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What’s your reading-related resolution for 2010?

Recently the NY Times Book Review asked a bunch of writers who had bestsellers in 2009 if they had made any reading-related resolutions for 2010. This piece generated a lot of discussion among all of us at the bookstore so we decided to divulge ours. Read the NYT piece here.

I tend to skip around a lot, always intending to finish what I start – I want to finish them, (Lacuna and The Children’s Book to name two!) truly I do –  but I’m always tempted by something new, and then something new and again something new – its an occupational hazard I suppose. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t finish books because I do, lots, but like Margaret Atwood, I “must stop reading with one eye” and I resolve to try. I also resolve to reduce the pile on my nightstand before adding more. I made headway this weekend by reading (beginning to end!) Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply (thanks to a recommendation from Michael Kindness of Books on the Nightstand) that’s been there since April – it was a real treat! I also resolve to make more sense of my books at home – we have books here, there and everywhere with no rhyme or reason as to organization so I can never find what I’m looking for! Oh, and I want to remember to write down what a read. I start doing this every year but . . . . alas, mine are not ambitious goals  - for some of those, read on!

Pat reads mostly fiction (as many of you know from her great recommendations!) but resolves to go out on a literary limb several times this year by reading some new authors and maybe even a new genre or two (like graphic novels or self-help), even if its scary for her.  She also plans to work in more non-fiction, especially a biography or two to give her some inspiration.  And, I’ll quote her here – “I resolve to go back in time to a man I once loved spending leisure time with – Charles Dickens.”

Molly our mystery maven is a self-described ‘dipper’, dipping into this book then that book, often without finishing and resolves to get all the way through more of what she dips into. She also says that she slips into the comfort of mysteries too easily (you mystery lovers who rely on her recommendations will undoubtedly disagree!) and intends to vary her reading more – especially with more literary fiction. “I do love good, literary fiction and get so much out of it when I read a great novel, but mysteries, they are my favorite!”

Jenny has a few RRR for 2010. As the children books buyer she reads many books for children and young adults but one thing she’s personally resisted has been books about vampires. “I hope to read AND enjoy one vampire related book this year (that is NOT Twilight). I am always open to suggestions from teens and adults!” She also wants to start a parent/child book group. “My daughters are 9 and almost 7 and are certainly old enough to experience the joys of a good book group. Please let me know if you too might be interested.” Her last RRR is a more personal one – it is to read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and to implement and live many of the topics discussed in the book. “The author has an incredible blog www.happiness-project.com complete with a toolbox for living what you learn. I have already started the book and am learning so much about my self and my relationships but the real trick will be continuing the project all the way through the year!”

Marilyn, booklover and bookkeeper extraordinaire, says she wants to learn when to stop reading a book she isn’t really enjoying. She feels she needs to finish every one she starts but after working in the bookstore she realizes that there are too many books she’s certain to love so maybe she shouldn’t spend so much time with something that isn’t working for her once she’s given it a good go. She also wants to stop judging books by their cover – she says she’s often turned off by a cover so won’t pick up that book. And finally, something I think we all can understand, Marilyn wants to accept the fact that she can’t read everything – “There are just too darn many books out there that I want to get to but I need to learn to be satisfied with what I do have the opportunity to read.”

So, what are your reading-related resolutions? Post your resolutions here and, like the NYTimes, we promise not to follow-up next year to see how you made out AND we’ll give you a FREE 2010 Eat, Sleep, Read Page-A-Day Calendar with tons of interesting literary trivia and lots of great ideas about what to read in the coming year.

Now that we’ve told you ours, tell us your RRR and let’s get a conversation started!

Happy Reading!

- Judy

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16 Responses

  1. After reading all of your RRRs I can subscribe personally to almost all of them. I need to allow myself not to finish a book I don’t like (very hard to do – much guilt involved), I have to recognize that I will never be able to read all the books I want to in my lifetime and just enjoy the ones I do read. I should attempt to read more literary fiction and less mysteries and thrillers as I do love a really well written novel. My major RRR is to allow myself to read whenever time avails itself without guilt.

    • Thanks for reminding me Ina-Marie! How could I forget the guilt factor? It’s always there with me too – if there’s a chore to be done I certainly shouldn’t be reading! Or should I?

