2022 | Thoughts On A Bookish Year

I read a ton of books in 2021, which was my goal for most of the year. When the year began, I wanted to drink books. I wanted to be surrounded by stories and ideas and characters. And that’s exactly what I achieved.

As the year went on, I began to put pressure on myself to read 3-4 books a week. I managed to do it a lot of weeks, but realized I was choosing to put off bigger books with more complicated ideas in favor of shorter and snappier ones. Around September I went on a reading detox and didn’t read anything for myself for a month or two. It was exactly what I needed at the time.

Now I’m ready to lean back into the reading world but with a different posture. This year’s goals look different than in previous years.

1. Slow down and use my book journal

In essence, one of my goals is to read fewer books. I think Amy at Hearth Ridge Reflections put it best on her YouTube channel: I’d like to go deeper this year. Dive into cultures and ideas, while taking the time to reflect on what I’m reading.

This means utilizing the reading journal I started last July but put aside in late August. Honestly, my reading journal was one of my first inklings that something wasn’t quite right in my reading life. I didn’t want to take the time to write out quotes or thoughts about what I was reading because I was too consumed by starting the next book.

I’ll share more peeks into my reading journal as time goes by. I’m not an artist and am not able to write in pretty script like many journalers, but I’m enjoying the process of setting up spreads in my own simple way. And I’m finding that taking the time to prep a spread for a book gets me more excited about diving into the story itself. I hope that continues to be the case. And if I get tired of decorating, then just a plain entry will do just as fine. I don’t want to get caught up in the reading journal the way I can get caught up in tracking stats. This is about sinking into the enjoyment of reading for the sake of it.

2. Diversity

I’d like to read more books written by authors with a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. It’s amazing to read the words of someone with a completely different life than my own and learn about what’s important in their lives, get an idea about some of the challenges, and see people around the world find joy in everyday life. And most importantly — recognizing that, just below the surface, we all have the same hopes and fears.

3. Big books

I don’t want to be afraid of picking up big, juicy books this year. I read 3-4 books that were 800+ pages last year and loved how it felt to sink into those sagas. Shorter books can be powerful and yet – there’s nothing like experiencing the centuries of family history described in The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois. And drawing out a family tree along with a map to keep track of the characters in The Arsonists’ City (see picture to the left).

So this goal means just one thing: if a book looks interesting, don’t put it aside because “it’s too long.” Go for it and take small bites if necessary.

4. Prioritize Japanese Literature

Several of my blogger friends have mentioned the Japanese Literature Challenge hosted by Dolce Bellezza, which is in its fifteenth year. I’m not sure if I’m up for a challenge, but I’m definitely interested in reading more Japanese literature. Over the past couple of years I’ve read several books that have piqued my interest in Japanese culture and am anxious for more. A quick glance at these challenge posts gave me a ton of recommendations that I’m excited to start looking for. I’d also welcome any of your recommendations, intrepid readers!

5. Louise Erdrich Along

Mary is hosting a year long Erdrich-Along in 2022 that I’m excited to participate in. I’ve read a handful of her books and am very excited to read along with the support of an impressive group of readers and bloggers. And the fact that it’s only six books over the course of the year makes the escapade feel much more manageable.

Pondering:

How to share what I’m reading? I used to write about finished books each Wednesday, but I think I’ve fallen out of that groove. Monthly? I’m trying to figure out how to bring the bookishness back into this space in ways that feel natural and pressure free. Stay tuned!


That’s it! Five goals and three of them are rooted in focusing on diversity. No number target, nothing really measurable. Just a posture. Something to lean towards. A permission to let up and sink in.

I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s posts on goals as the new year has begun and am going to enjoy following your progress in 2022. Here’s to another year filled with good books and great discussions. Stay safe and cozy!

15 thoughts on “2022 | Thoughts On A Bookish Year

Add yours

  1. I love your pressure-free and deeper dive approach. And this sentence…”Now I’m ready to lean back into the reading world but with a different posture.” And I write this after I’d gotten ‘lost’ on Goodreads — updating my profile, re-shelving books, etc. Did that rather than take a deeper dive into a blog post I’ve been pondering. It’s interesting — that temptation to quantify. I’m glad you’re giving yourself this new reading gift, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds for you in 2022. Thanks for sharing, as always.

    Like

  2. I am nodding my head to so much of this post, Katie. I get the same feeling with my participation in Read With Us led by Kym, Bonny, and Carole. The discussion with the other readers brings so much to my reading!

    I dramatically lowered my reading “goal” this year. I want the year to be full of books I enjoy and less about the number of books I have read. I am with you… a time to digest, contemplate, and stay in the book you just finished is such a lovely thing to do!

    Like

  3. I, too, love my book journal. It gives me a chance to dwell a little longer with the book, to keep an analogue record of a summary (with spoilers!) and my private thoughts.

    Don’t be caught on the word Challenge….the only “requirement” for the Japanese Literature Challenge is to read one book. If you tell me what you prefer, at least for right now, I can make some recommendations as well. Mystery? Tender? Quirky? Well, they’re all a bit quirky in their own way…😉Let me know, and do, please, join us.

    Like

  4. I had a very similar reading year in 2021 as well! I became focused on completing 100 books, so I read things that were shorter and easier, even if I didn’t like them. I want my 2022 reading year to be similar to yours, quality over quantity! There’s a place for those fun reads (FYI Anthony Horowitz had a new book out last year) but I want to get into the longer, better written, more meaningful ones. I already added The Love Songs of D.E.B. du Bois and The Arsonists’ City to my list.

    Like

  5. I love this, Katie! Erdrich is intriguing to me, too! I read one of her Children’s books last year – loved it and half of an adult book. She’s such a good writer! I’m attempting The Makioka Sisters for Japanese literature. Also my library had a Penguin Japanese short story collection that I can’t wait to see if I could read that.🥰

    Like

  6. Awesome post Katie and what a fresh approach to reading. I have found it quite interesting how people look at reading today and often wonder how many use to look at reading differently before the age of blogs, social media and more. Too much pressure for me and that takes the joy away. I personally read for the pure enjoyment of reading and truly love to explore new genres and find new to me authors. My books this year will be long and will average 500 to 800 pages. There’s nothing better than to dive into a good book, whether it’s short or long, how you feel after reading it is all that matters.

    Like

  7. I am so with you on book length and not being afraid to devote time to bigger books this year. I’m definitely anticipating reading less and that is fine with me, because I want to dive into those long classics on my Classics Club list. I’m halfway through Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell and loving it. I really enjoyed reading your post, Katie!

    Like

  8. I love the idea of letting up and sinking in. I often find myself thinking of the quantity instead of the quality of what I am reading. I can’t wait to hear about your reading this year. It also makes me want to dive into deeper reading. Thank you.

    Like

  9. Sinking in sounds great to me! I don’t set goals for reading…I’m always reading something whether it be long or short, fiction or non-fiction, poetry or scientific. I enjoy mixing it up. I track what I read in a small journal but it is just for curiosity sake…and nothing fancy. I rate the books I read (5 stars or less) and generally put the date I finished a book. That’s it. Easy peasy, and that works for me.

    Like

  10. I still haven’t decided on how to do my reading journal yet. *sigh* For now, I am typing up my notes and thoughts on the books I’m reading and hopefully will land on what I want to do for my reading journal soon! LOL

    Like

  11. Books books books and books! I so get this – I want to read all the books now, but then when I push myself, I lose the joy of just falling into the story and I get irritated. I do love January’s fresh new enthusiasm but I need to be careful that I don’t pressure myself. Have a super reading-full year of your own design!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: