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Susan ([personal profile] spindizzy) wrote in [community profile] ladybusiness2017-08-04 07:55 pm

Eight Book Minimum: Goooooal(s)!

Hello hello! We're halfway through the year, I've been reading up a storm, and I promised [twitter.com profile] readingtheend that I would revisit my reading goals around this time of year to check that they were still feasible and I still want to do them.

As a reminder, my goals were:

  • Read 150 books, of which 50 have to be prose

  • Read stories by 75 new-to-me female authors

  • #getouttamydamnhouse: stop having 90 library books in your house, Susan, what are you doing

  • #unofficialqueerasfuckbookclub: Have more than 25% of my reading focus on queer stories

I'll be going from the full figures that I've been tracking, which is different from what's on the end of my last Eight Book Minimum post, and different from what's in my GoodReads challenge because that tracks rereads, which I'm not doing here.

So let's see how I did!

Reading Goal: 125/150, of which 62/50 are prose!
Yes! I feel like I'm doing really well with this, because I'm most of the way to my goal and it's only July! And I've already passed my goal of having a third be prose – I'm almost at half, that's legitimately better than I hoped for!

I have a fair amount of titles scheduled as part of various projects, so I think I'm on track to finish this goal by September, depending on how wiped I get during conventions. But I am still boggling at being at half prose, when last year I was at maybe a third if you squinted right. I might do an unofficial stretch goal to see if I can get that to 75 prose titles, but I have a lot of manga to read before the end of the year and I've promised my sister that I won't read 365 books this year, so we'll have to see if I can fit all of that in.

New-to-me female authors: 22/75
I realised around... The end of April, start of May? That this goal was starting to go sideways, because I'd read 97 books and only 15 of them were
by new-to-me female authors. And I know exactly why it's going sideways: I've done two manga rereads already this year, and I have at
least another three scheduled; I've succeeded at finding new-to-me female authors and then devoured their entire backlists (*raises a glass to KJ Charles*); and I keep reading books by people that I've already read the short fiction of. I've just not... Fixed it yet.

I'm attempting to course correct by reading more purposefully; I've started making mini-reading lists at the start of the week because I find them
really helpful in keeping me focused on my reading goals (until award season happens and everything goes out of the window), which should help. I
am also going to drop my goal to 50, though, because I know what is on my reading lists and based on that, 50 is a more achievable goal.

#getouttamydamnhouse: 55/90
This goal looks like I'm doing really well, until you remember that I need to recount the number of library books still in my house right
now to see if my target number is still right.

... Um.

... So.

I have returned 55 books to their rightful owners this year. And I still somehow have 80 library books.

How did that even happen?!

Okay, on the plus side, I got 55 books out of my house (that I read; these numbers don't track what I returned unread) and have 10 books that I didn't replace. I might just... Reset this goal... And see what I can do about not having eighty books in my house...

#unofficialqueerasfuckbookclub: 42/125
One thing my reading this year brought me was that I never defined how I counted a book as queer! ... Admittedly, this is usually because my books tended to fall into the categories of "Everyone is straight," "Everyone is queer," or "It literally never comes up because there is no romance and no one mentions their identity" but still. But this year I've managed to read more books where there are... Variations? Like, my counting is arbitrary! I admit it! It is subject to whim, whimsy, and a lot of me squinting with my head on one side going "Is this queerness textual or wishful thinking on my part?" My arbitrary decision this year is that if the protagonist or POV character is queer (preferably textually, although I have accepted Subtext With Word Of Author Clarification for this purpose) then I will track it, and if it's side characters then I won't. ... I hope that clarification helps someone else, because it definitely helped me when I was staring at the Broken Earth series going "There are definitely queer characters, but it's not their story, do I count this? Am I misleading people?"

... But yes! I'm reliable informed by people who are better at maths than me (Thank you [personal profile] justira! I managed to get three
different answers before they sorted me out) that just over a third of my reading this year has had queer protagonists/POV characters. That's
definitely better than last year! And a lot more of my reading has had like... Casual queerness and background queerness, and just... Queer people there without it being the central drama of the story, and that's been so good for me.

