Last year (2021) I ended up exceeding my reading goals, largely by reading a lot of fiction and taking some sick leave, with regards to quantity of books read. In the last few days of 2021 I realised I was going to be just short of 60,000 pages for the year. So one of my aims in 2022 is to break that 60,000 page mark. Without stressing, or trying too hard.
Over on Goodreads I’ve set the ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ of 200 books this year – which, due to working in publishing, should be doable.
That’s not the only way I want to change my reading this year, though. As I note in this post, it is very easy for me to predominantly or primarily read books by people who look like me and love/live like me. In 2021 I only read books by 12 non-white authors (some of which were edited collections, so I could make a desperate case that I read at least 30 non-white authors, but that’d miss the point) and 21 women (30 if you include husband/wife teams, and more if you play the edited collection game.
That gives the following rough stats
- Out of 200 (ish) books, just 6% were by non-white authors.
- Out of 200 (ish) books, just 10.5% were by female authors.
I think that’s quite interesting, and quite sobering, not least as only 25% of the four people in my house are men (me), and the human population is roughly 50/50 male/female. On the race and culture piece, I’m determined to platform more writers that aren’t like me – and I think a key way to do that is through reading them.
Interestingly, out of my Top 21 of 2021, 15% were by women (or a male/female duo) and 10% were by non-white people, which does perhaps show that by reading more books by folk who aren’t white men like me, I might actually read better books overall, in my subjective view.
So what are my 2022 Reading Goals?
- Read 200 books.
- At least 15% by non-white authors.
- At least 25% by female authors.
- Write and publish, on blog or elsewhere, 50 reviews, of which at least 15 should be of books not written by white men like me.
- Read more than 60,000 pages.
I’d hope to exceed the last four goals, even if only incrementally. The last two relate to my long-term goal to start a part-time PhD – which will involve reading books and writing things!
Finally, why bother writing this down? Partly because it interests me, partly because people have expressed interest, and mostly because I’d like to hold myself accountable. We shall see!