I’m a fan of goal setting but I don’t often make it all twelve months with my January ideals. I’m more of an aim too high, burn out around April kind of girl, but I don’t feel guilty. That’s part of the tradition, right?
However, when it comes to reading goals, there really is no such thing as failure in my book (see what I did there?).
As long as I’m reading, I’m happy.
If I don’t finish everything on my To Read list, I can always add it to next year’s. In fact, adding “finally read Shogun” to my reading goals list every year has kind of become a tradition of it’s own for me. (1,152 pages, which Amazon helpfully reminds me I purchased in 2014).
But setting reading goals for the new year doesn’t have to be all about epic sagas or filling in all those check marks on the If-You-Haven’t-Read-This-Book-Yet-You’re-Missing-Out-and-There’s-a-Gap-In-Your-Personal-Library lists.
Bite sized books and day by day entries provide a nice reading speed, too.
Three books I’m going to read day by day in 2017:
1. A Year of Puttery Treats by Alison May
Alison’s blog, Brocante Home, became an instant favorite after I discovered it last year.
A Year of Puttery Treats doesn’t mean “treats” of the edible kind, this isn’t a cookbook. It’s 365 days of “a little something fun for each day of the year” as it relates to housekeeping and family life.
This book is a mix of housekeeping tips and pampering tips, a blend I think is important as the main person pushing the vacuum around and dusting the surfaces. These tasks have got to been done, after all, so I appreciate trying to make them more enjoyable and to even bring a little bit of self care into it.
Reading each day’s short entry is part of my morning routine, and while I will admit that I don’t always follow each suggestion, I’ve been inspired to try many and have been pleased with the results.
2. The Harvard Classics in a Year: a Liberal Education in 365 Days
I’m on my third year of reading this book day by day.
Originating as Harvard professor Dr. Charles Eliot’s ideal reading guide for a complete liberal arts education, Amanda Kennedy edited the original materials (the notorious “five foot book shelf” that was actually sold as a book set, once upon a time) down to 365 days of reading selections.
It covers the “twelve main divisions of knowledge” – History, Poetry, Natural Science, Philosophy, Biography, Prose Fiction, Criticism and the Essay, Education, Political Science, Drama, Voyages and Travel, and Religion in 15 minutes a day for a year.
A nice way to taste test the classics, if you will.
I’m having my fifteen year old read this book in 2017 as I think we all could benefit from more exposure to the world’s classic literature, and we have no excuse not to when the book’s editor has served up to us one small daily bite at a time.
3. Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
I rediscovered Simple Abundance: a Daybook of Comfort and Joy during my pre-holiday home clear out and instead of letting it go I felt the urge to dust it off and begin re-reading it.
I’m so glad that I did! It was nice to have the daily words about simple living during the busy holiday season. As the calendar turned to the new year, I continued my daily readings with this old friend.
If you’re not familiar with this simple living classic, Simple Abundance is 366 readings that include a quote and an essay for each day.
Covering topics from keeping a simple home to gratitude, the book can be just a little bit over the top at times but that appeals to both my inner flower child and my inner Martha Stewart.
Used copies are on Amazon for as low as a penny plus shipping but I bet you can find a copy while browsing your local second-hand bookseller’s or thrift store’s shelves.
So, that’s part of my reading plan for 2017. Who knows, maybe I’ll even figure out a way to read Shogun? If I read 3.156 pages a day, I could finish before 2018. This could be my year!