This feels a bit late, since we’re nearly a week into April now, but it was a long weekend so I’ll cut myself a bit of slack. Why not? The stresses of the past year have continued, but it seems like maybe there’s more light at the end of the tunnel. This Winter felt especially desolate for some reason, so the emergence of Spring has been especially appreciated this year.
Admittedly, books haven’t quite been the escape they usually are for me, but I’m still trucking along, committed to reading them. They don’t feel a chore, but I find I’m having a harder time with longer sessions. Let’s see how I’m doing with my challenges now that the first quarter of 2021 has finished.
I’m doing quite well with this challenge so far, thanks to a greater dedication to reading comic books. At the moment, I’ve got a total of 15 books completed, eight of them being comic books, one of them a deluxe magazine, and the other six being books. This has got me at one book ahead of schedule.
At the outset of the year I committed to reading through a small collection of Star Wars volumes, which I believe I have to thank for the momentum that’s been carrying me along through this challenge for the last little bit, as well as finishing two volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura over a short period. It’s been nice not feeling much pressure to stay on top of this challenge.
Scrappy To-Read List
As I’ve done for several years, I’ve got my personal to-read list that I’ve written on a scrap of paper, so that I can enjoy crossing them out (it’s quite thrilling). 2021 is a bit different than previous years, consisting of only 12 books, with the stipulation that they cannot be a part of a series I’ve already started.
Without further ado, here is the list as it stands:
So far I’ve completed Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers.
Though it wasn’t my intention to read one of the twelve books for each month, it has lined up pretty well here with three books completed this quarter. Not too shabby. At the very least, I’m on track to actually complete my list this year so far.
Speaking of incomplete lists, one of the six books I completed this quarter was one of the leftovers from last year’s list. This book was Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. That leaves two leftovers remaining: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I’m still intimidated by that last one.
A new personal challenge for this year, to ensure I stay on top of certain series I am in the middle of. First off, is the ever-important reading of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, which I started back in 2016.
I intend to read one every quarter, and right at the 11th hour (almost literally )I finished reading Feet of Clay on March 31st, ensuring that I didn’t stumble right off the hop this year. Came pretty close, mind you. I’m happy I’ve been able to keep steady progress with this series. There’s just so many that it’d be so easy to let them slide.
Another part of this challenge is to read four books from other series this year, though I’m less strict about when I read these. This is just to make sure I keep up with or finish smaller series I’m still in the middle of.
Back in February I read through Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, which means I’ve finally completed every Hellboy anthology (there’s four in total). This felt pretty good, as my interest in reading the tie-in books started after I had such a great experience reading Odd Jobs. None of the others quite lived up to that first one, but I have loved many different stories across all of these books.
They’re not hugely ambitious, but I’m nevertheless quite proud that I’m nicely on track with all of these so far. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to keep it up.
I’m still going through a drought of creative writing, at least in terms of any sort of fiction so far. I was actually inspired to writing a bit of a creative post called Reading is Believing back in January, though. It was philosophical waxing, so I put it in the Blog category, but it still felt like a creative piece to me.
I have something else similar that’s been tumbling around in my mind too, which I might put to page sometime soon, but we’ll see. There’s always a worry things like this will come off as overly pretentious, plus I’m wondering if I should make it more personal or inject some fiction into it. Only time will tell. It’s been good to feel some sort of inspiration, at any rate.
How are your reading challenges coming along? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Thank you for reading!