I’ve never been that big on making New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve been thinking more about the idea today, now that the empty slate of 2014 is spread before me. Specifically, the time I spent looking over what I read in 2013 has led me to ponder what may need to change about my current reading habits. Here’s the Top Ten Reading Resolutions I’ve come up with as a result:
When it comes to non-fiction I generally stick to memoir and food writing. 2014 will be a time to expand my non-fiction horizons.
2. Stop losing my marginalia-writing pencils
I write in most of the books I own and it’s always frustrating to discover that my latest pencil has disappeared yet again. Perhaps I should devise some kind of cunning pencil-tethering bookmark.
3. Finish our home library
Begun a few months ago, our home library keeps our books together and organized but, otherwise, is still being half-used for storage. My goal is to get the various odd objects out and replace them with more reading-appropriate ones, like a cosy chair or two.
4. Try more new recipes from my cookbook collection
I love cookbooks and have a pretty extensive collection, but it’s easy to get bogged down, making only familiar dishes. In 2014 I’d love to try one new recipe from my cookbook collection each week. I hope Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater and Alice Waters would approve.
5. Finally read Game of Thrones
As a fantasy novel fan, it’s a bit shocking that I’ve never read the Song of Ice and Fire books. This year, it’s going to happen (and not just because I’m desperate to watch the HBO series…).
6. Read and return the two books that were lent to me during 2013
As discussed in a previous post, I’m terrible at returning books to people (a big part of the reason I don’t kick up a fuss when others don’t return books that I’ve lent to them). At the moment I have two books that are well overdue to be returned to their owners. So far I’ve tackled neither mainly due to their extreme length. However, as I’m currently reading Stephen King’s The Stand, I don’t think weighty page count can function as an excuse much longer.
7. Get caught up on the work of a few favourite authors
As a young adult literature enthusiast, I spent much of 2013 with the work of authors I knew by reputation, but whose work I hadn’t much read before. This led to a new obsession with Sarah Rees Brennan and Holly Black, among others. While the discovery of new and fantastic authors is always a great thing, spending so much time with their books has meant that I’ve not yet read the new work of some of my old favourites. Time to remedy that.
8. Continue to read more short fiction and essays, finish the collections I’m part-way through
A new love of short fiction and essays was one of 2013’s great discoveries. One of the advantages of collections is being able to read a single complete piece, put the book down and come back for more later. However, it does mean that I’ve amassed several partly-read titles that really deserve to be re-visited.
9. More New Zealand books
I read 6 NZ books this year, which is almost 11% of all the books I read in 2013. But, there are still a ton of NZ titles on my to-read list. This time next year, I’d love for that percentage to be closer to 15-20.
10. Read a book with a friend
I’ve talked about books with many many people, shared likes and dislikes and raved over authors together, but (shocking revelation moment) I’ve never been a member of a book club. This year, I’d love to read a book at the same time as a friend or two, so we can ooh, ahh and/or complain chapter by chapter. Nothing enhances a reader’s experience like finding your passion for a favourite book also dwelling in the mind of a favourite person in your life.