If you overindulged last night, you have my commiserations. As a non-drinker (I’m allergic to alcohol), I have the advantage of naturally avoiding miserable January Firsts. 🙂
Happy New Year, no matter what your state!
It has become old-fashioned to talk about New Year Resolutions anymore. Science and research have shown that almost no one lives up to their January 1 promises.
So I thought I’d do something a little different.
Instead of making extravagant promises about what you will do to improve yourself this year, why not set some reading goals, instead? Reading is generally considered to be a civilizing habit, anyway.
Here’s some ideas:
- How many books did you read last year? Don’t know? How about, this year, you keep a log of all books you’ve read? The date started and finished, and a rating system and a single comment about how you found the book will give you a great journal to reflect upon at the end of the year.
- There are also electronic journals you can use, including the grandmother of all reading logs: Goodreads.
- If you’re already keeping track of how many books you read, what about aiming for 10% more books this year?
- You may need to research how to find more time to read, to up your book count. Search on Google for “finding time to read” and see what you get.
- If you have spent years reading in only one genre or sub-genre, what about aiming to read 5% or 10% new genre stuff.
- This can be easy to keep track of. Just agree with yourself that every fifth book will be something other than your preferred genre. Or every tenth book (to hit 10% new-to-you).
- You can also mix up your reading by sliding non-fiction titles in there, if you always read fiction. Non-fiction doesn’t have to be stuffy text books, either. Consider:
- Travel journals
- light history texts
- self-improvement books (habits, productivity, positivity)
- instructional non-fiction (how-tos)
- ….and many more.
- Do you always read the same handful of reliable authors? How about sliding in some new-to-you authors? Agree with yourself that every 10th or 15th book, you’ll pick up a title by a completely unknown author and try them on for size.
- Where do you shop for books? If it’s the same on-line bookstore, every time, try browsing at a different bookstore. Kobo, or Barnes & Noble, instead of Amazon, say.
- Books are presented differently and the browsing experience is different, at other stores. It’s like stepping into a strange bookstore on the other side of your city, that you’ve never been in before. You see everything, instead of growing blind from the habit of heading for the romance section as soon as you step in the door. On-line stores are exactly the same. Try wandering the virtual stacks at a different store. When you find books you want to buy, head back to your usual bookstore to purchase them–unless you want to buy from that new store (which is a great way to hear about new titles, too).
- Resolve to browse/buy at a different store every month, just to open yourself up to the possibilities.
- Also, don’t forget your local library for older titles you can no longer get anywhere else. A wander through the stacks once a month might trip you into a new avenue of reading.
There are hundreds of ways you can challenge yourself to read a little bit more, a little bit wider, or a little bit more thoughtfully this year.
What are your reading goals?
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