Last year we posted the titles of books we were hoping to read. This year I decided to take a slightly different approach to reading challenges and resolution making.
I have participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge since 2011 as a way of tracking how many books I’ve read each year. While I will probably chose to do it again, I’m working to find my way back to enjoying reading for the fun of it rather than to meet a goal or complete a work requirement. So I’m making a handful of new reading resolutions, or rather, declarations.
2015 Reading Declarations
1. Finish what I start. I’m a firm believer that unless it is assigned for class (or in my case for book club), you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to finish any book that isn’t working out for you. Every book has a reader and sometimes you just aren’t in a place to enjoy it. Maybe someday you will go back and restart and maybe not. In 2014, I was horrible about starting a book, getting within sight of the end (50-100 pages) and then either skimming or just plain sitting it down with the intention to finish tomorrow. And tomorrow has never come. I feel like I can’t say I finished the book or write a fair review, since I really didn’t finish. So they sit on my nightstand, mocking me and collecting dust.
2. Don’t procrastinate, especially when it comes to reading. I’m fairly certain that I should change my middle name to procrastinate. I like to think I do my best work at the last minute. I hate getting to book club and then forgetting what the book was about. So in my mind, it would be great to read or reread the book right before we meet. However I’ve discovered too many times that it is physically impossible for me to read what ends up being a handful of books in less than a week’s time.
3. Reading should be fun. I love to read and always have. One of my favorite parts of being a librarian is helping people find the book that makes them fall in love with reading. Lately I’ve overwhelmed myself with the reading commitments I make as a means of promoting the love of literacy. In any given month, I facilitate between three and four book discussions and they are usually different books for each group. I also have a preschool age son and read with him every night. Right now we read picture books, but it won’t be long until we are reading chapter books and novels. I have so many teen and adult books I want to read for myself and many times I guilt myself away from them or pick them up but am not fully able to enjoy them because the book I’m supposed to be reading is screaming at me from the depths of my book bag.
4. Step away from the technology. I’m a working mom, so I’m a pro at multitasking. I’m always reading more than one book at a time. I have a smart phone and am hopelessly addicted to some really stupid games and checking my facebook newsfeeds for updates. I record too many pointless shows on my DVR in the hopes of someday finding time to catch up and watch. And when I have a few spare minutes, I too often reach for the remote and surf the guide rather than picking up the book. My excuse is I don’t want to have to stop in the middle of a good part, but the reality is I can no longer watch and read simultaneously and follow both storylines. And if I want to get more reading done, I have to turn away from the electronics. (On a side note, this is one reason I won’t buy an ereader. I love paper books, but I know that if we bought a device I would use it to waste time just like I do on my phone and no reading would be accomplished.)
5. Read the Soaring Eagle nominees. The Soaring Eagle is the Wyoming Teen Choice Award. These books are nominated and then voted on by teens and are therefore most likely the books teens are currently reading and enjoying. Each year since I became a teen librarian I have said I want to read them all and then have only tackled three or four. There are 13-15 books on the list each year. I try to incorporate one or two into our book discussions and usually have already read a nominee or two before they made the list. It is hard to actively encourage teens to read the books if I haven’t attempted the same feat. [Side note: Teens are only asked to read three in order to be eligible to vote. So with that in mind, I’m accomplishing the minimum requirement. But it still feels like failure. 😉 ]
What are your reading declarations for 2015?