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Topic: 2008/2009 Goals

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Subject: 2008/2009 Goals
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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We're coming up on the end of 2008, and the start of 2009. 

One of my 2008 goals was to read 52 books, or an average of one per week.  So far this year, I've read 58 - so I feel safe in doing an early victory dance.  I'll have this goal again in 2009.

Another 2008 goal was to reduce my TBR backlog.  It's too soon to tell, because I usually get xmas gift books to put back onto Mt. TBR, but it's looking good right now.   I'll have to decide if my TBR backlog is down to a point I want to level off at.

Finally, I wanted to read more out of the sf genre in 2008 - for example from the "1001 books you must read before you die" list - and non-fiction.  I don't think I did so well on this one.  I'll take a closer look at the end of the year.

How about you and your goals?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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2008 started as a slow reading year for me, but picked up after I found this site.  In August I decided to try to read 50 books for the year, but I'm sitting at 37, so that's not going to happen.

I've kept track of every book I've read since 2005, and that year was my "record" with 98 books read.  I am going to try and better that, so my '09 goal is 99 books.  I tend to read mostly SF/F and some paranormal, so I want to mix in a non-fiction book and a classic fiction work every month.  Finally, I hope to average 100 pages of reading per day in '09 for a total of at least 36,500 pages.

Ambitious for me, but I think it's doable.  The page average will be the toughest, but I have read as much as a thousand pages in a week, while working 50 hours.



Last Edited on: 12/19/08 1:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
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Matt, you must have sold your TV, or something! :)  (I actually did consider doing that what with the digital conversion in Feb... just saying to heck with it and be done with the idiot box.  But then I remembered Packer games... and couldn't bring myself to do it!)

I didn't have any specific reading goals in 2008, but did manage to knock down ny TBR pile a bit... not as much as I'd like, partly because I joined PBS and ended up adding more books to the pile all at once!

For 2009 I'm going to set a modest goal - 24 books (two a month).  I know I can do more, but I'm currently rereading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga, and those books can take me a lot of time to slog through.  Love em though (at least the first 5 or 6, anyway.)  I used to alternate between my usual SF&F to mysteries, westerns, classic works, and nonfiction, but haven't done that much the past few years.  There's a lot of classic fiction I must get to, so maybe I'll get back to that this year.

My only other goal for 2009 would be in writing... I have a completed draft of a novel that got put away years ago and has been sitting untouched since.  I also have a good 5 or 6 other stories rumbling around in my head that I need to get down on paper.  I hope to get something completed this year and look into getting published... either through a traditional publishing house, self-publishing, or POD.

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
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I try not to set goals for things like this, because I worry I'll ruin the experience by pressuring myself.  I like to read whatever grabs me at the moment, finding something appropriate for my mood or the vibe of the current time/space environment.  It's how I manage to meander through a wide range of genres and categories and such.  I felt so sluggish for most of the year, as if I wasn't accomplishing much at all by way of reading.  Luckily the momentum picked up to where I'm fully enthralled by my TBR as opposed to feeling intimidated by it.  I'm reading more often, more consistently, and what's more, doing a better job of keeping up with it all in my head (though that has origins in an entirely different arena). 

For general goals, I think I'll forsake the TV, and only take in a movie once or twice a month.  After that stage is set, I think I'll tackle some of the major pieces, like Asimov's "Great Big Series That Contains The Other Series", and perhaps Clarke's Space Odyssey Series.  I don't know where else to begin.  If I were to feign inebriation for a moment and allow myself to become misty-eyed and nostolgic about my time with the SF genre, I would have to admit that I have not been nearly respectful enough, having neglected a great many titles in my possession and a great many others which I've yet to come across.  I think in general, I should have an overall goal of maintaining the type of (nearly cliche) "voracious appetite" so many others seem to have, so that I might make may way through far more than I could have expected.  I suppose my goal for 2009, then, when looking back, should be to have surprised myself with how much I will have read.  I'm starting early, so I'm out of here to finish one book and move on to the next.

 

Subject: New Years resolution
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Since I started trading and logging my books I try to read at least 100 books a year (2 per week).  I've read 98 so far for 2008 so I think I'll make that goal.  I don't work a 40 hour work week AND I have one of those autorecorders on the TV - it makes a difference in being able to choose when you watch and what you watch (commercials really take away your time!).

In 2008 I started reading a few books from a list posted by a panel at the last WorldCon (SF books from the last 20 years you should read) - I want to expand my reading habits and found it a good place to start.  I "looked" at that 1001 books to read before you die.  Uh...... well maybe later.  Uh... OK maybe 1-2 from that list and maybe also Dahlgren (sp??) in 2009.

