Trying assigned reading

I think I mentioned earlier this year that I decided for 2021 to try out the method of “assigning” myself a few books to read each quarter. The main reason for this is that I wanted to finally actually tackle some of the books on my “Want to Read” shelf in (the main place I keep track of books I hear about and want to read). I was finding that I would run across new books (on podcasts, reviews, FB, blogs, etc.), start reading them and then never really get around to these other books that I apparently at one point decided I “wanted to read”.

So far, I LOVE IT.

I took a pretty balanced approach, I think. I decided to assign myself 5 books per quarter. It seemed this would allow for some flexibility to still read other misc. books I run across, too (hopefully), while still making progress on my master list.

I’m loving having this little list of books to work from. It suits my personality well, and I find I am actually looking forward to books that are coming up. Also, knowing what I’m planning to read helps me to plan ahead and request the book/buy the book/ whatever so that as soon as I finish one, I have another waiting for me.

Back in January I made a master list of 20 books- 10 fiction, 10 non-fiction (from my Want to Read list). Then I picked out 5 for Quarter 1 (January- March). I made it through 4/5 by the end of March, so overall not too bad. My final Q1 book is The Winter of the Witch (the 3rd and final book in The Bear and the Nightingale trilogy) and I am planning to start it today.

Last week I went through and picked out 5 more for Q2 (see above). I have been reading WAY MORE FICTION than I have in years. It has been nice….but the past couple weeks I have been seriously itching to read some more non-fiction. So for Q2 I flip-flopped the fiction to non-fiction ratio and will go slightly heavier on non-fiction choices.

With my virtual work book club in the mix this year, too (also mostly fiction so far), I am feeling very content with the variety of books I’m reading.

For book club, the choices have been GREAT so far. We’ve read:

January– We Were the Lucky Ones
February– The Boys in the Boat
March– The Hate U Give
AprilThe Giver of Stars (picking up library hold today! (curbside/contactless). This was on my list anyway, too! Excited.)

They were all excellent!! I just finished The Hate U Give, which I really wanted to read anyway- so it worked out perfectly to be the March choice. It was a good, very timely book for today’s world- but side note: I have a very hard time seeing this as a “young adult” genre book (which is how it’s classified)!!! Yowzers… no WAY would I let my kids read it….way too much seriously bad language (like F word level language…). Also, there are a bunch of very blatant sexual references and stuff that would just be a hard “no” for me to allow the boys to read ever, really. I read some reviews where people said they read it with their tweens/teens, in order to discuss the important and discussion worthy subject matter…but yeah, no way. Unfortunately, nope. Not here! 🙂 (However, to each their own! This is just my opinion.)

Current 2021 book list thus far of completed titles….. (I feel like I read a lot? Like, every day! But yet I’ve only read 10 books so far (and 2 have been with the boys). Hmm. Oh well. I guess I must not read as much as I think I do. Or I just read slowly? Lol. I remain SO IMPRESSED and humbled by blogger friends who crank out like 10 books per month. 😳)

A Gentleman in Moscow took me so long to read!! I loved it, though.
Next in the queue. Final Q1 choice (a little late, but who’s counting.)

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for lists. I don’t live obsessively by lists or anything, but a good list can sometimes just be really helpful. A way to help me prioritize and actually do the things I want to do!

6 thoughts on “Trying assigned reading”

  1. This is a fun way to decide what to read and limits decision fatigue! I sort of do this monthly. I look at what I can download on my kindle through the library and the book club book and make a list of books to read that month. Sometimes I deviate but I stick to it pretty well!

    I hope you enjoy ‘The Giver of the Stars’ as much as I did! It’s such a great book! I agree about The Hate U Give. Way too many adult topics for young kids! I felt that way about her other book, too. I haven’t read her latest. She is a great author but the topics are pretty adult IMO. I guess everyone has a different filter for what they think is appropriate. My mom really had no idea what was in the books I read, though! Like the VC Andrews books. Eeks!!


    1. Just to provide a counterpoint, I could see reading The Hate You Give with my kids when they are in early HS years. From my job, I get to see (and am always floored by) how kids change A LOT and typically mature as they go through puberty and . . . well, it’s hard to imagine they won’t be exposed to these more ‘mature’ topics in some way, and I’d rather it be in a way they could discuss with me. I definitely don’t think most 10 years olds would be ready, though.


      1. You’re probably right- I just can’t really imagine it at this point! I suppose there is a big difference between 11 and say, 16/17. At this point I can’t really imagine my kids ever driving a car, either! Lol!! Crazy to think how much they will (hopefully) mature over the next few years…


  2. books bringing me so much joy so it’s not even a challenge not to read it. Recently I love memories more than fiction, and love Becoming which is what I am currently reading.
    I will enter into crisis mode when I don’t have a stash of books to read.
    how do you choose books you want to read? I’m always curious to know how others select.


    1. Usually from either podcasts/blogs that mention books they are reading, articles that mention books, Goodreads “suggestions”/Amazon suggestions (at the bottom where it says “you may also like….), sometimes will see books on social media, or just word of mouth! I have a running want to read list in Goodreads, so anytime I hear of anything that sounds good I just open my app and add it. I think I currently have over 80 books on there, hahaha! Then I usually just go with whatever sounds good to me at the moment- whatever I’m kind of in the mood for. Or if I have had something on there for a long time (like this quarter- I want to finally read The Glass Castle which has been on my list for ages….) I might prioritize that. I love nonfiction too and also really love memoirs.


  3. I really love this idea. Thank you for sharing how it’s working for you!

    I just started it this month – at the start of the month I picked what I’d read, and I’ve really enjoyed knowing what’s next. Also a good way for me to read some of the unread books I already own because the temptation to buy more is always there!


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