Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Some Reading Goals for 2008

It's probably a bit too late for New Year resolutions (unless we make that Chinese New Year resolutions!) but setting yourself a reading challenge is a mighty good thing. (Even if, like me, you don't manage to win it!). Bloggers have embraced the idea with a whole variety of challenges springing up as Sassymonkey explains on . She recommends picking one that really fits your needs.
Do you mostly read fiction and want to add some non-fiction to your reading life? Or vice versa? Do you want to explore a new-to-you genre of books? Do you want to a theme? Do you want to read more foreign authors? Do you have so many unread books in your house that it's starting to scare you and make you feel guilty any time you so much look at a bookstore because you know buying more books means you are either insane or addicted or both?
And then goes on to list them, with links.

My own reading life is too complicated with reviewing and all to be able to commit to reading to any formal plan. I just want to survive ... and enjoy what I read.

The TBR Challenge was fun and even if my final score was only a pathetic 3 out of 12. I won't commit to it this year but I've knocked up a list of 50 books on my shelves I really want to read and I hope I can diminish the pile a little bit.

But I'm happy to see that I have completed the Man Booker challenge already! (And I've got just 3 more novels from last years longlist to go.) But I will definitely try to read all again this year. It's so nice to share opinions and debate books across the world, and that's really what the Booker is - a great big literary conversation.

I guess the reading challenge I really would like to set for myself is reading some of those classics of Malaysian literature (in English or in translation from Malay) that I haven't got around too yet. (I'm too ashamed to post my list.)

I'd also like to read more work in translation and definitely more American fiction ...

I seem to remember that the Malaysian government was encouraging everyone to read a book a month, but that isn't a challenge at all, is it? How about at least a book a week (essential target if you call yourself a writer)?

The 52 book challenge.

Anyone else up for it?


Anonymous said...

Well actually my current problem is not enough money to get more books. I could get more work, but then I'd not have time to read the books.

gnute said...

Anonymous, no library nearby?

Sharon, 1 book a week would be impossible for me!

I guess my resolution is to read lit in Malay because it is a beautiful language. I just borrowed a friend's copies of Salleh ben Joned and discovered that there is an English translation on the corresponding page which is handy.

Anonymous said...

Not a one. And the libraries her kinda suck.

madcap machinist said...

52 book challenge is achievable

Two years in a row since I started counting.


cill said...


This Monday, we will be having a session with Mr AWang Goneng at IIUM (uia). Details are as below:

a. Location: Seminar room level 3, HS, International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak
b. Date and Time: 14.01.08, 3.30pm to 5.00pm
c. Topics: Open lecture. Mostly on process of making the GUIT.
d. Contact info:
e. Fees: free. This is a student programme, but we open it for public.

Mrs. Sharon's attendance is very much appreciated. Others are invited too :) Please mail me, so I can book a seat for you. Maybe i can help you with the route :)


p/s: I really appreciate if you post this add at your blog.

bibliobibuli said...

well done mm

thanks a lot cill. would have loved to come but that is the day i'm organising my own lit event! so glad that you've all asked awang goneng to speak and hope you have a really good time.

Alice Teh said...

Definitely count me in. I can't survive with one book a week. Has to be 2, at least. I wonder how does one cope with one book a month? I don't know what will become of me. But I understand that books are expensive and the libraries here need a lot of help. Can the government do something?

Natasya said...

I'm already all geared to read a book a week. I just need to make sure i finish a book by Sunday, and start a new one on Monday. Going good so far. Not sure in 6 months time though...

Leon Wing said...

Alice, Anon, after May, when the Brit council library is no more, I'll agree that the libraries here really need a lot of help and yes, libraries here do suck.

And Alice I too cannot survive reading just 1 book a week. It has to be 2 a week from Brit Council lib, 1 or more from own purchases, from ebooks. I dread the day come May when my reading will be cut down. Kino staff will be seeing more of me then.

Shaua Fui said...

My plan is finish 40 books this year.I finished only 32 books last year, due to the busy working life and my hit-and-run reading style, which left me so many unfinished books.

Of course I wish i could read more. So I'm willing to take up this challenge.

bibliobibuli said...

nice to hear of all these reading pledges.

leon (and whoever else is book impoverished) can borrow whatever i have (provided that you are nice to my books and return 'em). link to my library is in the sidebar. drop off and pick up can be arranged via silverfish books or at readings.

Anonymous said...


You're a lifesaver. Will be taking you up on the offer sometime :)

Leon Wing said...

Oh, that is so good of you! Thanks so much! Promise I'll take of care of your books!

Anonymous said...

Reading is one of the most over rated virtues. It does not improve your personality or quality of life one damned bit.

Better to watch quality docs anytime.I'm discovering old programs on TVIQ, some of which are damned good.

"Frontiers" for example. I watched Cristopher Hitchen's on Cyprus and Nadine Gordimer on South Africa/Monzambique recently.

Today I watched Julian schanabel interview on CNN. Beats reading those damned Harry Hotter or Grisham anytime.

Having said all that, reading is cool too but I think it's not how many books we read, but what kind books we read that is more important.

Ah Pong

Anonymous said...

Ah Pong ah,

Ya lah, I agree! Reading is SO overrated. I'd rather being eating bak kut teh or sleeping or even sitting on the toilet picking my nose. In fact I can't even explain what I'm doing here on a literary blog when I HATE READING.

Why AM I here? Why ah?

I tried reading once, and you're right, it totally sucked. I read ALL of Enid Blyton's books and not ONE of them improved my personality or my quality of life.

You and me, we should get together, man! We got a lot to talk about.

-- Preeta