For 2009, I want to accumulate credits on my PBS account.  Also want to read down my TBR pile and start getting books posted.  I can't justify having books take up so much space in my small cabin. 

{  : - )

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
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Do you still have the list, Alison?  I try not to let "must read" lists affect me too much, but they are a good place to start when I don't know what to read next.  Plus, they help me make sure I haven't left any truly important works out of my collection.  I tried googling and I got blog after blog of what amounted to favorite lists more than lists based on literary value.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Matt, you must have sold your TV, or something! :)  (I actually did consider doing that what with the digital conversion in Feb... just saying to heck with it and be done with the idiot box.  But then I remembered Packer games... and couldn't bring myself to do it!)

Funny you should mention that, because I just bought a new TV today!  But no, I don't really watch much TV.  Just a few network shows, and I decided to get a new flat TV instead of trying to put a digital tuner on the 20 year-old piece of junk my boss gave me last year.  I never had cable growing up, and later I began actively boycotting it due to some vitriolic advertising campaigns that made me question their business practices.

To be fair, I am a courier, and there is downtime built into the sometimes long hours I'm on duty.  On a good day I can read 50 pages on the job itself, and I carry a book everywhere...you never know when you might find time for a page or two. 

Date Posted: 12/21/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 357
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I tend not to make goals for reading, although I do keep track of what I've read. I've read 158 books so far this year and feel safe to say I'll manage 160 or more by the end of December.  If I were to make a goal...I guess I would try to re-read a number of the books sitting on my shelves that I haven't opened for 20 years or so. I suspect there's a lot I can post here but I'm very compulsive about owning books; I don't like to get rid of anything unless I'm positive I'll never read it again.

Date Posted: 12/21/2008 3:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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I tend not to make goals for reading, although I do keep track of what I've read.

that's me too.  i started keeping a book journal in mid-2003, and found out that i read over 300 books a year.  umm, wow.  i had no idea.

but while i'm unlikely to make a specific plan or goal for 2009, my TBR pile is getting out of control since i joined PBS in January.  i've gotten at least 250 books from here this year (including the swap games).  i've probably got enough to read for most of 2009 already in my TBR, without getting any new books or using the library or even re-reading anything in my own collection.  one change since signing up here is that i'll tend to collect the books in a series because it's easier/faster to get a book if i put it on my WL months in advance than if i decide i want it after it's released.  i rarely used to get more than one book from an author until i'd read the first one i brought home.  so i definitely need to work on getting some of these series read (or tried and gotten rid of) - especially the ones where there are four or more books in the series and i've got all of them on TBR.

Subject: reading lists
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Do you still have the list, Alison? 

_________________________________________________

I tried searching for those links on my old SF chat board, but sorry, can't find 'em.  However, if you search "1001 books" you get the 1001 books to read before you die list.  It's chronological.  Not much of an explanation of how the titles were choosen though..... so like you said, a place to start.  Just so we're clear, these are NOT necessarily SF.  I'm sending you a PM about the SF list from the Worldcon.  TomHl had organized a "local" list from the SF chat board members, what books WE thought should be on the must read list.  That was fun, but kinda hard to choose. 

__________________________________________

 i started keeping a book journal in mid-2003, and found out that i read over 300 books a year.  umm, wow.  i had no idea.

I tend not to make goals for reading, although I do keep track of what I've read. I've read 158 books so far this year and feel safe to say I'll manage 160 or more by the end of December. 

WOW!  That's lots and lots of books!  I feel my fingers itching to go through Ellen's TBR, especially if a series is all together. 

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I have the 1,001 books site bookmarked if you want that: http://www.listology.com/content_show.cfm/content_id.22845/Books

Subject: 1001 books and 101 sf books
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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There's a 1001-books spreadsheet you can download and mark your reads on.  Based on your age, it will calculate how many more you must read per year of your remaining life.  For me, that number is 42.  Ha ha.  I've read three more this year. What a depressing thought.

As Alison mentioned, on another science fiction forum last year I collected votes from members, resulting in a list of 101 Science Fiction Books You Must Read Before You Die.  It was based on a fairly small set of opinions, but here it is...

