I know, I know. It’s only January 4th and we’re probably already sick of hearing the word resolution. I’m usually not one for making particular resolutions at the beginning of the year, as I think they often set people up for imminent failure, but I don’t think there’s any harm in reflecting on the previous year and thinking of some manageable, realistic ways to change or improve ourselves. Here are some thoughts I’ve been having on my reading resolutions for the upcoming year.
Slow Down and Savour
In December, I only finished one book. One! I had plans for a relaxing Christmas and New Year thinking I would get numerous books finished, but that didn’t happen. I still relaxed, but instead of reading I was spending quality time with family, watching movies and playing board games. These are the moments I’ll remember and treasure rather than sitting in my room alone reading, so I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to sacrifice some reading time and slow things down when you want to.
I also only read 35 books in 2017. Some voracious readers who read hundreds of books a year may laugh at that. Others may be amazed that I managed over 12. The point is, it doesn’t matter. I never want to get hung up on the number of books I’m reading. Instead, I want to focus on the quality of the stuff I’m reading.
All About the Backlist
I read a lot of new releases in 2017. In fact, if I was to hazard a guess at how much, I’d say over 50% of my reading in 2017 was new releases. Even though I found some gems that came out last year (ahem, Little Fires Everywhere and Tin Man), I also realized that so many of the backlisted books on my shelf took a backseat in 2017. There are some books on my shelves that I’ve had for literal years which I am so excited for, but which I keep putting off, almost like a fancy outfit that you only want to wear on special occasions. Why?! Life is short, I need to just pick up the damn Donna Tartt and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novels and be glad I did!
Buy Less, Choose Well
I’ve been toying with the idea of not buying any books in 2018. Right now, it’s only January 4th and I’m still on a high from the huge stack of books I kindly received from Christmas, so I can’t guarantee I’ll be feeling the same during the summer and autumn when all of the year’s big releases are coming out. Nevertheless, it’s time I realized that I do, in fact, spend a lot of money on books. Rather than immediately order books I’ve heard about through a video or blog post, I’m going to take advantage of my city’s wonderful library or wait a few months until I’ve made a dent in my growing TBR pile. At the very least, I don’t want to buy any hardcover books in 2018. I’ve bought so many in the past that sit on my shelves unread for months when I could have saved money and opted for the paperback version instead. Last year, I also bought an additional bookshelf and moved all of my books into an open space in my living room to feature them all. I now love the idea of having my own personal library that I can browse and pick from at any time. I plan to be taking full advantage of this personal library in 2018!
Remember That Reading is Fun
There’s been a lot of discussions online recently about reader fatigue, falling out of love with reading, and generally just questioning our role and happiness surrounding reading. I’ve found these discussions really interesting and can relate to a lot of them, but overall I want to take the work out of reading in 2018 and remember that it’s my hobby and my passion. I’m hoping that the above resolutions will help me with that.
What are your reading resolutions for 2018?