Reading Room Goals 2021

Happy New Year folks!

I’m not among the crowd approaching 2021 with boundless optimism. I’m eagerly hoping for a bounty of blessings, the fruition of moderate dreams and the accomplishment of measured goals. You know, the typical things we contemplate as the clock strikes 12:00 between December 31 and January 1. However, since the crazy that characterized 2020 shows no signs of dissipating, my expectations are appropriate to that reality. Nevertheless, I’ve set goals relevant to this little blog, and I’ll share them with you.

2020 was not a productive reading year, as evidenced by the grand total of 17 book reviews posted for the entire 12 months. This was largely due to succumbing to the countless distractions we were all assaulted with this year. From pandemics to social unrest and election drama, I found myself spending many more hours on current events than I would typically allow. Even with the increased time at home this spring, the effort to read more deeply was short circuited.

However, I did review short stories and poetry, which is also atypical for me, and I enjoyed those a great deal. I enjoyed them so much that I look forward to exploring more of those genres in the Reading Room this year. With those retrospective thoughts, I have established some reading and blogging goals for 2021. They include both personal goals and plans to help me keep this blog consistently updated with new content. Some of the things that really worked, I’ll continue to do.

  • Read and review more books than in 2020. No matter what is happening in the broader culture, it’s no excuse to get sucked into the pixels and away from books.
  • Blog with a strict plan and categorical pattern to  stay focused and writing regularly. With exceptions for liturgical calendar breaks such as Lent and Advent, as well as family vacations, I plan to post three times a week, as follows:
  • Continue to post Word Nerd Wednesday posts, but with more regularity. As it becomes increasingly apparent that George Orwell’s 1984 with its eerie exploration of language manipulation, was more prophetic than fiction, it’s vitally important that we remember the power of words. To that end, I will strive to consistently add installments to the Word Nerd category.
  • Weekly book reviews: This is going to be a challenge for me, but one I will to rise to. Reviewing and discussing books is important in a world with an increasingly short attention span. Not all of my reviews will be of full length books, as I have really enjoyed our short story discussions this year, and the variation will keep things fresh. Also, including short stories offers greater opportunities for you all to read a story, then come back here to offer your thought.
  • Friday Favorites with a wide range of topics will be revived. The topics will vary from education to nature, food, health and everything in between. The world is filled with wonder and beauty and everything around us conspires to shield it from our view. One of my goals here is to do a little bit to push back against the beast of digital domination and cultural discontent.
  • The first half of this year will find these goals easier to meet than the latter half, and none of us knows what insanity might be awaiting us either collectively or individually, as the year unfolds. Nevertheless, without a goal and plan, it’s much easier for the time to slip away from us having accomplished nothing.

I’m also interested to know what kinds of things my readers are reading. I have a reading queue a mile long, but I’m always tweaking it, and dropping titles to the bottom of the pile as I discover more interesting reads. So feel free to offer suggestions of books I might read as you encounter them along your bibliophile path.

One of my first reading goals of this year is to settle in and finish The Brothers Karamazov.  I’ll jump right back into it; just as soon as I finish Live Not By Lies. I’m not sure I’m off the best start, but we’ll see.

Happy New Year, All!

What are your plans as the new year begins?



13 thoughts on “Reading Room Goals 2021

  1. maea says:

    Definitely more reading. That was my goal last year, but I found it hard to stick to with working from home and longer hours (unfortunately). My MIL read 40+ books last year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elspeth says:

    It might be a heavy workload, Nell. Though I suspect it’s more a matter of effective use of time. Mindful use of hours opens up a lot of things we can’t perceive when on auto pilot.

    It will be more challenging later in the year as I will be working (very, very limited hours but still work), so we’ll see how it goes.


  3. hearthie says:

    I need to spend more time on Hist Fem (I updated the trial code, Nell). I read constantly, and I have some yummalicious books on track, but I’m kinda leery of making much in the way of “goals” for 2021. 2020 kicked me right in the “hope deferred” and I’m still a bit bruised.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nellperkins says:

    My resolution is to write another book, but it’s been a year and I still haven’t even begun to so much as try to find readers for my first one, so …. It’s a lot easier to write them than to sell them, or so I hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. nellperkins says:

    The title of my first book, if the publisher will have it, if it is ever published, (AKA the working title) is The Church of Jesus Insurgent Against Every Empire. It’s a spiritual memoir of the peace movement against our 2003 invasion of Iraq and an argument as to why the paleoconservative noninterventionist peace people are right and the lefty progressive peace movement is wrong, wrong, wrong (because they are not obeying Jesus, first, last and always)..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. nellperkins says:

    It’s a typescript or whatever you call it when it’s digital. Only my old spiritual director from the Episcopal Church has read it. Not even my husband cares to read it. I tried to get our new pastor from the Anglican Church to read it, but I think he must dread to — he hasn’t at any rate and he’s had over a year. But I think being asked to read books written by crankish old women is probably an occupational hazard for preachers …

    It needs revising — most of all I think for the discussion of boycotts, which I realize now must include a discussion of cancel culture and how a righteous and reasonable boycott differs from “cancelling.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. karly says:

    Hello there! I am not sure you will remember me from earlier blogging days, but I stumbled here after going through some past emails. I am glad I did! Looking forward to following along, as I, too, allowed all that was 2020 to distract me from reading as much as I had hoped. This year, I choose to redirect my focus, lengthen my attention span, and increase my knowledge of things beyond the current culture. And, Live Not By Lies is in my reading queue as well– I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elspeth says:

    Oh, no. I remember you, Karly with the indescribable life!

    It is so good to hear from you! It’s such a joy to know long lost e-friends are still alive and well.

    Yes! Read with me. I’ll try to make it fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joy O'Toole says:

    I had a fairly good reading year in 2020 although I did way too much comfort reading. I want to read with more intention and stretch myself this year. That will be good for my job and for my mind and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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