It isn’t quite December, yet I find myself thinking about 2021. I feel that quite a few individuals are looking ahead to 2021 due to the insanity that has been 2020.

Looking ahead and looking at my bookshelf, I realized that I had squandered so much time this year; there were so many books I had planned to read or started reading but never finished.

How can I ensure that 2021 isn’t the same?

A reading goal! Yeah! That will work. I see many of my friends make reading goals on Goodreads, and they tend to smash those goals. I’ll do the same!

Well, uh … hmmm … how many books do I want to read?

Trick question!

The answer to that question is all of them, but that likely isn’t feasible.

What about all of the physical copies of books I own? Better, but still not feasible (Histories of Middle-Earth alone makes that unlikely).

What if I reverse engineered it? You know like they taught me on my Mission; 20:20:2 – make twenty contacts a day, teach twenty lessons a week, and you’ll average two baptisms per month! Or something like that. It didn’t work out that way for me, but I cannot say that I followed 20:20:2 to the letter.

I decided that my goal would be less about the number of books and more about the average number of pages per day that I would read. A realistic number, given my responsibilities, additional activities, etc., would be an average of thirty-pages a day. Following that average, it would put me at ten thousand nine hundred and fifty pages for the year.

Not bad.

Now, I want to get specific. Which books do I genuinely want to read? I could focus on books that I have never read before, but that would ruin a couple of traditions (i.e., reading The Lord of The Rings once per year).

I decided to do a mix of books I have read before and books I have never read.

How would I ensure that I stay on target and read an average of thirty pages per day?

A big motivator for me is finishing a book.

What if I started with books with the fewest number of pages and worked to the books with the highest number of pages? It is similar to the snowball strategy that individuals employ to pay off debts. It seems like it would work!

I plugged the books I wanted to read into a spreadsheet, sorted by the number of pages, and noticed a slight problem. By going this route, I would be separating book series. Easy fix: swap out books in a series; that way, I can read them back to back.

The result? My 2021 Reading Goal – 32 books, 10,790 pages.

Title & AuthorNumber of Pages
Four Archetypes, C.G. Jung152
Words of The Faithful, Pengolodh I-Earnu, Daymon Smith (editor)237
Words of them which have Slumbered, Pengolodh I-Earnu, Daymon Smith (editor)167
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson182
Holotropic Breathwork, Stanislav Grof200
As a Man Thinketh, James Allen209
LSD My Problem Child, Albert Hofmann210
Beyond Good & Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Kaufmann (Translator)245
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, Maynard James Keenan272
Beren and Lùthen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien272
Children of Hùrin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien292
The Fall of Gondolin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien300
The Quotable Jung, C. G. Jung, Judith Harris (Editor)317
The Way of the Psychonaut V. 1, Stanislav Grof385
The Way of the Psychonaut V. 2, Stanislav Grof320
1984, George Orwell326
Man and His Symbols, C.G. Jung387
The Nature of Middle-Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F Hostetter (Editor)400
The Boy Crisis, Warren Farrell PhD, John Gray PhD407
Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson432
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky551
A cultural history of the book of mormon 1, Daymon Smith306
A cultural history of the book of mormon 2A, Daymon Smith208
A cultural history of the book of mormon 2B, Daymon Smith230
A cultural history of the book of mormon 3A, Daymon Smith199
A cultural history of the book of mormon 3B, Daymon Smith223
A cultural history of the book of mormon 4A, Daymon Smith222
A cultural history of the book of mormon 4B, Daymon Smith331
A cultural history of the book of mormon 5, Daymon Smith236
The Book of Mormon (Three Volumes), Joseph Smith, Jr, edited by Daymon Smith689
Demons, Fyodor Dostoevsky714
The Lord of The Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien1169

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