Some personal reflections on the year ahead

I thought long and hard about whether I should even have gaols for 2012.

I vacillate between wanting to achieve something with my reading (and blogging to a lesser extent) and just reading what I am in the mood for at any given moment without any thought for anything but my own interest and enjoyment.

Both options have good and bad things about them.

If I aim to achieve something with my reading then no doubt I will find many more new authors, challenge myself, read a wider variety of books from a wider variety of countries etc. I suppose I would have to define what it is exactly I hope to achieve and how I want to set about doing it. My fear though is that in doing so I might read books I am not really all that interested in reading at points in time when I am not really interested in reading them. This would remove the pleasure from the activity (or some of it anyway) and I don't want to lose my pleasure in reading for the sake of achieving some currently undefined 'something'.

Then there is the option of reading for the moment – reading what I am in the mood for and when I am in the mood for it. This option appeals to me the most I have to admit. Reading is a pleasant thing to do to pass the time and activate my imagination, not something serious I do as a vocation or anything at all like that. So why not treat it as such? On the other hand, this does need to be balanced with making sure that I do challenge myself on occasion and try new genres and authors. Otherwise I risk becoming bored.

What I feel like I really need to do is start asking myself some bigger questions about my reading:
  • What do I expect of myself as a reader?
  • Do I challenge myself enough and if not, how important is it to me to challenge myself more?
  • I listen to podcasts, read other blogs, read the papers and a literary magazine. There are always mentions of authors I would like to try and literary movements I have never heard of waiting to explore. Do I want to broaden my knowledge of literature, and if so, how and where do I start?
I think that these are questions that really need to be answered for me to really figure out whether I want to start pushing myself a bit more or keep cruising as I am now.

Having all that in mind, what I think I have decided is that this year my main goal should be to be realistic.

My goal originally was going to be a very simple one – keep my reading the same but stay up to date with my reviews. This year I was very guilty of writing reviews weeks (even months) after I had read the book. This of course meant that my original impressions and thoughts had disappeared as my experience with the book faded from my mind.

It seems like the perfect goal to at least stay on top of reviews and write them as soon as possible after I have read the book. The purpose of the reviews ultimately is for me to reflect on the books – meanings, themes, styles, intentions, language etc. By reflecting I hope to learn. I can’t do this if I am writing reviews months down the track.

Upon further reflection my goal is simply this – be realistic.

I am due to have a baby in 5.5 weeks (can you believe it!). I have absolutely no idea how this will change my life. I know that it will, but I don't think it's possible to fully appreciate what these changes will be and how significant an effect they will have on my life until they are actually here.

I have no doubt in my mind that in reality, this baby will give me a bit of perspective and questions like the ones I have posed above will seem very silly and unimportant in the scheme of things.

When I say my goal is to be realistic – at this point in time it means to not expect anything of myself. I will read when I can, what I want. I will blog when I can, what I want. I will leave the bigger questions to later.

So, all in all for my readers that probably means that you shouldn't expect anything different this year from Page Turners. I will be keeping things as is and the volume of posts will no doubt decrease. I am happy with that and I hope that you all will all be too.

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