Sunday, January 6, 2013

5 bookish/reading-ish resolutions for 2013

I don't make meaningful yearly resolutions for one very simple reason: I suck at them. From past experience, I know that I break them as quickly as I make them. I used to have two standard resolutions - to be more patient, and to swear less. I'd chuck a few more on top - things like 'Drink less' and 'Be kind to people,' you know the sort of thing. I've never managed to consistently keep them. A few years back I stopped making them altogether. This year, though, I decided that if Justin Timberlake could bring sexy back (I'm still not 100% certain that he totally did, but okay), then I could bring resolutions back. Kinda. I think where I failed before is that all of my previous resolutions were about things that I don't think I really wanted to achieve. Surely, if they were, I'd have made more of an effort? This time, I'm keeping it simple. My goals for this year are going to be based only around things that 1) I really want to do and that 2) interest me, which is what prompted my fandom resolutions post from the other day and, now, these bookish resolutions. Both of these activities - indulging my fangirl and reading like a fiend - are things I do everyday, and with great enjoyment, so I think that extending those just a little isn't going to be a hardship. If anything, I think it'll increase my love of them (and for them). This is going to sound ridiculously dorky but I'm going to say it, anyway. I am forever grateful to my parents for teaching me to read, for encouraging me to make up stories as a child, for not once telling me what I should/shouldn't be reading (I know that you know that I read Judy Blume's Forever at 10 and that I really wasn't ready for it but you didn't judge me for it or make a federal case out of it), and for allowing me to fangirl over Bromhead's cartoon editorials at the dinner table. Et voilĂ , here are my 5 bookish resolutions for 2013!

Read a book a week
Once upon a time I used to read a book a day. It made me somewhat of a recluse for a very long period of time. I would quite happily disregard plans (made by others) to meet up for lunches, dinners, weekend get togethers, etc. so I could have more time to read. My parents, my siblings and my BFFs forgot what I looked like. So much so that I would receive text messages from said BFFs that would read, "Have you died yet and we just don't know?" And then I lost my book reading mojo and everything I picked up sucked so badly. (It was probably more that I sucked so badly in choosing anything that I could like/finish). It's only recently-ish that I've started reading again and actually enjoying it. I'm thinking I don't want to go back to being the hermit, except for when I have marathon tv series weekends (is there any other way to watch a series except as a marathon?) every now and then. I'd like to have a rough goal of a book a week. I'm not fussy about what kind of book, either, so some kids and teens stuff will end up in my TBR pile.

Read more graphic novels
I've read the most amazeballs graphic novels in the last couple of weeks - Abstract City by Christoph Niemann, Blue by Pat Grant, Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar, and Journalism by Joe Sacco to name a few - but I feel like I could handle oh so much MOAR. Way more. Maybe not a lot in the way of Manga, (except yaoi, I do read yaoi and, yes, have an ongoing internal debate about why it appeals to me and I've never quite managed to settle that in my head), but definitely I want to read more, and read widely. Although The Midnighter will forever be my favourite kickass anti-superhero. (If I could get a job as his assistant - I know, he's not real, BUT IF HE WERE - I'd be the best assistant he never wanted #truestory). I want to discover the kind of stuff that challenges my thinking and forces me to see things/issues/life from a different perspective. And sure, I want to be entertained, too. I don't think that's such a big ask.

Read more 'new to me' titles
A lot of what I read (and watch, if I'm honest) I end up with as a result of word of mouth recommendations, or online/print reviews. Some of what I take home is stuff I found when I got a little too click happy with catalogue subject headings. (Don't pretend you don't do it). There's not a lot I end up with that I'd never heard of/read about before. This year, I demand lots more 'new to me' titles.

Let go of the TBR guilts
I'm always conflicted about my TBR (To Be Read) pile of books. Am I meant to ever reach the bottom of it? And if I do, have I won? Or have I lost? My TBRs are a mad mix of everything/anything and is, I swear, constantly, crazily out of control. Every time I approach it, it's always with this slight feeling of doom and drowning-ness. I forever feel like I need to rush through everything because the world will end if I don't. I race from one book to the next, feeling like I'm never winning the TBR war. Surely, that's insane, right? I mean, it feels wrong to be reading this way. It's totally self-imposed, and yet I find it's one of the hardest bookish things for me to come to terms with. This year, I'm going to be a little more accepting of the TBR madness, and not whimper every time I add a new book to the already Jenga-like pile.

Indulge half-intersts - because it's fun
Another dorky confession: I like indulging half-interests. In fact, I enjoy it. Wherever it happens, however it happens. If I'm honest, I think what I like most about it is the constant learning. You know the kind of thing I mean - you see/hear/read something and think "What IS that?" and look it up and have that lightbulb moment. All of this stuff gets added to your neverending basket of 'Totally Useless Stuff That I Probably Didn't Need To Know And Can Now Never Forget But I Adore It Anyway' because, OF COURSE, right? So, yeah, I want to do more of that this year, please and thank you.


Claire G said...

Having resolved not to make NY resolutions I'm finding yours a breath of fresh air. Interested particularly in the TBR guilt - and it reminds me of a question: do you ever not finish books you've started? And why/why not? Apologies if you've discussed this previously...

breve711 said...

number 5! my old flatmate always said "it's a good thing you don't do drugs because you have an addictive personality". luckily, these addictions tend to be fangirl/sportsfan/weird stuff related. i'm giving myself till the end of jan to come up with "resolutions"

tosca said...

Claire! Happy new year :) I sometimes do not finish books. I'll give them a chapter at the most to grab me, and if they don't I'll very happily chuck it at the wall and grab the next book. Life is too short to read crap books (although, you know, 'crap' is a subjective thing - a lot of what I read could probably fall under that heading). Book I had the most trouble reading was The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I persevered for about a month. Each night I'd pull it out - like Old Faithful - and read a page and promptly fall asleep. I never got past chapter one. By the third week I was using it to deliberately put myself to sleep. That then was when I decided that each book gets a chapter out of me and if it doesn't entertain, even slightly, out it goes.

What about you? Do you ever not finish books you've started?

tosca said...

breve711 - I have a majorly addictive personality, and my addiction is books. And tv shows. And, just lately, collecting nose pins and Monroe balls (umm that sounds more bizarre than it is, but they're the little screw on balls that go on Monroe piercings. Okay, that probably still sounds bizarre) in various colours so that I can colour co-ordinate them with my clothes *hangs head in shame*

I think that tendency to overindulge my interests to the point of (almost) obsession is a large part of my geeky personality. Not always the best part LOL