Wednesday, 11 January 2017

My Resolution for 2017: Read More Books

I grew up surrounded by and addicted to books.

Every birthday and Christmas as a kid, I asked for new books. Most weekends as a teen I was either down the library or browsing my local second hand bookshops. I read widely and voraciously and didn't really understand people who said they didn't like reading, or weren't "interested" in books. There were whole worlds in there, both real and imagined and I wanted to explore as many as I possibly could.

Then, somehow, gradually, I stopped reading. I don't know if it was just the distractions of exams and Uni and the internet (and writing things of my own!), or the number of books I was told I "should" read as I got older and loathed but kept on trying to like because they were apparently "the best books" (so foolish!). Either way, books stopped being my constant companion and became something just for lazy holidays or long train journeys.

In recent years I've made efforts to try and get back into reading - with mixed success.

My Nice Days Out have helped, as I now always take a paperback with me for reading in cafes and on train journeys (and during train delays!) so I always have at least one book that I'm slowly working my way through... but I have resolved and then, er, re-resolved to make more time in my regular life for books and it just hasn't worked out.

Lots of people swear by audiobooks, but I find that unless I'm doing something really, really mindless while listening to them I can't concentrate on the task and the narration and I tend to suddenly realise I have no clue what's going on in the plot (is this a sign I am getting old? It probably is). I used to listen to them (and BBC radio dramas) quite a lot when I was doing repetitive work tasks like cutting out felt shapes or making up felt bundles for my shops, but these days my schedule involves a lot fewer tasks like this!

So this year I am determined to try to read more actual books. To read a chapter in the morning instead of checking Twitter on my phone. To have a proper lunch break, paperback in hand. To turn off the telly or the internet in the evenings and pick up a book instead. To go to the library more often so I'll always have something I can't wait to start reading...

... and, of course, to blog about my progress to try and keep myself focused.

So, I'll be blogging once month about what I've been reading (I've started the year with some of the British Library's Crime Classics) and how/where/when I'm managing to make space for books in my day - what works for me, what doesn't. I hope you'll enjoy following along with my progress throughout the year.

What are you looking forward to reading this year? And when do you find time to read? Have you ever fallen out of love with reading like I did? Maybe you've even made the same New Year's Resolution as me and are embarking on a similar journey to fill your life with more of the joy of books? Leave me a comment and let me know!


Amara said...

Jenny Colgan and Jill Mansell are my latest favorite authors for light funny fiction. I hardly ever read anything serious anymore. Life is too full of real problems! Oh! I do love the Inspector Gamache series too -ummm Louise Penny I think is the author? Not as light, but wonderful novels.

Kay said...

I love reading an have had my own book group going for eleven years. However, since I went back toward last year I have found it harder to fit it in around my busy life. I always try to read a little before bed though. I love crime, and also books about books. A wonderful book that I have just finished is The Readers Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. x

Ariadne said...

I love reading books. I used to read a lot during trips, on holidays, by the beach etc. What I couldn't do was read before going to bed. I fell asleep at once. Till I realized it was my eyes that caused the problem. I needed glasses. So I had glasses and now I manage much more. I try to read a chapter before leaving for work, I always have my book in my bag in case I have to wait in line or travel,I read a chapter in the afternoon after lunch and then a couple of chapters in bed before going to sleep. I managed to change my reading habits and read much more when I joined a challenge. I belong to a Greek group called So little sleeping and so much reading and it challenges us. Last year I read 26 books and this year 52. The books have to be in specific categories but I don't have a problem with that. The other is to join Goodreads and challenge yourself how many books you can read without categories. The thing is to have fun out of it and no worries. But it becomes a habit the more you read!AriadnefromGreece!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Think this is a resolution I should copy! The very covers of those books would make me want to read them, they are amazing!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Amara - Ooh, I've been meaning to try the Inspector Gamache books! Thanks for the reminder :)

Ariadne - Wow, you read so many books this past year! I'm going to be really interested to see how many books I read this year, I've never kept count before.

Shortbread & Ginger - The Crime Classics have the BEST covers, don't they? Super tempting.

bairozan said...

You're so right - I belong to a reading generation, in my country, at least and now I just read books while traveling, mostly on my tablet but I also re-read old favorites. There's always one by my bedside but the numbers are not that impressive. I should change that, thank for reminding us of some real values.

CraftyLittleRat said...

I used to read so much, as a kid and a teenager. When I got into knitting it changed and knitting was all I wanted to do! I can't do Audio Books when knitting, but they work for me when I'm driving. I'm trying to do 1 book a month. I'm starting with The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill and going to try and re read the Tiffany Aching Terry Pratchet books - I've not been able to bring myself to read the last one.

Katrin said...

Yeah! That is a really good new years resolution. I love books, too. Unfortunately there is sometimes not enough time for reading. Although I'm a bit proud because I managed to read already one and a half book this year (I started to read the other half last year in December :-) ).

Bugs and Fishes said...

Bairozan - lots of my reading in the past couple of years has been re-reading of old favourites too! It's been fun, but I definitely want to try lots of new books and authors this year :)

Katrin - I am definitely counting the book I mostly read over Christmas and finished in the early days of January in my 2017 tally!! ;)

Miaismine said...

I fell in love with sewing - and reading fell to the side. But, I am reading more now. I read during lunch, as you do. I also read before bed. My husband bought me Donna VanLiere's and Richard Evan's new Christmas books. I also read a Christian fiction, historical many books, so little time! :) has been a great help in building my library. :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Miaismine - Oh yes, crafty hobbies definitely get in the way of reading! I'm glad to hear you're finding more time to read now, though. Thanks for the website suggestion, too :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Kay & CraftyLittleRat - weirdly, Blogger didn't notify me of your comments! Just found them in my blog's moderation folder! Thanks for leaving them, sorry for the delay in getting them published xx

Kay - It is tricky to find time to read when you're busy, isn't it? It feels like something that can be skipped but skipping it feels like a real loss. Thanks for the book recommendation, I shall have to look that one up! :)

TheCraftyRat - Yup, I think my crafty hobbies have taken over my spare time with little room left for reading! I'm planning a re-read of the Tiffany Aching books, too. I love them. I have no plans to read the last one though, the thought of it makes me much too sad!!


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