Bradbury, Ray - Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray - The Martian Chronicles
Brin, David - The Postman
Card, Orson Scott - Ender's Game
Gibson, William - Neuromancer
Herbert, Frank - Dune
LeGuin, Ursula - The Left Hand of Darkness
Orwell, George - Nineteen Eightyfour
Tolkein, J.R.R. - The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings)
Adams, Douglas - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Asimov, Isaac - The Caves of Steel
Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's Tale
Bradbury, Ray - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Cherryh, C.J. - Downbelow Station
Clarke, Arthur - Childhood's End
Dick, Phillip K. - The Man in the High Castle
King, Stephen - The Stand
LeGuin, Ursula - A Wizard of Earthsea
L'Engle, Madeleine - A Wrinkle in Time
McCaffery, Anne - Dragonflight
Mieville, China - Perdido Street Station
Miller, Walter - A Canticle for Liebowitz
Niven, Larry - Ringworld
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Stephenson, Neal - Snow Crash
Sturgeon, Theodore - More Than Human
Wilson, Robert Charles - Spin
Asimov, Isaac - Foundation
Bear, Greg - Darwin's Radio
Benford, Gregory - Timescape
Bester, Alfred - The Demolished Man
Bishop, Michael - No Enemy but Time
Blish, James - A Case of Conscience
Brin, David - Startide Rising
Brin, David - The Uplift War
Burgess, Anthony - A Clockwork Orange
Butler, Octavia - Parable of the Sower
Cherryh, C.J. - Cyteen
Clarke, Arthur C. - 2001: A Space Odyssey
Delany, Samuel R. - Babel-17
Dick, Phillip K. - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Gaiman, Neil - American Gods
Haldeman, Joe - The Forever War
Heinlein, Robert - Stranger in a Strange Land
Heinlein, Robert - The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Keyes, Daniel - Flowers for Algernon
LeGuin, Ursula - The Dispossesed
Lewis, C.S. - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Lieber, Fritz - Gather, Darkness
Longyear, Barry - Enemy Mine
Matheson, Richard - I Am Legend
McDevitt, Jack - The Engines of God
Pangborn, Edgar - Davy
Panshin Alexei - Rite of Passage
Pohl, Frederick - Gateway
Robinson, Kim Stanley - Forty Signs of Rain
Robinson, Kim Stanley - Red Mars
Russell, Mary Doria - The Sparrow
Sagan, Carl - Contact
Scalzi, John - Old Man's War
Shute, Nevil - On The Beach
Silverberg, Robert - Dying Inside
Silverberg, Robert - Lord Valentine's Castle
Simak, Clifford - Way Station
Tepper, Sheri - The Fresco
Tolkein, J.R.R. - The Hobbit
Twain, Mark - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Varley, John - Millenium
Verne, Jules - 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea
Verne, Jules - A Journey to the Center of the Earth
Vinge, Joan - The Snow Queen
Vinge, Vernor - A Fire Upon the Deep
Vonnegut, Kurt - Cat's Cradle
Vonnegut, Kurt - Slaughterhouse Five
Weber, David - On Basilisk Station
Wells, H.G. - The Time Machine
Wells, H.G. - The War of the Worlds
Willis, Connie - The Doomsday Book
Willis, Connie - To Say Nothing of the Dog
Wilson, Robert Charles - Mysterium
Wyndham, John - The Day of the Trifids
Anderson, Poul - The Broken Sword
Asher, Neal - Gridlinked
Asimov, Isaac - David Starr, Space Ranger
Asimov, Isaac - Fantastic Voyage
Asimov, Isaac - I, Robot
Asimov, Isaac - The Gods Themselves
Asprin, Robert - Thieve's World
Atwood, Margaret - Oryx and Crake
Banks, Iain M - Consider Phlebas
Baxter, Stephen - The Time Ships
beagle, peter - the last unicorn
Bear, Elizabeth - Undertow
Bear, Greg - Eon
Bear, Greg - Slash
berg, carol - transformation
Bradley, Marion Zimmer - Darkover
Bradley, Marion Zimmer - The Mists of Avalon

Wow.  That pasted ugly.  But you get the idea.



Last Edited on: 12/21/08 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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That's a neat list, Tom.  I've copied it and plan to work through a number of them in the coming year.  I have read only 24 on that list.

Date Posted: 12/21/2008 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
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I won't shame myself by revealing how few I've read on that list, but I'm happy to have created the opportunity to catch up - I own 46 of them.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
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I've read 23 of them, and have 3 on my TBR pile.  Many (like Slaughterhouse Five) have been on my list to read some day for quite a while. 

