New Year's Reading Resolutions That Don't Involve Reading More
Don’t get me wrong; I love the Goodreads challenge where I pick the number of books I want to read in a year. It doesn’t stress me out, it encourages me. And while I don’t participate in them, I also love the idea of the challenges that many book podcasts and book blogs put out, which help people pick out their next reads and possibly read out of their comfort zone. But if you’re anything like me, occasionally I can get bogged down in being more concerned about the end result, about checking boxes, instead of the enjoyment of reading. So here is a list of reading resolutions that I’m going to try to do this year.
Give up on books if I don’t like them. Maybe this is already common knowledge, and maybe everyone except for me does this already. I have this idea that if I start reading a book, I have to finish it. I blame my parents for telling me I can’t quit a sport or activity until the end of the semester or season. They instilled in me an anti-quitting attitude and it’s been hard to shake. The thing is though, there’s a ton of books in the world. And who says if I quit one that I won’t someday go back to it? My personal limit is 25%. If I’ve read over 25%, I will finish the book. Under 25% and it’s still not holding my interest? I quit.
Listen to audiobooks. I already listen to podcasts, switching to audiobooks would be easy-peasy. So why don’t I? A combination of not having the attention span, and probably a little bit of feeling audiobooks “don’t count” as reading. Of course reading is a specific activity, and listening to an audiobook isn’t reading it, but the result is the same. I finished the book. I need to stop qualifying that statement, “I finished a book,” with “but it was an audiobook.” Especially since audiobooks, for me personally, require MORE attention and concentration.
Go to more library sales. Someday, you’ll see on the news two people died from being smothered by books. That will be my boyfriend and I. But I mean, the money spent at library sales goes to a good cause, right?
Underline and take notes. This is controversial, but I actually like it when I purchase a used book and the previous owner highlighted and underlined sentences. It gives me a glimpse into what they considered poignant or possibly confusing. I find it very hard to write in books (although I do use flags for podcast books), but I think it would be so much fun to go through my books 10 years from now and find what I felt was important when I first read them.
Stop judging people for what they read. This is by far the most difficult. It’s no secret I don’t like romance, and I can’t help but eyeroll when I read a book with romance as the main plot. Yes, I know Jane Austen is romance. Yes, I know romance is single-handedly supporting the self-publishing market. That’s all very good, but it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t get it, and it’s hard for me to understand why people like it. However, and this is a big however, I adore detective novels. And, as you might know, in detective novels you always know the crime will be solved at the end. Much like a romance, where you know the couple will get together at the end. And I’ll devour a detective novel in one day, desperate to know whodunnit, even though I already know the perpetrator will be caught. So I have realized that I really need to cut romance readers some slack, as we’re not all that different.
Do you have any reading resolutions that don’t involve challenges?