And so, I return from Ireland, with much work to do—academically, professionally, and personally. I feel really behind; I mean, it barely feels like 2012 to me, since I experienced it in Ireland and not here. (And my posting buffer has been much reduced, to my dismay.) I’ll be writing a series of Sunday Salons on my adventures abroad (about three or so), but I thought I’d take this first Sunday back to do something most people did weeks ago—my New Year’s resolution!
Looking back at last year’s resolutions, I’ve kept up giveaways and was doing well on writing until fall semester—I have a manuscript I need to finish before I can embark on the next one. (Because I will be so bitterly disappointed in myself if I just have a half-finished manuscript lying around. This is either a really twisted or really awesome side effect of French Catholic guilt.) I’ll be hashing out this year’s giveaways soon, but I already know what I’m giving away in February and April. I’m going to stick to the schedule I started last year, since it will allow me to give away a copy of The Hobbit in December, when the first film comes out. I’ll also be making more of a concerted effort to put my services as a freelance editor out there, but I’ve got some research to do beforehand.
My New Year’s resolution for 2012, then, is pretty simple—I won’t be buying any books from anything other than an independent bookseller this year. I wish I could say this was because of something that happened to me while in Ireland, but I was inspired by Laura Miller, one of my favorite people on Earth. (This is your regular reminder to drop what you’re doing and pick up The Magician’s Book. Thank you.) Last week, Miller posted about her decision to purchase ebooks from independent booksellers rather than Amazon. While I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and rely heavily on Kindle applications for my digital reading, I’ve actually never paid for a single ebook—I use it to read books that are in the public domain. But I think it’s very much worth it to take my business to a local independent bookseller rather than Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-a-Million. In fact, there’s really no reason not to.
This gets difficult when it comes to hard to find books, but I think I’ll be using AbeBooks and Indiebound to seek out out-of-print books and, ideally, textbooks, although I know that might be a little dicey. But I definitely think I can make it through the whole year making book purchases only from independent booksellers. My book haul from Ireland, which I’ll detail in a later post, came from two independents—save for the one book I got at a bargain bin shop. And I’ve been downloading more free classics from Amazon. So I think I’m off to a pretty good start!
Well, this week has been going full throttle—I landed on Monday, moved back to school on Tuesday, and started class on Wednesday. I’ve since applied for a campus job and am generally trying to beat the remnants of a cold and trying to read. I finished Boldly Writing and started on Mélusine, but I’ve got a bit of a buffer constructed from my Ireland reading, so I’m happy. And kind of exhausted.
The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) Small Beer Press offers several of their books as free downloads, including Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners. If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!
So, catch me up—what were your New Year’s resolutions?