      I’ll put an Eat Sleep Read calendar aside for you. Thanks for posting!

  2. The Island Books women share some of the same literary “issues” as I do but I must admit that I have a few more! I must resolve to refrain from being over-zealous about soooooooo many books that I find or hear about and control my appetite for having piles of books waiting for me. I must control my fear of not having another book waiting on my shelf or nightstand . Book loving is like an addiction – I ought to start OverReaders Anonymous or Book Watchers!

    • OverReaders Anonymous . . . Book Watchers . . . Great ideas Geri! Wait – that might not be good for business!

      There’s a calendar waiting for you too my dear! Thanks for posting!

  3. My RRR is to read more variety of books. I read a lot of fiction, and some non-fiction and I would like to read a few more historical biographies. Also I need to read more with my kids, and talk to them about the books they read.

    • Thanks, Christine. When my kids were young readers I liked reading what they were reading and talking about it but I’m afraid I didn’t do it as much as I wanted to. It’s such a great thing to do. How old are your kids? Jenny’s thinking about starting a parent/child book group – are you interested?

  4. Judy- I’m so glad you read and enjoyed AWAIT YOUR REPLY… I think it will be huge in paperback!

    Pat – Let me know if you need any Graphic Novel recommendations… I’m happy to help!

    Jenny – There’s an amazing vampire novel coming on the summer list. It’s called The Passage and it’s being read and loved by all sorts of people, especially those who never thought they’d like a vampire novel!

    • It will be HUGE in paperback – I can’t wait! It’s hard for me to talk it up in the store because it’s so surprising and I don’t want to give anything away! Maybe we’ll pick it for our store book group when it’s in paperback.
      I thought I’d recommend STITCHES by David Small to Pat for her graphic novel (in this case, memoir) resolution. I thought it was incredible and as I recall from your year-end roundup, it was one of your favorites, too.
      Thanks for posting Michael!

  5. I am generally resolute about not making new year’s resolutions but I did think just the other day about how I’d like to be better about writing down all of the bits in books that resonate with me. – I’m forever searching for a line I loved and only remembering that it was on the left hand page somewhere towards the middle of a book by an author with a … was it a T? in their name. The search is especially time consuming if I have to go back to the library. Perhaps I ought to resolve to buy more books too…

    • That’s a great resolution Kris – and an ambitious one! I never have a pencil or a pad or a dictionary handy when I’m reading and am, more often than not, too lazy to get up and get one! If you do it and accumulate a lot you could put them in a book!
      As for the resolution to buy more books . . . I’m all for that!
      Thanks for posting – and there’s a calendar at the store for you (and everyone else who posted!)

  6. Hi, Judy and any friends on Aquidneck Island who might be checking in,
    It’s been nearly seven years since my husband and I moved from Newport to St. Augustine, Florida, and two years since we were at Island Books for a book signing for my second novel. My third novel, The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare, will be published this June by NAL (New American Library). It’s historical fiction with a unique literary twist and involved extensive research, which means that for the past five years I’ve been reading almost exclusively Elizabethan literature and history. So my reading resolution for 2010 is to delve back into contemporary literature and catch up on everything I’ve missed. I have also vowed to read more in categories I don’t usually consider, such as sci fi. 2010 is the year to broaden my reading horizons.
    Please stop by new website!
    Best wishes to all,
    Arliss Ryan

  7. I would like to spend more time reading and less time with the TV or chores! I love the idea of spending time with a good book with no guilt. Like Jenny, I also would like to read and implement some things from “The Happiness Project”. Gretchen’s website is great!

  8. Jenny– I’m the children’s book buyer for Queen Anne Books in Seattle (and Judy’s neighbor growing up!), and I have a recommendation for your vampire novel: “My Swordhand is Singing” by Marcus Sedgwick. It’s in paperback already, and it’s WONDERFUL! It doesn’t use the word “vampire” throughout, but it is a deliciously creepy, old-world-feel exploration of vampire mythology.

    • Hi Tegan! I’m so pleased you checked out our site and will make sure Jenny reads your post. Hope all is well with you – Judy

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