The Sunday Salon: Reading Resolutions

I’ve rarely made New Year’s resolutions in the past, mostly because I simply haven’t. My family doesn’t make a big deal about New Year’s resolutions, and I never picked up the habit. But this year feels different to me–I don’t know if it’s because it’s a new decade or what, but I do have a few resolutions. Most of them aren’t pertinent to my book blogging, but one is.

This year, I want to read outside my comfort zone. I want to be more widely read.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a geek. I cried watching Doctor Who on BBCAmerica last night (fare thee well, Tenth Doctor) and I’m working my way through The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks at the moment. I adore fantasy and science fiction. I find both genres endlessly fascinating, especially when fantasy finds inspiration outside Western European cultures. There is nothing like reading until 2 in the morning because you cannot put down a novel. (That was Friday night and Uglies.)

Left to my own devices, I’ll gravitate towards those sorts of novels over any other kind of book. I tend to judge books by premise, and it’s hard for me to get excited over contemporary novels with subdued plots. While I’ll occasionally read nonfiction of my own will, I’m more likely to pick up a novel. I’m not terribly fond of travel, so I tend to avoid travel books. But this creates a sort of rut for me, no matter how delightful it is. There’s a reason I titled my blog The Literary Omnivore–I want to read a little of everything. I want to be challenged every once in a while by my reading.

To that end, I’m going to lay down a few ground rules for my literary diet.

  • I can’t read the same genre twice in a row.
  • When I check out books from the library, they must all be of different genres.
  • Every once in a while, maybe every three months to start slow, I need to read a book of poetry.

I’ve started- I’m currently devouring a travel book about Walt Disney World (I’ve never been!) and will be starting Marjorie Garbler’s Vested Interests quite soon. This isn’t to say that I’m going to give up fantasy and science fiction- let no woman be so cruel to herself! In fact, that ties neatly into my second piece of business for this Sunday Salon.

This month marks the beginning of the Lord of the Rings Readalong! Eva at A Striped Armchair will be hosting The Hobbit this month. We’ll be reading the whole series, finishing in April. I’ll be hosting The Fellowship of the Ring next month. There’s still time to join if you’d like! Visit Teresa at Shelf Love to get all the details. I haven’t read these books since I was a wee lass, so I’m looking forward to actually understanding them this time around.

What your reading resolutions for this new year?

14 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Reading Resolutions

  1. I really like your goals! I haven’t seen any plan quite like yours—lots of goals to broaden reading, but no explanation of how to do that. Your ground rules seem like a great way to make yourself do that while still being flexible enough to let you read what you’re in the mood for.

    And of course I’m excited that you’re reading Tolkien again this year!

  2. I read whatever I am in the mood for. I also give up quickly on a book. I read too fast.

    These sound like weaknesses, but they can also be strengths. I hope to use this knowledge to find more excellent books fo me in 2010.

  3. Haha, we have completely different reading goals for this year. :] Since I’m strapped for cash, I’ve decided to spend money on books I have good instincts about (or read good reviews about). Also, I’ve been reading to many bad or meh books lately, so I need good books this year.

    Happy New Year — and good luck on the readalong. :p

  4. I’m not a resolution person either but I did sort of make one this year. I decided that don’t read enough foreign authors and I plan to read a few more this year than last.

    I signed up for the readalong and have been getting into The Hobbit slowly this week. I hope to sit down with the book today for a few hours. 🙂 Very exciting!

  5. Sounds like good resolutions – good luck! I know what you mean by being turned off by a premise and about those “contemporary novels with subdued plots.” For example, for some reason, novels with premises about children reconciling with parents just sounds dull to me. And I’m sure there are other story types that just don’t stir my interest.

    I like travel books though. 🙂

    • Oh, those sound unbearably dull- I love a good family drama (preferably with enough melodrama and scandal to make it interesting), but stories about women returning home and forgiving their parents just send me right to sleep. I’ll do the genre, but I’m still in the business of reading good stories!

      I’m enjoying the one I’m reading, probably because I really, really want to go to Walt Disney World, heh.

  6. I’m doing the LOTR readalong too! I’ve just finished reading The Box of Delights by John Masefield and am writing the review – excited because I think it may have influenced The Hobbit. I see some similarities.

    I rarely want to read more than two of the same type of book in a row so I tend to read lots of different genres in the year. One resolution I am making due to financial and space restrictions is not to buy books when I can get them from the library. I was fairly disciplined about that during the second half of last year and saved some money on hardback releases I thought I’d love, but didn’t.

  7. I’m trying to broaden my reading this year as well, and be more deliberate about choosing my books. Your goals sound lovely! (I am all sad thinking of the Tenth Doctor going too!, but I haven’t been able to watch his last episode yet.)

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