Stack Overflow: Checking in on Our Reading Resolutions

Today’s a weird week for me—for once, I didn’t actually finish reading any books this past week, nor do I have any sitting in my usual pile of books that I’ve finished reading but haven’t shared yet. The novel I’ve been reading is one that requires a bit more attention and so it’s been slow going for me. So I decided instead to check in on the reading resolutions we made at the beginning of the year to see how we’re doing. With a little less than a quarter of the year remaining, we’ve still got a little time to wrap things up. Jenny Bristol also had a chance to reflect a bit on her 2023 reading, so her response is below.

Of the particular books I listed at the time, I’ve read all but two of them: A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys and Thinking 101 by Woo-Kyoung Ahn. I’ll admit that other books have arrived, and so I’m always susceptible to the cult of the new, so it was a good reminder that these are books I was excited about, too. I’ll move them to the top of the queue and see if I can give them a shot before the year is out.

As for my more general resolution to just read a little more and worry less about whether books fit a certain theme, I feel okay about that for the most part—I’ve done a few more “grab bag” style columns this year just with whatever I happened to finish, and you may have noticed that on occasion I have columns that are fewer books at a time, just to keep me writing. I went back and checked, and I estimated that this year I’ve covered just about 100 titles here in Stack Overflow. (And, of course, some of our other contributors step in from time to time as well, particularly Mariana Ruiz.) While a lot of my columns have included comics, I think my comics pile is still outpacing my ability to keep up with them. I’ve currently got one box sorted out that’s all comic book memoirs and biographies, and I think just that box has about 30 books in it!

My somewhat arbitrary reading goal of 150 books (which I’m tracking through StoryGraph) may be out of reach, we’ll see. It says I’ve read 107 of my goal, so I’m 11 books behind schedule currently. Maybe if I get through that box of biographies and memoirs that’ll put me a bit closer. (I’ll note that I usually pick a pretty high goal because I include both graphic novels and kids’ novels, so those tend to be quicker reads.)

With that, I’ll get back to some more reading and writing! We’ll check back with everyone at the end of the year for our final 2023 reading reflections.

Jenny Bristol

Looking back at my reading goals for the year, I’ve succeeded in some areas and not in others. I’m definitely on schedule to hit my 23-book goal for 2023—I’ve finished 19 books so far and am halfway through another. But I still haven’t delved into The Relentless Moon, nor any of my grandfather’s other books (in fact, I rearranged some furniture, moving books around, and now I can’t find them!), which I’d meant to get to. In many ways, 2023 has been really difficult, so surviving instead of thriving has been the order of the day. So I’m just pleased I’ve kept up with reading.

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