My Future of Slow Focused Reading

In the upcoming year, 2022, I hope to become a better reader. By that I don’t necessarily mean, to read more but rather to read more effectively. By reading more effectively I think 1) I’ll learn more, and 2) I’ll read more. That is my hypothesis anyway.

I was recently on my Goodreads page (I always forget that it exists) attempting to add all of the books I have read this year (and prior… an impossible feat of memory) and realizing that so many of them had such little impact on me. That is in no way a dig directed toward the quality of the books themselves as a whole or to any in particular but rather a humbling admission that 1) I don’t remember most of what I’ve read this year, their titles let alone their content and 2) how much time and energy have I spent with nothing to show for it! So in order to rectify this, I will preplan most of my reading for the next year.

Many of these books I’ve read before but either had not given them enough attention, read them incompletely (i should do a future blog on what I mean here because by “complete” I do not mean every word of every page), or in the case of a few they have been profoundly influential and I want to return to them frequently.

By preplanning my reading, I’m setting a quantifiable goal to go along with my more nebulous, and bigger goal of becoming a better reader. By (mostly) limiting myself to the books on the list and limiting myself, and giving myself sustained time with each one, I’m hoping to glean more from each one. Formation is the goal rather than information. By being more focused and giving each one the attention it is due, I can either glean wisdom and see how to apply it to my life better, or in the case of the ones that end up being duds, it’ll develop my critical faculties more separating meat and bones.

At any rate, the list below is not necessarily in the order that I will read them, some of that may be determined by availability at the library and how much they are on Amazon at the time I’m ready to read them. Check it out, and feel free to join me. Let me know any thoughts you have about the books on the list if you’ve read them!

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