Bookish New Year's Resolutions
You know, there’s a lot of pressure around New Year’s resolutions, which might be why so many of us find them so hard to keep. So why not create a resolution around something you LOVE and actually enjoy doing? Here are five resolutions to kick off 2017 with a bookish bang.
For the number crunchers
Set a goal to read a certain number of books this year. Decide you’re going to read a book a month. Or maybe a book a week. Or even a book a day (bless you)! Whatever number you want to hit, write it down somewhere or tack it up on your wall or make yourself a countdown calendar, and then get cracking!
Pro tip: Goodreads has a really easy tool for this. Click on your profile icon and scroll down to My Reading Challenge. Choose your goal number and then log whenever you finish a book. (Over 38 MILLION books have already been pledged so far this year!!!)
For the “Always Meant to Read That But”ers
Set a goal to read a specific book this year, or a certain kind of book. We all have that one book we’ve always wanted to read, but for one reason or another just never got around to, right? Maybe it’s SCARY long, or you got it as a gift five Christmases ago and it’s been collecting dust ever since, or it’s a 20-book long series that’s finally wrapping up this year. It’s time to pull it down and shelve that fear in its place, dear readers. Before you know it, you’ll be all, “Come at me, War and Peace!”
For the busy bees
Make an effort to read more in general. Look, I completely get it. Life is busy. Work, school, family, all that jazz takes time. And often it has to be our recreational activities—like reading for fun—that fall by the wayside. If you’ve found that you’re just not reading as much as you would like to, see if you can’t squirrel away a couple of minutes every day to indulge in a couple of pages.
And it doesn’t even have to be a whole lot of time. Getting in just one chapter at bedtime could be a really beneficial way to help your brain shut down and relax after a long day. Or you could repurpose time that you already have. Instead of playing Candy Crush (People still play that… right? I’m old) all the way to work, bring a book on the train instead. Or, if you drive to work, now would be a great time to explore the world of audiobooks. Turn that carpool into an impromptu book club!
For the people persons
Check out some author events or conferences in your area. There are TONS of book launches that are happening year-round all over the place. Most bookstores or libraries will have a calendar of events available on their website, so why not come out and support your local authors? It’s a great way to make friends and contacts, and of course discover awesome new books!
Or, if you’re up for an even bigger adventure, check out one of the many conventions and festivals that are happening this year (like RT in May). What better way to spend a vacation weekend than meeting some of your favorite authors, picking up swag and new releases, and cavorting with your fellow bookworms?
For the Ones-Who-Have-Covered-Every-Surface-in-Their-Homes-with-Books
Clear out your book collection a little. Trust me, I KNOW how very painful that sentence is to read. I had to take a deep breath and steel myself just to type it, and it still took me six tries before my fingers stopped autocorrecting it to BUY MORE BOOKS, DUMMY.
But look at it this way: If we don’t clean out some space on our shelves, where will we put all the shiny new pretties we want to read this year? (If your answer is “on top of that stack of books teetering over there in the corner,” then I like your style and we should be friends.)
Lauren is often saying she likes to apply Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy to other aspects of life, like books she wants to read and social feeds she follows. In order for something to deserve your time and attention, it has to “spark joy.” So, ask yourself: If I could read this book right now, would I joyfully do so? If you find yourself thinking “Meh, not really,” then don’t keep it! Put it in your donate pile. Get rid of it. (Fun fact: This also works really well for Netflix queues!)
Once you have your pile all set to go, see if your local library takes donations. If not, or if your town doesn’t have a library (in which case, I humbly suggest you move at your earliest convenience), here are two lists of charities that will happily take them off your hands, here and here.
What is your bookish resolution this year, Swooners? Share in the comments!