It’s halfway through January, and our resolve to keep our New Years’ Resolutions has likely lessened. While my resolve to ride the stationary bike more frequently hasn’t quite stuck, one set of resolutions that I can keep are my reading resolutions.
Those of you who know something about me know that I’m a huge reader. I eat, sleep and breathe books. I even talk about books in my sleep. (Or so I’ve been told) Don’t get me wrong- I love all of it, and I read the Children’s/YA books as much for pleasure as for professional reasons, but still there are resolutions or reading promises that I’ve made to myself that at the moment, I’m still working hard to keep.
1. Read more books just because….
I am on three different committees (One of which I chair) and I review professionally. All of these things mean I end up with a lot of books coming across my desk that I have to read. There is some crossover, and some are books I would have chosen anyway, but I tend to get bogged down with the obligations and not allow myself the pleasure of reading something just because I want to.
2. Complete more series/trilogies
I have learned that the best way for me to keep up with a series is to wait until the second book releases and have it on my shelf to read immediately after finishing the first. By the time a year passes between the first and the second, as keen as I was to read the next, I’ve got too much on the go and don’t get back to it. This year, I’m giving myself permission to read more second and third books if I want to and to not feel guilty for indulging.
3. Take reviews with a grain of salt
I know what I like and what I don’t like, but my feelings about a book are one opinion just as reviews are the opinion of one person. I have resolved to pay less attention the reviews of books I’ve not only read but intend to read and not let them impact my feelings about a book. Just because it received five starred reviews doesn’t mean I’m going to like it or have to like it. Just as even if it was completely trashed by reviewers doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy it.
4. Take more reading chances
I’ve written on this subject before, but I get stuck in reading ruts. I gravitate towards the same authors and the same types of books, and have definite areas of comfort in my reading. This year I resolve to force myself outside of these zones more often and take chances on reading books by authors I’ve never heard of in genres I don’t often read.
5. Be more open minded
When I first look at the boxes of submissions for my committees, I tend to make snap judgements based on the publisher copy and the cover. I am going to try and approach each of these books with an open mind and not pass judgement on the book until I’ve started reading it. I know I’ve read several that I wasn’t prepared to like and have been surprised.
6. Be more impulsive
I receive a lot of books, and trying to pick something new from the vast numbers of books I have sitting on my shelf can get overwhelming. What I’ve taken to doing is starting a separate to be read pile that I stack on a separate shelf and then I pick books in order from that shelf. The only trouble is, I get so wrapped up in my rules and pre-selection that I’m allowed to impulsively decide to read something that isn’t the next book in my bag.
I’m sure there are many more resolutions that I could make or would like to make, but for now, I think I’ll focus my energy on keeping these.
How about all of you? Are there reading resolutions/promises that you’ve made to yourself this year?