Over the last few weeks and first couple of months of this year, I’ve been revising my reading plans again and again. I started simple and then perhaps naturally made my resolutions more complex as I continued. Now I’m returning to my resolution to keep it stupid simple with “no 10-point, three-parter resolutions with promises of marathons and how much mileage I’ll run, promises of challenges and how many books I’ll read and promises of living the holy life and how many times I’ll attend Mass.”
However, does keeping it stupid simple mean that I don’t plan ahead? No. I still plan, but maybe not to the extent I had been planning. A few weeks ago, I revealed my 2012 TBR (to-be-read) list. On that list, I had more than 40 books. I’ve now cut that list to a mere 14, many which I’ve downloaded on to my Nooks and a few others I have on hold at the library. The rest I’ve relegated to just my general TBR list…or as it is in GoodReads, “to-read” list.
Also in regards to challenges, on Sunday, I said I’m free to read whatever I want, any old time, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up completely on challenges. What it does mean is that I’m allowing myself to be free to revise the challenges as I see fit, just as I have done in the past with memes. With the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, for example, I’ve decided that when I do read her books, the ones I really want to read are the Hercule Poirot mysteries, so when I do pick the challenge up again from time to time, I’m going to continue reading Poirot novels from where I left off.
Another example is the Shaken, Not Stirred audiobook challenge. I am going to listen to this month’s selection of Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories and participate in the online discussion on Twitter Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. about the audio book. However, I won’t be watching the movie with the group. Part of that, I admit in this case, also has to do with poor planning on my part, in that I agreed to participate in another online event, watching Sunset Boulevard with another group at 10 p.m. Saturday night, before I realized I remembered the Shaken, Not Stirred event. The end result will be the same: freedom within the structure of the challenge, but with my own twist on the rules.
Also in the future I’m reserving the right to skip months, most likely not next month’s event since the audiobook still will be Quantum of Solace, but will be a different movie: For Your Eyes Only. That way, I can take advantage of my Audible membership and not be locked into buying only Ian Fleming audiobooks narrated by Simon Vance every month. I would like to explore the audiobook format and this will give me the opportunity to do just that.
All this to say, that my reading plans are a work in progress. Even as I’m revising to make them more simple than they were previously, I’m also conversely, perhaps ironically, making them more complex than they were previously. Such is life: a constant state of revision, where things become simple, then complex, then simple and so on and so forth. Maybe it’s only apropos that I’m discussing revising my reading life as this is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, a time to focus on revision. Of course now, if only I can turn this unwavering gaze toward other aspects of my life…
So have your reading plans been revised since the start of the year? If so, how? If not, how do you use your plans to get where you want to go?