I’ve decided that I’m just not into making another diet or exercise resolution. I’ll make plans for health and wellness, but the resolution part is not for me. At least not in 2020. But reading resolutions? Yes!
Reading, however, is a place where I do want to make some resolutions. Some of these reading resolutions relate to the blog for A Step Ahead, where I like to read and review books for children and teens. I am making other reading resolutions for myself, for personal growth and for fun.
My work to build and enhance my reading life focuses on two activities – finding books that excite me, and making space and time for reading. In case you’re doing similar things for 2020, a few of my ideas are below. I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions about what has worked in your own reading life.
Making space and time for reading
I had to start with this point, because if I can’t make space and time for reading, then it doesn’t matter how many exciting books I find or how many reading resolutions I make. I give credit to Laura Vanderkam and her book Off the Clock for helping me understand and address this puzzle. Vanderkam does a great job identifying hidden assumptions about time, and strategies for shifting our mindset toward making time available for things that truly matter to us. Since reading matters to me, after reading Vanderkam’s book, I made some major changes in how I use my time.
I read Vanderkam’s book in the summer of 2018. At that point, I was reading about six books per year. I wanted to read much, much more. Not to “count” how many books I read, but to enjoy reading. I don’t know how to measure my reading enjoyment. But I can state that I read 32 books in 2019, which ranged from young adult fiction to autobiographical to historical fiction to mystery novels. And I can say that I was happy in my reading life.
My single biggest change: I stopped browsing the internet and social media at night. Including shopping. I just stopped. Instead, I always had a book ready to read. Which brings me to the next point.
Finding books that excite me
I don’t care about any reading resolutions if I can’t find books that excite me. I’ve tried a range of approaches, but here are a few that are the most reliable for me.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a modern woman in possession of a good thought must be in want of a blog.
I’ve signed up for Bogel’s 2020 reading challenge, where I’m planning to read at least a dozen books in different categories. One component is to choose a book to read in translation. I’m choosing The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Our youngest son’s friends have recommended that book to me numerous times, and I just haven’t read it. But it is on my reading resolution list for 2020.
Another of Bogel’s challenge categories is to read a book from a source you trust. I follow Bill Gates’ reading life in his GatesNotes blog. His recent post has recommendations for winter reading, and I’ve spotted a book that looks interesting. Prepared, by Dianne Tavenner, was published last fall and covers both education in the formal sense and guides to parenting to help our kids succeed.
Reading resolutions. Fun to make. Let me know your thoughts and recommendations. Happy New Year reading everyone!