2014 Reading Goal…?

Let’s get this out of the way to start: I just wrote this, in 2014, yet any reference to ‘last year’ means 2012 and ‘this year’ is 2013. It might be confusing, but…it makes sense to me, at least. I’m not so good with change. Both references are in terms of looking back on the year, not forward, so that should help. I’m just hoping to figure out what year it is by the time the baby is born in April.


Last year (2012), I felt chained to my reading goal. Any second of free time went to my book list. When I set the goal at the beginning of the year, Paul was six months old and I was still nursing and/or pumping a lot. During his babyhood my nursing distraction of choice was books. I read a ridiculous number of books. Probably because I was awake something like 20 hours a day.

(When Margaret was tiny, I read magazines. Every back issue of every magazine I’d ever subscribed to and not read. Mostly Newsweek and Marie Claire, although at one point I was reading our tiny town periodical, which is mostly advertising, just for variety.)

Anyway, I set a pretty ambitious reading goal – 10 books a month! – and for the first four months I left it in the dust. Then I stopped pumping at work. And by Paul’s birthday in June I was nightweaning, which meant no more reading half an e-book a night. My reading pace slowed to a crawl and before I knew it I had some serious catching up to do.

It kind of killed books for me. I reached the goal of 120 books, juuuust under the wire, and vowed there would be no goal of any kind for 2013. This is a HOBBY. I should be able to do it when I want! And have the option to do other things instead!

As far as entertainment options go, I branched out a lot. Everything from silly stuff like reading every issue of my US Weekly without fail and reaching level 492 on Candy Crush to slightly less silly stuff like watching every episode of The West Wing. (What? It’s educational! Both from a political and pop culture perspective:)) (I also watched every episode of Scandal and White Collar.)

On the other hand, though quantity isn’t necessarily directly linked to quality, this year really stunk in terms of book quality. I only gave five stars to four books this year (out of 77). I wonder if I’d read more I might have somehow stumbled into better ones? Or did I just save myself from reading more crap?

To be fair, I only gave 7 books five stars in 2012 and one of them was part of the Twilight saga. (I apparently quite liked Eclipse.) My star distribution seems to be about the same, which means I read both more good books and more crap that year.

I’m not really sure what 2014 holds. A new baby, of course, which may mean a return to 12 hours a day of reading-while-nursing. But who knows? Before Paul was born I stocked up on magazines, expecting to do fly through them like I had before and that didn’t happen.

I suppose this like everything else in my life which seems to be about anything but the baby yet comes back around to it like a boomerang. Certainly it doesn’t matter whether I set a book goal this year or what I end up doing to fill the hours after the baby is born, but I’m getting frustrated with my inability to plan anything – from what we’ll do for Easter (that’s the day she’s due!) to whether I should stay on the MOPS steering team. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels because I don’t know what to prepare for. A good sleeper? A colicky baby? A seamless transition? A hard first year? (Well, I’m pretty much planning on that regardless.)


  1. 120 books!!! Whaaattt?!?!? I set a goal of 36 in 2013 and didn’t even make that. I am impressed… but that’s crazy, woman!