My 2018 Reading Goals and How I'll Get There

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 Photo by Jessica Ruscello (Unsplash)

Photo by Jessica Ruscello (Unsplash)

 
Reading is important - read between the lines. Don’t swallow everything.
— Gwendolyn Brooks

This post contains affiate links. 

 

Black & Bookish is entering its 3rd year

I know, I can't believe it either! I am the queen of starting new and exciting projects, always running toward my next big thing. Imagine my surprise in seeing that this blog has become such a large part of my life and future goals.

Two years ago, I decided to read more books by Black authors. It was a way to connect with my history and be a lifeline to others who might have felt just as lost. In the past 2 years, I have met so many people who are on the same path or have a deep appreciation for this work. I am grateful and flattered that you have stuck with me and I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much this means. I didn't expect to have readers or followers. I didn't expect to be invited to review your books or come and speak at your events. I didn't have any clue this would include the Thomas House Project and I couldn't see any of those connections when I published my first post. And I have more plans in the works.

free-birthday-meals.jpg

A Lot More Plans. 

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Last year I read 53 books. Woohoo! That doesn't sound like a lot; but in the last two years, B&B has helped me read twice as many books than when I started. I've branched out and found poetry (I know!) that I love and authors that have become my favorites. 

I've read more books than I've had time to review and I'll try and spend the next few weeks(?/months?) catching you up on all the titles. Honestly, I'm still trying to catch up to 2016. I love getting out and interacting with people, but that makes it harder to come home and sit in front of my computer to write. It's a delicate balancing act- that I'm obviously losing at the moment. But we're in this together. Here are the B&B books from 2017:

Children's/Young Adult

  • We Had A Picnic This Sunday Past by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Three Witches by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson
  • Nandi's Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Akata Witch Nnedi Okorafor
  • I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
  • Firebird by Misty Copland 

Adult Fiction/Nonfiction

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor 
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Life and Times of Joseph E. Clark by Olga Fenton Mitchell
  • Daughter of Gods and Shadows by Jayde Brooks
  • Rest in Power by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin 
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
  • Courage is Contagious by Nicholas Haramis
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

2018 Reading Goals

I plan to read 100 books this year.

Yep. I'll let that sink in.

100.

Books. 

Some people read this many (and more) every year. I'm sure 15-year-old bookish Antoinette could read that many with no problem. My challenge is trying to read this many books, run all my community programs, raise my kids, clean my home, and get enough rest. I mean, as challenges go, I've got my work cut out for me. I've never made a reading goal this BIG, but I have a really good idea of how I can make this happen. 

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I Log EVERYTHING

I write everything down. From planning my next book review on Trello to logging each page I'm reading on Goodreads, keeping track of all my books help me stay on track to meet my reading goals. I have a terrible memory and being able to look back to the specific dates is like magic. I can replay how I felt about a story knowing when I read it and what I was doing during that time in my life. Sometimes through apps like Litsy or Instagram, I find that my friends are reading the same books. We can compare notes like high school English students or find inspiration to change the world. 

I've Added Shorter Books

 Astrid and Amelie Reading

Astrid and Amelie Reading

We Should All Be Feminist is a short book I like to revisit every year. It's less than 100 pages and can be read in less than a day. Novellas like Binti or short poetry collections are also ways to meet your goals. No one says you have to read tomes. Yes, it feels really good to close the book on a 500+ page read; but it's also good to read something short and sweet like Courage is Contagious

I Read a lot to my Kids

Do you mind if I fill your life with some great children's literature? I've been reading to my kids since they were born but didn't start counting those books until just last year. This year, I padded my goal number to reflect all the children's books I'd be consuming. It's still reading when I do it, so why shouldn't it count? 

I've Switch Up My Methods

I have my phone with me all the time and not always in a good way. So I started checking out ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels from the library. It's not my favorite way to read (studies say it counts) but I quickly realized I was increasing my word count. Now I usually have one of each going at the same time, to accommodate whatever situation I find myself in. Audiobooks are great for those long stints in LA traffic. Ebooks are wonderful when you have few minutes to spare while you're away from home. Hardcover and graphic novels are my favorites but the most cumbersome when I have to travel with all my other stuff. They are mostly reserved for reading at home. 

Bring on the Challenges

This is the first year that I don't plan to incorporate additional reading challenges outside of my book goal. I find that I start to overwhelm myself if I'm trying to do too many things, which include trying to win more than one book list. Past attempts have included Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge (note that even though I now work freelance through BR Media, this is not a work plug for their site), The Pop Sugar Challenge, The Free Black Women's Library, and various photo challenges throughout social media. I know, it's a lot and it got to be more than I cared to think about. This year, I'm just trying to meet my reading goal of 100 books. But I do think this is a good way to get out of your comfort zone if you're looking for a way to read something different. Remember, Black & Bookish was my own personal reading challenge and it helped me rekindle my love of reading. 

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 Library piles

Library piles

So where am I three months into the new year? 

As of this post, I have read 37 books. About 30 percent of them are written by Black authors. Most are children's books. I even flew through a graphic novel series (8 books) in about two weeks. I'm currently reading four books in various stages of completion, which includes one audiobook. You can keep track of what I'm reading on Goodreads and don't hesitate to add me as a friend. The more the merrier. 

Now it's your turn. I want to hear from you. Did you make a reading goal this year? How are you doing so far? If you're behind, don't feel bad about changing your goal to meet your lifestyle. And if you're ahead, congrats! Remember, this is all to better yourself and have some fun.

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I really want to hear from you! Let me know how your reading is going. 

Antoinette Scully Headshot by Sara MacFarland

About the Author

Black & Bookish is the brainchild of Antoinette Scully, educator and lover of all things bookish. She is on a quest to fill your bookshelves with beloved authors of the African Diaspora. When she's not hanging out online, she's living it up as the mother of two rambunctious girls and wife of a local filmmaker.