very similar so I can cut and paste between them easily and that is another thing that needs a little bit of tinkering…

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10 Comments

  1. MarinaSofia

    Amazingly well organised! Well done. I completely agree with your policy of not reviewing every book, although in practice it does mean I sometimes leave out books that I then regret not having a record of later. (More of a record than just a star rating on Goodreads, I mean).

    • Paul

      Do you really think so? thank you, Marina. I have normally read them, but then they do not inspire me enough to leave a review…

  2. Helen Williams

    I do think about listing all my books from time to time, but then I think I’d really have to confront the amount I have! I have started getting the occasional comment from husband and daughter, so I am joining in the #beatthebacklog challenge on Twitter next year. I’m also going to try and massively reduce the number I buy (though I’ve prepared for that by buying lots in December….)

    • Paul

      I refer to my number of books as lots… Sarah has just bought me another bookcase too

  3. Annabel (AnnaBookBel)

    Some good aims there Paul – Good luck with them. I use and recommend Librarything for my catalogue – very simple to scan books in on the app, by isbn or barcode scanner – and it stores a lot of information about each one – much simpler and less faffy than Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon). My big spreadsheet is only for books read.

    • Paul

      Thank you, Annabel. I am sure I have a Library thing account.

  4. Sharon

    Not reviewing everything is a good idea, blogging shouldn’t be hard work it should be fun. I have to confess I started following you on goodreads after noticing your reviews there. Going to make a point of reading the blog as well now. Happy reading in the new year.

    • Paul

      Exactly that, Sharon. And thank you

  5. Liz Dexter

    Seconding LibraryThing, though my account is not up to date at the moment. I also keep books on there in my “read but not owned” category and a note when I pass them on, which lowers the risk of re-acquisition! And please don’t stop – I love my (few) mainly nonfiction blogs!

    • Paul

      Thank you again, Liz.

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