Would You Choose My 2019 Reading List For Me?

What’s Going On?

At the end of each year I select the books I will read in the coming year and post them here as my annual Reading List (see my Reading Lists for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018).

My method in choosing the books that go on my list is to pick out the books at the top of To-Be-Read (TBR) pile, making sure to cover certain categories and genres such as Classic Literature or History.

Most years I also have some categories that transcend years. For example, over the last few years I have been working through some Thomas Hardy novels, reading two each year.

2019, however, is a clean slate. I will have nothing left over from previous years, no special plans, nothing except the books in my TBR pile. Or rather, I had a special plan, but the delays in the publishing date of The Mirror and the Light – the third novel in Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell Trilogy – have meant that I decided to defer that plan.

But rather than simply pick books from my TBR myself, I thought it might be more interesting and much more fun, if I let the internet decide!

How Will This Work?

In the coming weeks I will be posting a series of polls on this blog asking people to vote for the books I should read next year. Each poll will cover a particular genre or category that I would normally cover in my annual list. I have never posted polls before so hopefully there won’t be any glitches. If all goes the way I want, each poll will be open for a week. Apart from two exceptions, all polls will have four options to choose from and the most popular will make the final list. People will be able to vote once only and the results will be hidden. Only once all the polls have been completed will I share the results and my 2019 Reading List!

The schedule is as follows:

Poll Opens Genre Poll Type
01-10-18 Book Series 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
08-10-18 History Books 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
15-10-18 Classic Literature 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
22-10-18 Science Books 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
29-10-18 Modern Classic Literature 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
05-11-18 Religion/Philosophy Books 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
12-11-18 Contemporary Literature 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
19-11-18 Contemporary Issue Books 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
26-11-18 Wife’s Choice 4 Options, Most Popular Makes Final List
03-12-18 ‘Indian’ Fiction 6 Options, Two Most Popular Make Final List
10-12-18 ‘Indian’ Non-Fiction 6 Options, Two Most Popular Make Final List

Most of these genres are self-explanatory, especially if you know my past lists. Two are new.

I have a few books that deal with ‘contemporary issues’ – the challenges our world is currently facing – and while they are not at the top of my TBR, I believe they need to be given priority because their relevance may diminish over time as these issues evolve.

There are also a number of books that I have not bought for myself, but I would have, if it were not for the fact that my wife already has them. It is tricky knowing how best to deal with these books that have not been around as long as many on my TBR, but that I do want to read eventually. Then there are the books of hers I don’t particularly want to read. I decided to add a ‘Wife’s Choice’ category to my list with four of my wife’s books that I have not read before. And, rather than choosing the books I myself want to read, I left the choice up to my wife who will choose books that she thinks I ought to read.

On 18th December 2018 I will post the results of these polls and my 2019 Reading List!

Will You Really Read the Books We Choose?

Of course! It may not be easy though. If the longest books get chosen, the total will be about all I can manage to read in a year – I may not have much room to add anything more in the year. Then again, we’ve just had another baby. I’ll be the stay-home-parent to two-under-four and I will still be studying too. It is going to be a tough year.

If it turns out that the shortest books get chosen, the total will be only half the length of what I typically set myself in my annual reading lists. What should I do then? Well, I think making up the rest of the space with books that didn’t get chosen is a bit of a cheat of the whole process, so I won’t do that. Instead, I may look further down my TBR list, I may consult my cheat list of books I allow to jump ahead in my TBR, or I may make a start on some of the books I had been planning to read ahead/alongside the Cromwell Trilogy.

Hopefully, and most likely, the final list will be somewhere between these two extremes.

Will You Do This Every Year?

Hmmm. Probably not. Even if this turns out to be successful and as much fun as I hope, there are still reasons I may not do it to the same extent in future. Some of the books that people will have the chance to vote for have been hanging around a long time and I am desperate to read them. If they do not get chosen, I may not leave it up to chance next year and just read them. While I am not currently in the middle of some project, there is the possibility that some of the books that get selected may start me off on some project or other. Like my reading of Hardy, if particular authors get chosen it may result in me working my way through more of their novels. I suppose I could reissue the same polls, minus the options that were chosen in the first round, but that may not be as much fun. I could only hold polls for a few genres rather than an entire list or I may wait until I have another clean slate.

When Do We Begin?

Next week I will post my first poll – asking people to vote for a book series I should read next year. There will be four options, the one with the most votes will go on my 2019 Reading List!

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