Ok I may be a little early but I’m preparing myself for a new reading year. This year I’ve not read as many books as I would have liked (but then again I never do read as many as I’d hope to). I thought though, that as this year comes to an end it may be a good idea to set out some reading resolutions for 2016. No doubt I will break them all. The only question is, how long will it take?
1. Read more of my own books
By this I mean books I have bought. I tend to put these to one side in order to read review copies and then they sadly get left behind. I am in no way complaining about receiving proof copies. I don’t expect to receive any proof copy and truly do appreciate every one I get. But I feel (a self-imposed) pressure to read those before the ones I have bought for myself or have had given to me as gifts. Next year I intend to read more of these mixed in with any review copies I may be lucky enough to receive.
2. Not set a Goodreads challenge
Now I’ve taken this idea from an article I read via Twitter. I sadly can’t recall who it was by but a reader discussed why she hadn’t set a Goodreads target. She had her own reasons. As for mine, well again it seemed this year like another added pressure. Again it’s really not a big thing in the grand scheme of things but I was always conscious of the fact I was behind in the reading schedule. I then felt I needed to read faster so that I didn’t ‘fail’. There is nothing to fail at when it comes to reading. Its a personal choice, done, in the main, for pleasure and so shouldn’t be a chore. I’d like to see if taking away little things like a Goodreads challenge help make it more of the former and less of the latter. I will however still be setting my own reading ‘challenge’ though really its more like a geeky list. I like to make note of all the different places the books I read are set and try to vary it if possible.
3. Make sure my book eyes aren’t bigger than my book belly
I’ve come to the sad realisation that I can’t actually read every book I like the sound of, however much I may try. I therefore need to be a little bit more selective. I won’t be buying every book I ‘need’ to read, nor will I request every one. I don’t want any of the books I have to be left waiting to be read whilst I wade through the to read pile. Its not fair on authors and publishers who are waiting for reviews, not fair on me to feel overwhelmed and not fair to the books I’ve already got and not read.
4. Don’t feel like I have to read a book just because ‘everyone’ else has.
Its easy to get caught up in the furore over a new book. Its getting lots of rave reviews, bloggers you respect are raving about it and it seems to fill up your Twitter time line. I have been disappointed by books like this, probably because I’ve made them into something before I’ve even read it so have set myself up for disappointment. I’m vowing to not do this in 2016, or at least try not to. If a book sounds like I’d find it interesting then I’ll add it to the wishlist. If it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea then I probably won’t – even if the whole world is having a read-a-long. And I’ll stop feeling guilty if I don’t like a book everyone is raving about – or indeed if I love one that others don’t find particularly appealing. The beauty of books is that they are subjective. Every reader takes something different away from each book. And everyone’s opinions are valid.
5. Keep track of my books
When I started blogging I didn’t expect to receive or read so many books. The pile got away with me somewhat so I decided I better start a list. I opened up a spreadsheet, made a start, and then promptly forgot about it. I have good intentions of starting up the record keeping again but who knows how long that may last…
6. Stop procrastinating
I find I’m spending longer and longer on deciding my next read. I’ve decided to just pick up a book and read, unless for some reason I have agreed to read a book by a deadline. If I don’t happen to be in the mood for the one I have grabbed, I’ll set it to one side and pick another. This way hopefully the time spent picking a read can be better spent actually reading. Procrastination time also means less time spent on social media. That way I have more time for everything else.
7. Try to read all the proofs I may receive at least a week before publication
I aim to do this anyway but again sometimes my plans go awry. I have started as I mean to go on as I’ve read a number of January releases already. It will all depend on how many I have for that particular month I guess. And if I don’t get any proofs, which I certainly don’t assume to expect, then I can work my way through those I already have, and buy some more to replace them 🙂
So there it is. How long I manage to keep to these resolutions is another matter but the good intentions are there.