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Dec 04

Reading Goals vs. The Pandemic by Andrea Lorenz

Posted on December 4, 2020 at 2:38 PM by Genesis Gaule

One thing I (usually) love to talk about this time of year is reading goals. I usually set very ambitious reading goals for myself every year, like I want to read 100 books before the end of the year (no, picture books don’t count) or I will read a book from every section of the library or I’m going to read 50% more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) authors. I started 2020 with good intentions, buuuuuuuuuuuuuut the pandemic totally changed my reading this year.

I don’t know about you, but before 2020 I would look at all the unread books on my shelves and think, “If there ever was a disaster and I got stuck at home for a long time, I’d be set. I would get so much reading done.” I was wrong.

When we hit lockdown in March, all I wanted to read was science fiction and romance novels. And then in April, all I wanted to do was play Stardew Valley and go for long brooding walks. In May, I would open up Goodreads and look sadly at the Reading Challenge badge to see just how many books behind I was. My mind wasn’t working the same way it did in before-times. I had trouble focusing and nothing really seemed interesting any more. I’d pick a book up, read 20 pages, and put it back down.

I have gotten back into reading, though slowly and not in directions I imagined. Instead of reading hard-hitting literary fiction, I’ve found solace in re-reading beloved books from my childhood and adolescence. Instead of exploring new topics and genres, I’ve stuck to my comfort zones – science fiction and romance novels (with a whole lot of comics thrown in). And that’s okay. I’m sure as the world settles into a new normal, my reading will become more adventurous again, but for 2021, my reading goals will be flexible and geared toward comfort.


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