This being January, many of my friends are making their reading goals for 2007. Often, they choose a number of books they'd like to read. Sometimes, they'll undertake a challenge -- can they read a book written by someone from every country? A book set in every one of the fifty states?
Any goal is an admirable one, especially if it's not too far-fetched.
So, without further ado, I'd like to lay out my two goals for the year.
The first is to do what I did in 2006: Read Less Crap. By crap, I mean a book I disliked so strongly, I didn't finish it. I only count the unfinished books in this category, although there are always the few that I skim, just to see if the ending is as bad as the rest of it.
In 2006, I counted 48 books as crap. In 2005, I counted 54. My choice of book must be improving, which is both good news and bad. The good is obvious. But the bad is because I have too many books here, waiting to be read. If I'm reading more to the end, I'm probably reading fewer books.
Which brings me to my second reading goal of 2007: reduce the number of books in the house. No easy feat, not when books are so easily available and so darn tantalizing.
However, one thing that'll help is that because I trade books online, instead of making a one-for-one trade, I can accumulate points for each book I send out instead. I'm planning to give some of those points away; one site will even let me donate them to book-related charities.
Another way to pare down my books is to give them away. I do a lot of this now, surprising people with something once I've finished it. I'm also planning to offer books as prizes for contests at my blog -- like the one I'm currently running, in fact.
This goal shouldn't be too hard to achieve -- assuming there aren't a lot of others who surprise me with books. Last year, there were. I even won a sweepstakes where I got about 50 books as my prize. And then there are the few books every month from people who have checked out my online wishlist and sent me a book, just as I do to others.
I'm appreciative of this; those books are on my wishlist for a pretty obvious reason. They aren't helping reduce the inventory, but they're welcome to arrive anyway.
I'll get there this year. I made a nice dent in the numbers in December, sending out many more than I received. Every time the stacks in here shrink, I feel more creativity emerge from the clutter. I can see out my windows again. If those two things aren't inspiration, I don't know what is.
Here's to a 2007 filled with great reads -- and attainable reading goals.