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Our Reading Lives

My Reading Resolutions for 2019

Jessica Plummer

Contributing Editor

Jessica Plummer has lived her whole life in New York City, but she prefers to think of it as Metropolis. Her day job is in books, her side hustle is in books, and she writes books on the side (including a short story in Sword Stone Table from Vintage). She loves running, knitting, and thinking about superheroes, and knows an unnecessary amount of things about Donald Duck. Follow her on Twitter at @jess_plummer.

This reading resolutions post is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio.

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I’ve never been much for reading resolutions. I read voraciously, always have, and I never wanted to turn something I do for fun into an obligation. But I do love spreadsheets, and this year I’ve been tracking my reading systematically for…honestly for the first time, thanks to the siren call of Rioter Rachel’s glorious spreadsheet. It’s allowed me to get a much better picture of what I read and how much, which has in turn made me want to up my game.

So here’s a few things I’m going to be aiming to work on in 2019:

1. Read more diversely. I knew I wasn’t focusing on this as much as I’d like myself to, but it’s pretty bad. Honestly, I’m ashamed to share this number with you guys, but if I don’t hold myself accountable then I’m failing before I’ve begun. I’ve read 120 books so far this year, and only 26 of them had POC authors and/or artists—a paltry 14%. I want to bring that percentage up to 33% next year at the bare minimum, and publishing being the glaringly white tundra that it is, that’s not going to happen unless I’m conscious of my choices. Step it up, Future Jess.

2. Read more in general. I’m not sure I’ve ever read more than 120 books in a year before, but I’m nothing if not competitive, especially with myself. I think I can do better. I’ve upped my contact lens prescription and I’m ready to go!

3. Get into cozy mysteries. I read all the Agatha Christie there is last year and I’m searching for something to fill that gap. I just want respectably tweedy people being gently nonplussed by corpses on the cricket green or whatever, is that so much to ask?

4. Read more indie comics. I’m a superhero gal, but that’s not all there is to the medium—not to mention the world outside capes and tights is much more diverse in just about every way. Time to step out of my four-color comfort zone!

5. Read more classics. Yeah, this is kind of counterintuitive with some of my earlier resolutions, but dangit, I enjoy some Charles Dickens now and again, and they’re always available on kindle from the library! I’ll make it work.

6. Talk about what I’ve read more. Sure, I write for Book Riot and I gab about books with friends over brunch, but I still don’t feel like I shout about the books I love enough. I haven’t decided whether I want to take it to Twitter, Instagram, Litsy, or somewhere else, but somewhere there’s a captive audience who wants to hear me gush about the latest niche New York history book I’ve devoured. (Um, right?)

7. Get my TBR down to a manageable level. *eyes the number of times I’ve written “read more” in this post already* Yeah, good luck with that, Future Jess!

Readers, do you have reading resolutions for 2019? What are they? Do you have any recommendations for mine? Send ‘em my way!