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Our 2014 Readerly New Year’s Resolutions

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

What are your readerly resolutions for 2014? Do you want to read better, faster, more, or longer? Here’s some of what Team Riot has planned for the coming year. Share your resolutions in the comments!

Tasha Brandstatter: This year I would definitely like to read more. I read far fewer books in 2013 than any year since 2010, less than 150. I want to read more non-fiction and more graphic novels, too, since that used to be a huge chunk of my reading that fell by the wayside in 2013. And I’d like to read more books I enjoy, though I’m not entirely sure how to make that happen (I already DNF books like it’s a contagious disease). As for specific books, I’d like to be completely caught up with Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series by this time next year, and I want to read The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola.

Rachel Cordasco:  I have a few resolutions for 2014, and they are: 1) read at least one new release each month, 2) read through my TBR stack until it can fit on one shelf, and 3) read books by authors I’ve never heard of before and more foreign authors. It’s time to diversify- temporally, geographically, etc. I seriously love writing resolutions! Now to stick to them…!

Brenna Clarke Gray: Last year, I resolved to join Goodreads. Pretty fair to say I’m now an avid user — in fact, I’m a librarian there! So this resolution worked out way better than the give-up-soda-only-have-positive-thoughts-exercise-every-day resolutions (probably not surprising). It has changed my readerly life insomuch as forcing myself to write a mini review of every book I read means that I got to the end of this year actually knowing what I had read, which was also surprising because I also resolved to read 100 books in 2013 and actually read 101. For 2014, no numerical reading goals per se (deciding to read 100 books kind of killed my reading joy, I have to say, plus it made reading a chore and estranged me from my loyal friends TV, movies, and video games), but 2014 is the year I will read Infinite Jest, all of the Chronicles of Narnia, and Moments in Peking. In 2014, I will also divest myself of twice the books that I buy.

Liberty Hardy: I did not manage to accomplish any of my reading resolutions in 2013. Not a single one! This tells me that I am horrible at staying on task, so this year I’m only going to make one: Read. Read as much and as often as I can, read everything I get my hands on. Because reading is THE BEST. It makes my heart pump and my grey matter wriggle. It brings amazing people and experiences into my life, and there is nothing I would rather do.

Amanda Nelson: I resolved not to buy any books until my existing TBR was under 200. I didn’t stick to the “don’t buy new books” thing, but I did get my TBR to under 200…by weeding it, not by reading that many books. IT STILL COUNTS THOUGH KTHANKS. For 2014, I want to focus more on diversifying my reading by picking up more authors of color. INTENTIONAL READING HERE I COME.

Alison Peters: My resolution is to get through my big old collection of books I’ve never read. I vowed I’d never be that reader, who, when friends look at the shelves and ask, skeptically, “You really read all these?” has to sheepishly answer, “Well…most of them!” Backlogged books will be my obsession in 2014. I’d love to say I’ll refuse to take in one more stray hardback till I’ve read them all, but that would be ridiculous.

Rebecca Joines Schinsky: My resolution this year was to spend more time diving into the backlist of favorite and new-to-me authors. I spent the summer reading almost everything in the James Salter, and that experience alone made the goal worth the price of admission. I didn’t go on any other binges through individual authors’ backlists, but I did read a whole lot more backlist in general, and it made my reading year feel much more well-rounded. Success! Going into 2014, I’m setting the goal to spend at least an hour every day reading, not counting audiobook time. I easily *average* an hour a day now, but that’s with hours-long stretches on the weekends to make up for the fact that there are usually a few days each week that I don’t actually sit down to have a quiet moment with a book at all. I have the time, I just need to be mindful of how I use it and strategic about picking my moments.

Kim Ukura: In 2013 I set a goal to read more ebooks and audio books, hoping to finish one of each per month. I was pretty close — I finished eight ebooks and seven audio books, which is not to shabby. 2014 is going to be the year I get my TBR pile under control: read my own books, cull my library regularly, and be judicious about which books come into my house. I haven’t counted my library lately, so I’ll say that by the end of the year my goal is to have no double-stacked bookshelves in my house.


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