Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reading Goals for 2014

Time to look forward. What do I I want to read in 2014?

Every month:
1) Two or more good, constructive Christian books. 
This is the most important goal: to find books that nourish my soul and spirit. These can be biographies or books focused on a specific theme or issue.
On my TBR list for this category, for example: Brother Yun's Living Water, Nick Vujicic's Unstoppable, Ann Voskamp's A Thousand Gifts.

2) Two or more books to learn about specific topics.
This category will obviously be mostly non-fiction. I don't have many topics in mind yet, but interests have a way of coming up through book recommendations and conversations, blog posts and news articles. Often, books lead me to other books...
Right now, I'm in the middle of Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn.

3) At least one book just for fun.
My "just for fun" can just as easily be nonfiction as fiction. Some of my favourite relaxing reads are travel stories and memoirs, for example books about moving to a new country and coping with the culture shocks, or food-related memoirs (think Julia Child in Paris etc.). 

Other overall goals:
4) Find new books for my son to read.
The rate he goes through books at the moment, he'll need plenty of new suggestions. A lot has been published since I was his age, and, besides, his interests are quite a bit different than mine. (At his age, I went through all the horse stories I found at the library...)

5) Read books we already own, not just books from the library.
We have plenty of books I haven't read yet.  My husband and I are both bookworms, and we also tend to give books as gifts. Some of the books on my TBR list are actually still in my husband's reading pile. (He likes to have many books going at the same time.) The downside of giving my husband books I want to read myself, too, is that I'll have to wait even longer than in the library queue. On the other hand: If I buy the books in good time, I can read them myself before I give them to him. :)

6) Read the Bible every day. (At least a chapter or two.)

I have deliberately made these goals fairly easy. Five books a month or more, but more focused on content than numbers.

Perhaps my overall goals also agree somewhat with Mr Darcy's definition of a truly accomplished woman: "...she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." (Pride and Prejudice, ch. 8)

Though I must also acknowledge that the improvement of my mind, soul and spirit is not so much a question of what I read but of how I grow closer to God. That's why I'm looking for the kind of books that help me walk with and toward God, not away from Him.

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