It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by! As we wrap up 2019, the New Year can be a great opportunity to pause, look back and celebrate all that you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back, you did it! At the same time, there is something refreshing about looking forward to the clean slate of a new year and setting off to accomplish new goals. I love setting New Year’s resolutions every year (although I’m not always the best at keeping up with them!) but even if I don’t “complete” a resolutions, I find that there is value in setting them nonetheless and that making progress towards a goal or trying something new can make you feel great nonetheless. For those of us for whom books are a big part of our lives, this can also mean making some bookish New Year’s resolutions!
This year, I decided to put some bookish spins on some of the more popular New Year’s resolutions because living your best bookish life and planning your New Year’s resolutions do not have to be mutually exclusive. So here are five ways to incorporate your reading life into your New Year’s resolutions, or READ-solutions if you will.
Be More Active
This tends to be a popular resolution and looks different for each person. Whether is trying out a new activity or reaching a new fitness milestone. For me, it can be as simple as a self-reminder to take advantage of my lunch breaks to get up and away from my desk every day, even if it’s just to walk around the block. One of the best ways that I’ve found to stick to this goal is to listen to audiobooks! Having a designated audiobook that you only listen to when walking or working out can be a great motivator when you need that extra inspiration some days. It is extra effective if you listen to a book with a lot of cliffhangers so you can’t wait to find out what happens next!
I have definitely been the type to try ever new planner under the sun in search of the perfect organization system and I am always down to try a new list or app for my schedule so why not do the same for books? Like a lot of readers, I use Goodreads to track my reading but I there are plenty of other ways to keep track of the books you’ve read (or your TBR). Some readers used Google spreadsheets to track their reading and compare it year to year. Others prefer a journaling approach to keep track of their thoughts on the books they have read. Another popular approach to tackling a seemingly endless TBR is to create a TBR jar filled with slips of paper with the titles of books you want to read to pick at random to determine to read next. Picking the right system can be a great motivator in itself so shop around to find out what works for you!
Try Something New
Many people want to widen their horizons each year. Whether that’s picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, or travelling somewhere new. Trying new experiences and stepping outside your comfort zone can apply to your reading life as well. Try reading a new form or genre that you normally wouldn’t pick up. Try a debut or a new-to-you author. Try reading books by or about people from different backgrounds and experiences than your own. Who knows? You might end up finding a new favorite book or author. Before last year, I had no idea just how much short-stories were missing in my reading life and now they have become a must!
This is a big one for me next year. Trying to be conscious about how and what I consume is something that I try to apply to my reading life as well. Reading e-books, listening to audiobooks, shopping at your local indie or used bookstore, donating books you no longer want to keep or hosting book swaps with friends instead of purchasing a new book each time can all be ways to make your reading life a little greener. And of course, there’s no better way to go green with your reading habits than to using your local library!
Spend more time with Friends and Family
This can also be interpreted in many ways, but sharing bookish experiences with friends and family can be a great way to boost your reading game. Try recommending a book to a friend of family member or ask them for their book recommendations. Join a book club or start a two-person book club with a friend. Alternatively, spend more time with your favorite literary characters or a favorite author’s work by re-reading your favorite series or reading an author’s entire list of backlist titles.
What are your New Year’s resolutions or read-solutions? Do you set specific reading goals that you want to accomplish or prefer to go with the flow? What are some other ways that you can incorporate your reading into your other goals?