Then there are quite a few there that I've never heard of... I must have to expand my horizons a bit... :)

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
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Yes, thanks for printing out that list. I've read all but 34 on the SF list.  Seeing the list though shows me what authors I have ignored and gives me a good place to start. It seems that if I miss one book by an author then usually I miss ALL the books by that author.

Big blind spots!

As far as other reading goals - I usually try for 100 - 120 books a year but this year am only approaching 70 (69 right now). I got off to a really bad start this year and didn't overcome a couple of books that mired me down.

I did read more nonfiction this year and that was a goal of mine.

But next year I want to get back to the 100  book level and to work on reducing the size of Mt. Tbr.

Subject: Green Bay Packers
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Paul,

Hey wait a minute!  Did you say Packer games?  It's such a common thing to mention around here that I didn't even notice at first. 

-Tom Hl.

Subject: 2008 is done now
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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So, the end of 2008 has come, and here's how it ended for me.

One of my 2008 goals was to read 52 books, or an average of one per week.  So far this year, I've read 58 - so I feel safe in doing an early victory dance.  I'll have this goal again in 2009.

I read 62 books in 2008.  For a person who works 60 hour weeks, I'm pretty proud of one per week.  So my 1st goal for 2009 is 52 books total again.

Another 2008 goal was to reduce my TBR backlog.  It's too soon to tell, because I usually get xmas gift books to put back onto Mt. TBR, but it's looking good right now.   I'll have to decide if my TBR backlog is down to a point I want to level off at.

Maybe three years ago, after I started online book trading, it had jumped up to something like 200.  At this point, I have 15 fictions and 7 non-fictions to be read.  Mt. TBR is now two little foothills.  I intend to level off here.  It feels good to think I will be shopping/looking for books to read immediately, or re-reading again.

Finally, I wanted to read more out of the sf genre in 2008 - for example from the "1001 books you must read before you die" list - and non-fiction.  I don't think I did so well on this one.  I'll take a closer look at the end of the year.

Of the 62 books, 10 were non-fiction, and 6 were non-sf fiction.  I think I want to see more non-sf fiction, and I really liked some of the ones I did read.  So my 2nd goal for 2009 is 10 non-sf fiction.

Finally, when I look at my list, I see a lot of the same old author names.  Fresh blood would be good.  So my 3rd goal for 2009 is 10 new authors (sf or non-sf).  Your reviews on this forum will be helpful to me in this.

Hopefully, a year from now, I'll be able to look back at this posting and feel a sense of accomplishment again!

-Tom Hl.

Subject: Good Idea
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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 So my 3rd goal for 2009 is 10 new authors (sf or non-sf). 

Ahhh, I like that goal, I'm going to adopt it.  : - )

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Subject: Green Bay Packers
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Hey wait a minute!  Did you say Packer games?  It's such a common thing to mention around here that I didn't even notice at first. 

-Tom Hl.

You better believe I said Packers!  Born and raised in Wisconsin.  Even Favre-less, the Pack is still the #1 NFL team!  (Um, this year's record not withstanding...)

Subject: deleted
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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deleted



Last Edited on: 2/11/15 1:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I was a Patriots fan back when the Packers beat them in the Super Bowl ;(

(I grew up near Foxboro)

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I live in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.  Are you in this area too?

Relatively... I live in Milwaukee, near the State Fair grounds!

I was a Patriots fan back when the Packers beat them in the Super Bowl ;(

Aw, poor Matt.  Too bad, so sad... But which is worse, being a Pats fan back then, or being one when the "undefeated" team lost the Superbowl last year to New York?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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which is worse, being a Pats fan back then, or being one when the "undefeated" team lost the Superbowl last year to New York?

Hey, you have to take the long view of things.  Before the Kraft, the Patriots were the joke of the NFL.  Things got better under Parcells, but after '96 I thought that was their shot and they'd never go to a superbowl again.  With Bledsoe, I'm not sure they would have.  My impression of his quarterbacking is him having all day to throw...but being too indecisive, and finally getting rushed, backing up, and getting sacked for a ten yard loss.  Maybe unfair, but it's how I remember him.  Anyway, it would have been nice to see a perfect 17-0 season, but after three Super Bowl wins I've got nothing to complain about.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:45 PM ET
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Very true.  And we Packer fans had our dark days... over 20 years in between the glory days of Lombardi and the Favre era!  Not that I was around during Vince Lombardi, but I certainly remember the dreariness of the 1980's.  I just hope we're not headed back in that direction...

Besides, it could be worse.  We could all be Detroit Lions fans!

(Hm.  This thread quickly got off topic, didn't it?)

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