Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve written down ten resolutions sometime during New Year’s Eve day. I don’t usually share or post them publicly. Instead, they live in my journals and planners. I’d be lying if they were something that I thought about consciously after the first couple days of the months; they’re usually the kinds of big picture things I’m always trying to improve about myself that I’m well aware I need to work on. (Yep, “floss more” is nearly always on the list.)
But every now and then, I get super specific. For example, last year I said I wanted to break 24 minutes in a 5k and sign up for a marathon. Those ones haunted me once I got past the winter months where how much I ran was dictated by how much snow and ice lurked on the sidewalks in my neighborhood. These resolutions seemed completely in my control and discrete. In March, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery, and in April, I finally broke 24 minutes, on a nice flat 5k course. I wish I could say that the resolution alone was my motivation, but in the age of social media specific to everything, that wasn’t exactly the case. My husband and I have become obsessed with tracking our race times on Athlinks. So, just like I am obsessed with tracking everything I read on GoodReads, I am similarly obsessed with beating my personal records for various distances, proof that getting older does not mean getting slower.
Which brings me to GoodReads. Since 2010, I have tracked all of my reading using the popular social networking site. Since that year, though, my reading has continually declined from 311 books read (in 2010) down to a mere 111 in 2014.
I know, I know. The librarian in me still thinks:
But the writer in me is considering a different approach. Last year was the first year I was able to decide what I read in several years (2 years of service on the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults committee, plus 2 years of being a graduate student at Vermont College of Fine Arts), and I so enjoyed being able to read what I wanted. That said, I found myself feeling a little burnt out on reading. Maybe it was the critical lens I’d picked up at school that I couldn’t quite let go, or maybe reading burn out is a real thing. All I know is this year, my reading resolution is to read for enjoyment and learning. To feel free to set a book aside if I’m not feeling it, instead of dragging myself through it just because I want to check of the “done” box on GoodReads.
My other reading resolution is to read more diverse books. I’ve been following the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign since it began and full-heartedly support it. As a librarian, I worked in several communities with such a strong need for diverse books and not enough published books that really met that need. But I think it’s also fair to say that as an upper-middle-class white woman, I wasn’t doing my best job at reading diverse books. I could do better, and in 2015, I hope I will.
So there they are: my reading resolutions for 2015:
1. Read less/read what’s holding my attention.
2. Read more diverse books.
What are your reading resolutions for 2015?