A Surprise Awakening« an older post
a newer one »Up for Air

Resolutions and Reading


There's something mystical about the new year that has most everyone believing in the magic of a new beginning, even when the new beginning is an arbitrary point in time that we have designated "one." In particular, we make resolutions to be better (stronger, faster, calmer, lighter, heavier, smarter, funnier, more consistent, less judgmental, more of something, less of something else). I'm reminded of this by a Book Riot 2018 reading resolution post where nearly all the readers said their resolutions were either "read more" or "read more diverse," for some designation of "diverse" (gender, nationality, sexuality (though WHY that one matters, I'm still not 100% sure on)).

Reading has become a focus in my life again. I can't say it ever really went away, but it does ebb and flow based on my circumstances, mood, activities, and focus. Depression plays a large part in my reading volume, as does exposure. Since I started walking on the treadmill and reading, I've managed to both read more and exercise more, which delights me considerably. I'm unsure why the "how much I want to read" is so important, given book lengths vary, book densities vary, and book subjects vary. I'm going to take a long time to make it through Strategy, but not much time reading the Silver Chair.

It's recurring theme, though, my being fixated on my reading consumption. 2014 was a woefully short year, these last three years being okay (I seem to be the SF Giants of reading, doing well, going over 100, every other year). Am I a better person for having read in my spare time, instead of, say, watching television or surfing the internet. Do I know more? Am I further along to being the person I want to be for having read so much? Am I any different than the people who resolve to "read more" given I read a lot? Does any of this really matter, as long as I'm enjoying myself and still, in some way, learning?

Wait, don't answer that. I know the answer to that one. No.

Which is also part of the reason why, no, I'm not going to make a New Years' resolution to read more or read differently. Nor am I going to schedule my books out more than "I need to return this book to the library in 14 days" or "I told my friend I'd be done with this book next week so that we can talk about it." Any resolution I need to make doesn't need a new year to start, right now is the right time to start changing for the better.

I wish everyone who makes said resolutions the best in achieving them. If I'm reading them at the same time, let's read together! Otherwise, I'll be on the treadmill, book in front of me, walking and reading.

Add new comment