Our Bookish New Year’s Resolutions

Into goals, checklists, monitoring your attempts at self-improvement, and tracking progress toward an achievement? This post is for you. Here are a bunch of Rioters revealing what we’re resolving to do with our reading lives in 2015. Are you setting any reading or reading-related goals this year?

Rebecca Joines Schinsky  My reading goals always tend to revolve around adding something to the mix. In 2014, I focused on reading more books by people of color, and I’ll continue that this year. My new goal is to read more books in translation and more books from non-American writers.

Maya Payne Smart — When I find a book I love, I’m going to be more proactive about recommending it to others.  I’m going to write about it on my blog and Book Riot, tout it on social media, buy copies for friends, shout about it from rooftops and such.

Nikki Steele — I want to continue being thoughtful about my books in 2015–read what I want to read when I want to read it and be willing to DNF. In 2014, I cut down the amount of books I read overall substantially, BUT so many more of them were winners this year that I’m not upset about the lower number. In line with being more thoughtful, I’m also going to go for more diversity in my reading. This means more books by authors of color and reading other genres more widely (I’m looking at you comics and nonfiction!).

Kelly Jensen — I started reading with intention a couple of years ago, and I plan on continuing that. That means I don’t let publication dates dictate what I read, and if I find myself in a slump, I live with it and let it linger as long as it needs to. One of my reading with intention goals a couple of years ago was to dedicate October to reading more horror, which I like a lot but tend to skip over more than I want to. I want to continue that in the new year, and I’d like to dedicate a month to consciously reading backlist and classic titles I haven’t read. That doesn’t mean only reading those; it means making a better effort to pick those up alongside other titles.

Rachel Cordasco — I’m going to continue reading more fiction in translation, and attempt to work through my teetering TBR pile!

Amanda Nelson — My resolutions usually have to do with reading more from my TBR, but I’ve learned that that’s just never going to happen, so I’m ditching that this year. In 2015, I’m going to up my number of books authored by people of color, and my number of books authored by people who aren’t from the U.S. or U.K., which is where the overwhelming majority of books I’ve read in the past come from.

Derek Attig — I want to refuse to feel bad about what I read—or, more typically, what I don’t end up reading. During seven years in grad school (I finally graduated in 2014), I made an artform out of feeling bad about not reading as much as I could. Usually that meant historical monographs and articles, but I increasingly found that guilt migrating to my leisure reading. I’d think to myself things like: “You only read three novels this month? You gave up at page 20 of that weird, difficult, unpleasant next-big-thing book? You don’t read enough poetry!” Not exactly a way to make reading fun or, really, productive. So for 2015, I say NOPE to all of that.

Rachel Manwill — I want to read more short fiction and nonfiction in 2015. I read a couple of short story and essay collections in 2014 and they all really reminded me how powerful and wonderful a shorter form can be. So short stories, novellas, essays – even comic book trades – are going to have a more prominent place in my 2015 reading.

Liberty Hardy — My goals for 2015 are the same as last year: read as much as I can, whenever and wherever possible! This was a spectacular year for books, and I think 2015 is going to be equally as awesome. Next year I’d like to read more backlist, and more indie press offerings. And the whole Sherlock Holmes canon. And more nonfiction. And at least fifty books by authors of color. And I want to re-read all of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, and read every Muriel Spark novel, because I’ve only read four of her books and she is a goddess. I’ve also signed up for the Book Riot Read Harder reading challenge, and I am so excited to tackle 2015 with a fresh reading spreadsheet!

Jesse Doogan — This year I want to be more intentional about managing my library, so to speak. I tend to spend over-buy at library sales and places like Half-Price Books, but I end up coming home with books I’ll never read. Then I don’t buy the books I know I will want to reread or loan out. So, this year, starting with a grand cleaning out and organizing of the shelves, I’m going to start buying the books I want, and try to stop binge-buying the books I don’t want.

Rita Meade  I resolve to diversify my reading list. I resolve to not put a library book on hold until I finish the one I’m reading. For that matter, I resolve to pay attention to my library due dates so I don’t have an ebook disappear in the middle of reading it. I resolve not to read reviews before I read a book so that I can read it fresh and have my own perceptions. I resolve to let go of DNF-guilt, genre-guilt, and and other kind of book guilt in existence.

Brand Bailey — I’m aiming to only read lady authors and authors of color. Say what you want about everything in moderation, this is my personal challenge to myself and I have my reasons. And the white males will still be there with their books in 2016! (The only exception clause I’ve given myself is if Jasper Fforde somehow magically drops a Shades of Grey sequel on us in 2015 *cough* hint *cough*). I’m also itching to read and discuss way more feminist literature. Basically I’m resolving to be the woman Internet trolls hate this year.

Preeti Chhibber — I resolve to read more diverse books, of course. That’s a given. I resolve to not stress about finishing a book if I don’t like it. I resolve to not fall into reading holes and read the same type of book over and over (it never ends well). And this is it. This is the year that I’m going to be good about tracking my reading. I made it through October in 2014, this year I’ll make it all the way. I’m also definitely going to find a great way to track my comics. I swear. 2015 reading, I will organize the heck out of you!

Kristina Pino — I’m feeling pretty ambitious with my reading goals this year. First off, I’m participating in the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. Besides that, I plan on upping my ethnic diversity reading, including books in translation. And finally, I want to read 5 books in Spanish. Books that are originally in Spanish, not translated from English or whatever. It struck me that for being a native speaker… I digest practically zero media in the language. So… fixing! Have recommendations? Let me have ‘em.

Jessi Lewis — I really want to take advantage of books in physical format, because while I have a digital reader, I know that it can’t do everything. For example, why am I not going to the library? And why am I not lending out my smelling good, real-life books? Finally, I’ve been really enjoying dystopian work, so it’s time to break down my genre barriers a bit. I want to tackle Sci Fi and Horror in a way I hadn’t really let myself before for reasons I’m unaware of. Good sci fi, well written sci fi– horror that leaves me awake at night. I do worry about where I should start, so send me your recommendations pleeeease!

Alison Peters — First, I am going to take my own advice and donate as many books as possible to good causes, and then tackle my most enticing TBR piles. I would really love if I can speak about/recommend each book in my own personal library, and not have a bunch sitting around just to be pretty. And I’d like to refrain from re-reads as much as possible (except in cases of extreme need!) and focus on reading new stuff – particularly nonfiction, which I’ve gotten away from recently.

Tasha Brandstatter — I’d like to read different genres this year–more science fiction and fantasy, graphic novels, young adult, etc. I used to read a lot of manga and fantasy, but I’ve fallen way behind on that. I’d like to find a genre that I can REALLY dig into and become totally obsessed with. I also pick at least one hefty classic to read every year, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. Any suggestions? Maybe this will be the year I finally read Lord of the Rings (haaa kidding).

Dana Staves   Unflinching is a word I often hear used, to describe both writers and readers, that signifies bravery, nerve, and in my estimation, strength. It’s a word I would never use to describe myself, in my writing or reading life. I often avoid books that I deem scary or stressful, ones that I know will end with me scrunched into a tight little ball of worry and sadness and anger and fear. But the thing is, literature pushes. It asks us to consider things – things that are beautiful and happy, sure, but as often (sometimes more so) things that are painful, scary, uncomfortable. And I want to try and face that with a bit more bravery this year. I want to set my intention toward being unflinching.

Your turn, reader friends! What are you hoping to put on the books (see what I did there) in 2015?

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