Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Reading Resolutions for 2015

new-years-resolution calendar As the new year begins, lots of people make general resolutions. I don’t, because they cause more anxiety, but this year I found myself making a couple regarding reading. First, I’d like to read less Euro-centric books, which happens occasionally now, but I will make more of an effort to do so. And secondly, to read a book by Salman Rushdie, who I enjoy on talk shows and political commentary, but I’ve never actually read one of his books.
With these modest goals in mind, I wondered if any of my fellow readers made resolutions about reading or books, so I began asking around and was pleasantly surprised by the responses.
My fellow Book Foxes chimed in, first Leena “I always like the idea of New Year’s resolutions: partly because the ‘clean slate’ type of feeling appeals to me, and partly because I’m delighted by any excuse to use new stationery. The Book List for the Coming Year is, naturally, another excuse to buy a new notebook – which is what I did for 2015 as well. A cute tiny notebook with tiny pink roses on it, à la Cath Kidston. The very act of writing my to-be-read list in my rosy little notebook makes me feel like a more organised and accomplished person.
My problem is that always seem to bite off more than I can chew, or else I bite into something only to realise I really would have preferred a completely different dish. So if I decide to read 200 books per year, I’ll be lucky if I end up reading 40. If I choose 40, I might read 60 books, but they don’t include the original 40 I had in mind; and at the end of the year I always realise I didn’t even use the cute little notebook as a reading journal, as I’d meant to do.
I should probably have learnt by now that this yearly tradition isn’t working. So why do I always try a New Year’s Book List? I have no idea. It’s like the ‘back to school’ tradition: I always get excited around that time of the year as well, for no rational reason at all. Is it all about the stationery? Are ALL the plans I make in my life all about the stationery? Is my very existence nothing but an excuse to buy new notebooks? I’m beginning to think so.
This year I tried something new, however, to make things easier for myself. I decided I’m only going to read books I already have on my shelves, not buy any new ones. That way, I’m sure to read SOME of the titles in my notebook. Now we’re well into 2015, and I’ve read one book that was originally on the list; started reading three more; borrowed three books out of the library (that doesn’t count as ‘buying new ones’, you know); and bought only five new ones. Doesn’t that sound promising? No, don’t answer that, please.”
Kirsty D. agreed, “While it’s not a new year’s resolution per se, towards the end of last year I was having a pretty major book cull and it prompted me to think about the books I own but haven’t yet read. I’m really very good at accumulating books. I am also very good at reading books, but the problem lies in the fact that the speed of accumulation is much faster than the speed of reading. So, I decided then that I needed to concentrate very hard indeed in clearing some of the reading backlog rather than continuing to acquire yet more. It’s not an outright book-buying ban (for one thing, I have book tokens to spend from Christmas) but rather a promise to myself to practice what could be called ‘mindful book acquisition’ and to finally get around to those books that have been waiting patiently on the shelves… for years in some cases. Now, if everyone could stop writing such interesting books till I catch up…”
Other friends had specific books in mind, Vicki W. “I’m holding back the last Outlander series book so I’ll have it to look forward to…” 3 musketeers And Debbie said “My NYR was to re-visit at least one old friend a month. Either an author or a book that I totally fell in love with at some point in my life. For January, I went to my go to author… Alexandre Dumas, but didn’t take my favorite of his works, Count of Monte Cristo. I chose the Three Musketeers…and justified it for myself by saying BBC was bringing on season two of their series. I’ve finished just about half of it and the first episode was on last night. It’s like I’m living in the France of Richelieu all over again and remembering what it’s like to read long, full, deliciously descriptive sentences again! So many books, so little time!!!!”
Guest Fox Marie has an impressive goal, “My resolution is to read novels from as many different countries of the world as I can. I managed 17 different countries in 2014!”
Some told me of websites that encouraged readers to aim for a certain number of books. Kelly B. told me about the one at HarperCollinsCanada. “On January 2, I spent some time on this website and decided to challenge myself and my friends to read 50 books. You can choose your own target – 10, 25, 50, 100 books….As you read books, you add them to your profile.” She has challenged friends to do the same. BrnldGirl named another website, “Each year I do the Goodreads challenge. it is where you pledge to read a certain number of books during that Year. last year I pledged to read 100 books and ended with 101. I was proud of myself. the year before I pledged 75 and read 80. But now that I have gone back to work I only pledged 50 for the year to see how things work out. You can always change your goal if you feel you went too high or too low.”
But Book Fox Hilary warns of the dangers, “I did the Goodreads 50 book challenge in 2013, and felt in the end it was ruling my life, so in 2014 I did nobody’s no book challenge, and did not read as much as I wanted to. So there must be a middle way. I think Leena’s notebook idea might be one to try. ”
A few people told me they had more general goals. Like KittyRambo “Mine was to spend less time on Facebook & more time reading. It helps that my nephew is getting antsy for me to finish the book I’m reading as I promised he could have it.” and Jools “Not really a resolution but I’m trying to read more this year.”
P.J. is thinking of books themselves “My resolution is to clean out the bookcases and donate the contemporary nonsense that has accrued over the years. Purge back down to having just the real good stuff on the shelves.”
There you have it, a nice sampling of just the people *I* know. It will be interesting to see how many of us follow through. Did any of our readers make any resolutions involving books or reading? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

