Reading Plans for 2021

One of my favorite things to do is chart out my reading plans for the year. I don’t want to be rigid about them: I like flexibility to pick up something unexpected during the year. But being intentional with my plans helps me get to the books I’ve long wanted to read plus expands my reading horizons.

Last year I participated in several reading challenges, thinking that they’d be easy to do since they overlapped and I could list the same books for several of them. But the record-keeping took way too much time and thought. Then one host just stopped blogging in February and one took her blog down during the year. So this year, I am back to the tried and true plans I have used for years plus a couple of new ones that worked out well last year.

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. Books have to be 50 years old and fit within the categories chosen for the year in order to qualify. Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

Here are the categories for this year. We don’t have to name what books we’ll read yet, but I have a couple of ideas (subject to change!)

1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899. Probably The Warden by Anthony Trollope, the first of his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. I read the middle book in the series, Doctor Thorne, last year and loved it.
2. A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971.
3. A classic by a woman author. Something from D. E. Stevenson.
4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language.
5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.
6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. I’ve read a couple of books based on this one, so I need to read the original.
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author — a new book by an author whose works you have already read. I’m working on reading what Dickens books I haven’t read yet. Maybe Nicholas Nickleby.
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird).
9. A children’s classic. Thinking about either Peter Pan or Tarzan.
10. A humorous or satirical classic.
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure.
12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category.

Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet, but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mt. Vancouver (36 books). The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2021.

The Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard has the same idea as Mt. TBR. The main difference is we don’t have to own the books–they can be on our TBR list as well as actually on our shelves.

We don’t have to list what books we’ll read for the TBR or Backlist challenges, but these are some that I want to get to. I only asked for two books for Christmas—a record low for me!—because I had so many stacked up from previous gifts.

The Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by Shelly Rae at Book’d Out should be easy, since I read a lot of nonfiction anyway. But the books need to fit in these categories for this year’s challenge.

  1. Biography
  2. Travel
  3. Self-help
  4. Essay Collection
  5. Disease
  6. Oceanography
  7. Hobbies
  8. Indigenous Cultures
  9. Food
  10. Wartime Experiences
  11. Inventions
  12. Published in 2021

There are different levels to choose from for goals. Though I know I’ll read more than 12, I am only going to aim for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books). If I come up with titles to fit the other categories–titles that I want to read for themselves and not just for the challenge—I’ll see how far I can get.

Finally, Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts a Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June and a Literary Christmas Challenge in November and December. I’ll say more about those when they come up.

So that the plan for this year. I am excited!

Do you have any plans for reading this year? Do you participate in any reading challenges? I’d love to hear about them.

(Sharing with Senior Salon)

20 thoughts on “Reading Plans for 2021

  1. I enjoyed reading about your plans — showcases how we’re all different. For the most part, I just like perusing my “want to read” list and picking something that appeals to me at the time. But already today I’ve read two posts by friends who enjoy doing lots of challenges, so I know that’s a really popular thing. Happy reading — challenges or not — in 2021! I’m sure I’ll enjoy your reviews.

  2. Wow! You certainly have ambitious reading plans for this year, Barbara. I have never participated in a reading challenge but they do sound like fun. Thanks for listing some. I will check them out to see if there are any I could do. Good luck with Mt. Vancouver! 🙂

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  8. I don’t read books, I would like to but they don’t keep my attention long enough and then I give up.
    Any suggestions for someone like me who wants to read more and give the blogging world a rest?

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