So my revised goal list for the latter half of 2017:

  • Read 150 books

  • Read stories by 50 new-to-me female authors

  • #getouttamydamnhouse: stop having 80 library books in
    your house Susan, this time I mean it

  • #unofficialqueerasfuckbookclub: Have more than 25% of my reading focus
    on queer stories

I also made a list of the books that I was most excited about reading in 2017, so I should probably check on my progress on that while I'm doing

The cover of The Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanThe cover of Nimona by Noelle StevensonThe cover of Pluto Volume One by NaokiUrasawaCover of The Fifth Season by N. K. JemisinThe cover of The Geek Feminist Revolution

I actually managed to read half of the books on my list! I... Wasn't expecting that, to be honest with you. The ones I've even got around to
reviewing are

  1. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

  2. Nimona
    by Noelle Stevenson

  3. Pluto Volumes One, Two and Three by Naoki Urasawa

I honestly though that I was doing terribly at all of my goals so far, so this exercise has been really useful for me to see what I'm doing and fix
the ones that haven't gone to plan. (Eighty books. How.) Thank you for the suggestion Jenny!

But how is everyone else doing? Completed any reading goals? Reconsidered any?
novin_ha: Cylons say all you need is love ([bsg] love is all you need)

[personal profile] novin_ha 2017-08-05 08:09 am (UTC)(link)
I have a lot of goals this year! My main one is currently 120 books (regardless of length & form, if it's on GR it counts) and I'm hoping to raise it to 150 by the end of the year, because I'm over 100 (thanks in large part to dedicating August to short fiction, catching up on nominated shorts and novellettes).

The other goals were purposefully humble.

I promised myself to read 10 books by Polish authors, and I'm at 4 (;_;) but also reading two short ones right now, so I think I'm mostly on track.

To read five anthologies or collections and I'm only at two (both from January...) so clearly I need to look for more soon; I have some ideas, though.

To read 10 LGBTQIA+ books (here I decided to only count those I think do a really good job and/or are by a queer author): I'm done, largely thanks to June being my pride reading month.

To re-read two books: I'm halfway there! I'm... awful at re-reading. Even when I want to.

To read 5 POC authors who are new to me: currently I'm at 6 and hoping to get a few more. (1 was Ken Liu, unimpressed, 2 was Carmen Maria Machado, very impressed, 3 was Kai Ashante Wilson, very impressed, 4 was Yoon Ha Lee, new favourite auto-buy author, 5 was Samuel Delany, really good, and 6 was Colson Whitehead, who impressed me but I'm not sure I'd want to read something else by him necessarily.)
novin_ha: Buffy: gotta be a sacrifice (Default)

[personal profile] novin_ha 2017-08-05 08:15 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, and as to your goals: they sound amazingly demanding. #unofficialqueerasfuckbookclub sounds fun, but I can't imagine reading 50 new authors in a year: I have too many favourites whose backlog I need to catch up on and new releases I need to keep up with... I would love to see who the 22 were!
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)

[personal profile] fred_mouse 2017-08-07 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
I have one reading goal for the year, and one kinda goal.

The real goal is to not have a TBR pile in my bedroom doorway - that it will fit (including new to the house books) on my bedside table. I partly dealt with this by winnowing down to the few dozen I desperately want to read Right Now, and reshelving the rest, but in the last week I've read three of them, so at least my focus is in the right place.

The kinda goal is to have read 52 books. I am not on track to do that, and I'm not likely to get back on it, because of uni reading and short story judging.
calissa: (Default)

[personal profile] calissa 2017-08-15 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
Checking in on your goals at the halfway point of the year is a good practice, I think, so kudos to Jenny for suggesting it. And kudos to you for revising where things clearly aren't working. It can be too easy to fall into an all-or-nothing mindset.

...how on earth do you end up with 80 library books in your house?

My original reading goal this year was to read 100 books. I'd hit 105 by the end of June, so revised up to 150. I'm at 125 now, so may have to revise up again. I seriously don't know what happened to my reading this year to make it explode like this (well, except for Aurealis judging).

My other reading goals for this year was to make at least one trip to the library each month and to read at least one piece of fanfic each month. So far, I'm on track for these, too.