2015 was the year of binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. I’m ashamed to reveal the actual number of hours I’ve spent watching shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Sherlock, Dexter, and so on. All good shows. Still. Shame on me.
When I look over my bookshelves, the night stand, the coffee tables, and really everywhere around the house I see many books that I haven’t read yet. This is because despite the fact that I was watching more than I was reading, I continued to purchase books. I am a avid shopper of books. I enjoy Amazon and second-hand book stores (online ones like Thrift Books and real ones like Second Edition Books and Music). My favorite is browsing yard sales, garage sales, antique shops, flea markets for books. I love shopping for books (almost?) as much as I love reading them. Remember my post about the physical life of books or the one about the journey of books?
I love going to the local library, especially with the kids, but I haven’t borrowed books in many years. The last time my kids borrowed a few books from the local library I ended up owing 20 bucks in late fees. For someone who is fairly organized, I can’t seem to return books to the library on time. Maybe I’ll give it a go again this year. There is another resolution.
So without buying any new books this year (although this excludes buying books at or for author readings), I am committing to reading at least 12 books, mostly from my own bookshelf and maybe a few from the library. This goal seems so wimpy given that Amy McLay Paterson read 164 books in 2015. But I gotta start where I can.
A friend tagged me in a 2016 Reading Challenge, and this may be a good way to get to my 12 books for the year. So, here’s the plan.
- new release: I’ll have to decide on a new release – but I won’t buy it – I’ll wait to get it at the library
- finish in a day: Blue Shoes and Happiness OR The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith – Thanks Tim!
- meaning to read: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
- recommended by librarian: I don’t know yet! I haven’t been to the library in ages!
- should have read in school: Black Boy by Richard Wright
- chosen by a BFF: The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver – Thanks Sarah!
- published before born: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
- banned at some point: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
- previously abandoned: Kings of Infinite Space by James Hynes – Thanks Ryna for the recommendation!
- own but never read: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
- a book that intimidates: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – Thanks President Obama for the recommendation!
- a book I’ve already read: this one, I will leave blank for now – as a treat for myself later…
If you’re looking for some inspiration, a list of what to look for in 2016, here are some articles that will guide your reading journey this year.
- In a Dark Time The Eye Begins to See: A 2016 Poetry Preview (NPR)
- Books in 2016: A Literary Calendar (The Guardian)
- Book Releases in 2016 (International Business Times)
- Most Anticipated: The Great 2016 Book Previews (Millions)
- 12 Books You Need to Read Before They Become Movies in 2016 (MTV)
- Book SF/F Editors Want You To Read in 2016 (Barnes and Noble)
Happy new year of reading! Please let us know what you are planning to read this year!
As for me, if EVERYTHING works out, this is the year that I spend less money, read more books, and watch less TV. Oh, and become a Yogi. In other words, my new year’s resolution is to become a better human being.
I recommend reading Incorrect Merciful Impulses by Camille Rankine.
P.S. I’m a librarian.
Thank you for the recommendation!