Reading Resolutions

My 2014 in books was, honestly, not that great. I read 61 books, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t really. Two of my jobs (writing for HelloGiggles and writing book reviews) involve reading books, which I think means I should be reading way more. And, yeah, I work a lot and I’m busy, but so are a lot of people who manage to read way more.

Even if I consider quality over quantity, I’m not super happy with my year in reading. I read a lot of books that were just okay last year. Do you know how much I hate reading an okay book? Just about as much as I hate eating an okay meal. I know that I’m more food motivated than my dog, but I just want every meal to be a completely perfect taste experience. In the same vein, I want every book to totally knock my over. Did that happen last year? No. I did read some really great books (An Untamed State, The Girls from Corona del Mar, The Start of Me and You, Vivian Apple at the End of the World, Every Kiss a War, Strange Light, Since You’ve Been Gone, and Meaty are a few examples), but I’m struggling to remember what some of the books I read were even about. Honestly, I would rather read a terrible book than a book that’s just fine.

This year I got my first gig writing straight-up book reviews (I don’t consider the writing I do for HelloGiggles to be “reviewing” since I only write about things I like). It’s hard and fun in equal measure, but mostly it’s taught me something invaluable: a lot of books are really boring. Like, so boring. As a writer, this is both incredibly discouraging and incredibly motivating. On the one hand, what if I’m accidentally writing something really boring? But on the other hand, maybe now that I know Being Boring is the #1 book crime, maybe I can just work extra hard to avoid it.

And maybe I’m being boring right now and I should just stop. The point is, I made some reading resolutions for 2015 to hopefully ensure that my year in reading is a lot more interesting.

1. Complete the Book Riot Read Harder challenge. I’ve only read three books so far this year and I’ve already completed a few of the requirements.

2. Read every book by Toni Morrison and Ann Patchett. I figured these authors were good picks because I like both of them but I’ve only read two of their books. And neither of them have such a huge catalogue that it’s totally unrealistic.

3. Read 62 books. I read 61 last year, so basically I just want to barely outdo Past Kerry.

Will I complete all of these resolutions? Probably not! But, as of late, my motto has been “progress is better than perfection,” and I’m just excited to see how far I get.

What about you guys? Do you make reading resolutions? The first book I read this year was Americanah and it was so amazing that it gave me hope for the rest of the year. Let me know your reading resolutions and, seriously, go read Americanah right now if you haven’t.

3 Responses to “Reading Resolutions”

  1. Shannon

    Americanah is so good! Have you read any of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s other books? When I discovered that one, I read all her others and watched her TED talks; all of them are great.

    I started a new website this year where I’m exploring a topic new every month, so my resolution is to read way more nonfiction than I ever have before. I’ve found that because the nonfiction takes me longer to read and is harder to understand, I need a really easy-to-read fiction book in between to give my brain a break. So I’m basically only reading fiction that doesn’t challenge me in any way this year! Which is probably the opposite of a reading challenge.

  2. Wesleigh

    After college I started creating a reading list for myself each year, with very specific guidelines, because I both want more variety in the books I read and am slightly crazy. The list has to be half female authors, half written before 1970, and include one non-fiction book and one graphic novel. Then I assign a book to each month, and alternate between pre- and post-1970 novels. There are extensive lists and charts made in preparation. I’m a little behind on 2014–mostly because I didn’t realize how large the collected short stories of Flannery O’Connor is!–but I’ve picked the 2015 list (it’s on Goodreads if you’re interested).

  3. Dana

    I’ve seen a couple acquaintances who are trying Book Riot’s challenge. My friends and I found the Popsugar challenge first, so we’re trying that one.

    Here’s the link to my detailed reading goals this year:

    Or the tl;dr version:
    –Read (at least) 52 books I’ve never read before
    –Read a total of (at least) 91 books
    –Read and comment on 12 books as part of Book Club
    –Complete Popsugar’s 2015 Reading Challenge


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