I’m sure you’ve heard it a few times by now, but happy new year! I hope the past year was filled with joy and that the coming one brings with it even more positivity. There’s no better time than the start of a new year to think about goals, especially when it comes to reading. Every year, I try to make a “reading resolution” that will guide me through my next year of literary adventures.
At the end of 2020, I pledged to read more classics in the new year. I made a list of classic books that I had never read and made a plan to check them off one by one. I began with “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, a book that I was embarrassed that I’d missed. I loved the dark, emotionally sweeping, and slightly snarky voice of the narrator and could instantly recognize where Plath inspired modern authors such as Sally Rooney, Lauren Groff, and Mona Awad. My resolution was off to a great start.
But after “The Bell Jar”, I didn’t pick up another classic for the rest of the year. For whatever reason, books kept falling into my lap that weren’t on my classic lists. One book would lead to another similar one, and another and another, until I had entirely strayed from anything remotely classic. My list and all the color-coded, earnest effort I put into it, got buried beneath short story collections, books of poetry, wacky stories of surrealism and near-future disasters, of monsters and motherhood, music and cults, grief and love. I read small-press books from authors I know, books from our Library collections, and random titles borrowed from friends. Every book I picked up this year seemed to grab me even more than the one I read before it, and eighty books later, I read some of the best books I’ve ever read. It was truly a joyful year of reading. I may never pick up those classics I intended to read and I don’t regret it one bit.
Moving into 2022, my new reading resolution is to finish my “TBR” (to-be-read) pile. In my reading frenzy of 2021, I acquired a hefty stack of books that I pledge to get through before I buy, borrow, or collect any more. Some I am most looking forward to are “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders, “Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman, and “Nothing But Blackened Teeth” by Cassandra Khaw. I’ll check back in at the end of the year to let you know how it went.
Let us know what your new year’s reading resolutions are and we can help you find the perfect books to fulfill them. Have a happy new year.