calendar photo from Google, used on various other websites, copyright retained by them.

5 comments on “Reading Resolutions for 2015

  1. Jane
    January 26, 2015

    I keep a TBR list on my laptop, as well as a Books Read list, kept since 2005. More than I can possibly read in the rest of my life, even if I live another 50 years, and I keep -adding- to the TBR!

  2. shukie39
    January 26, 2015

    I too acquire more books then I can handle. I tell myself I will read what I already have but then I buy another book, someone gives me a book they think I’ll like and then I end up not reading the books I already have. I have a lot of classics that I have read before and went to read again or want to read for the first time. I say I will do that this year and then of course it doesn’t happen and I’m staring at those books in my bookcase again. Last year I started a list of all the books I read and the ones I want to read. I keep that in my phone and keep adding to the list of the ones I want to read. I probably will never get to all of them but I’m trying to be organized about it.I understand about the notebooks too. I have lots of those started too. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  3. Benedict C.
    January 27, 2015

    Ha ha! I am book addict and my name is… Yes, my TBR pile is also quite ridiculous. And I’m ignoring all the reference books I’ve acquired over the years on the grounds that I had a passing interesting in the titular topic.

    So, this year I will start and maintain a list. Once it is written up, although I’m not (yet?) on Goodreads, there’s another forum I frequent where I can “out” myself and show progress in reducing the book count.

    If I get my act together I’ll even put together a potted review of each title that I’ve been able to cross off. Or should I say “read”… when did curating my beloved collection become such a chore?

  4. Stranger
    January 27, 2015

    AHHHHH!!!! That’s the exact same school room copy of the Musketeers I read! And it lead to a major revelation in my life…

    At the start of the fifth grade my teacher passed out books for us to do a report on. This is the one I got (I was at the end in the very back, no one else wanted it) As I read, I kept feeling like I was missing something. There were parts that didn’t mesh or make sense, there was background missing. It was like reading ‘in a fog’ somehow. (Okay, I admit that I was a detail oriented nerdlet back in the 50’s… deal with it, people!)

    I was talking to my dad about the story when he asked me a question about the plot and I had NO idea what he was talking about! I insisted it wasn’t in the story… there was no mention of it… I was clueless.

    THAT’S when my father took me to the library and checked out an UNABRIDGED copy of the Musketeers! He explained the shorter, adapted-version logic to me and handed me the bigger book with the smaller font and ALL THOSE GLORIOUS DETAILS THAT HAD BEEN MISSING in my butchered version.

    It was like I was reading a whole different story with so much color and excitement and depth. I had read the Count of Monte Cristo over the summer and realized that I’d missed most of the meat of that story. I got an unabridged copy of that and literally ate it alive. What a revelation!!

    From that day on, I’ve never touched an abridged version of a book. My father taught me so many lessons in that one trip to the library, not the least of which is to look for the whole picture with all the graphic, gritty minutiae in life and books.

    I could write a book about all the other lessons… sigh…..

    I still miss him.

    Thanks Jackie.. it was a great read… who knew it would lead me down memory lane???


  5. Pingback: Studying Resolutions for 2015 | TiaMart Blog

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2015 by in Entries by Jackie, Interviews: book readers, Non-fiction: sociology and tagged , , , .



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