2019 Reading Goals

I like the number three. It’s not my favorite number, but it’s a number I enjoy. As such, I decided this year to have three reading goals. The word goals is used as an all-encompassing term to represent the ideals that I want to strive for in my reading.

Reading Goal 1

Never fall behind on assigned readings.

As many of you know, I am currently in grad school for my master’s degree. There is a lot of reading that goes into that. I think I averaged reading roughly the length of four to six book every week for my last semester. And this year, I’m expecting a lot of reading to come my way again.

I secretly love and loathe assigned readings. I loathe it because it’s assigned, and I always bristle at something when it is assigned to me. However, I love and cherish my assigned readings dearly because they open me to new things that I might not have read.

My first semester, I regret to acknowledge, I did not keep up on my readings as well as I should have. I barely skimmed the surface of most, and that caused my class experiences to not be as edifying as they could have been. So, I’m committing to not falling behind on my class readings.

Reading Goal 2

Read a rough sketch of an American literary canon.

The word canon always creates a war in any field. This last semester, we had many in-depth conversations about the “canon” of religious studies, going so far as to say there is a distinct canon and there is no such thing as a canon (both arguments are valid).

In the field of literary studies, the canon battle is louder than a cannon. With feuding anthologies and debating professors attempting to settle on what exactly makes American literature distinctly American or uniquely literature, we could go so far as to say there is a distinct canon and there is not one.

So, that’s why I specifically placed on this reading goal “an American literary canon.” The grammar faux pas is necessary. I will be reading the canon that I’ve curtailed for this specific year in order to read enough literature to feel grounded in the American tradition. In my next blog post, I’ll discuss further this canon and give you a taste of what it entails and why I am going on this journey this year (especially when I classify myself as a Medievalist who flirts with the Early Modern).

Reading Goal 3

Discuss what I am reading.

One of my core beliefs is that literature is meant to be read and talked about. When reading a book, we intimately inhabit the words on the page; the book changes us through this cohabitation with ink and paper, text and space. when talking about a book, we interact with each other through the medium of the words on the page; that interaction changes the world.

So, I want to talk about more books—in person and through text. If you see me, ask me what I’m reading. If you see a post from me on social media about a book, enter into a discussion with me about it. There will most likely be a lot more book-ish posts from me, especially if I want to reach this goal.