So last year about this time, I decreed that because I had done so miserably at following through on all of my challenges, I was going to be reading without an agenda in 2010. Well, quite frankly, it was a failure. I had a hard time focusing on much of anything, and it ended up being my worst reading year in the last four years. That’s not to say the quality of reading was bad- I just didn’t read as much as I have in the past (though there were some admitted clunkers).

So, that brings us here to 2011. 2011 is going to be the year of refocusing on reading. I have a lot of really great books just waiting to be read, and 2011 is the year in which I am planning to read them. So I guess 2011 is going to be the year to Read What I Own.

In particular, I am setting a personal challenge to myself to read certain books that have been sitting on my shelf for awhile. Throughout 2011, I am planning on reading quite a bit of Alexandre Dumas, and may turn it in to an actual read-a-long; I haven’t decided yet whether I want to do that. I currently have six Dumas novels waiting to be read (the D’Artagnan romances and The Count of Monte Cristo), and they’re all kind of long, so a little personal mini-challenge might be just right. There are some other books, but I hesitate to list them because listing them generally means that I WON’T read them. Go figure. I am going to make an effort to read one non-fiction book for every three novels I read.

2011 is also going to be my year of reading altruistically. I spend a lot of money on books. We all do. But in 2011, I am planning on cutting back on the books that I buy (this goes along with the whole Reading What I Own thing). I am going to save that money, and at the end of each quarter, I will be making donations to four charities that mean a lot to me. My plan right now is to donate $1.00 per book read to each charity, with a minimum of $25.00 per quarter going to each (in the even that I fail to read as much as I hope to). The charities in question are Room to Read, the Placer County SPCA, the Placer Food Bank and the American Cancer Society.

I have a couple of other ideas for 2011, but it’s all still kind of in the works, so I don’t want to say anything and jinx myself (which I’ve pretty much been known to do).

What plans do you have for reading in 2011?

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