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Reading Resolutions

Here we are 2 weeks into the new year, and I haven’t posted my reading resolutions for 2013. Why reading resolutions? As 2012 came to a close, for the first time in my life, I felt my reading was causing me stress.

Reason Number 1:

That huge stack has started to feel like it's going to crush me!

That huge stack has started to feel like it’s going to crush me!

I counted 14 novels on my nightstand at the end of December, waiting to be read. This did not count the various other books from the library scattered throughout the house: wedding books, wedding shower books, baking books, diet books, quilting books, craft books,  “this looks like a cute quick read” books. This does not even take into account the books I  already own. Books are everywhere, and I am beginning to feel like the huge stack will crush me!

Reason #2:

This post– Pat’s Top 5ish for 2012.  It was originally supposed to be a top 10 list, but sadly I did not feel like there were 10 books I read this year that I truly loved. Considering all the reading I do, that’s a lot of effort for a little pleasure.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Time for some Reading Resolutions:

1. I’ve found the perfect place to store all those library books  – the library! I’m taking back 1 or 2 a day till I only have 2 or 3 library books  at home – one I’m currently reading and 1 waiting in reserve. If there is one non-fiction book I am currently reading or referring to, I can keep that. No more till I take 1 back. The genius of this is they have a very organized system at the library for storing books. If  I need one of these books again I’ll know where to find it – this isn’t always the case at my house!

2. It’s time to take a look at what I’m reading and why. I have so many books I want to read. I get ideas recommendations everywhere – reviews, blogs, friends, family,  library patrons, movies that are coming out, and just working at the library. Sometimes I  do judge a book by its cover! What to do about this? I think it’s time to get serious about Nancy Pearl‘s (author of Book List and guru to librarians everywhere) “Rule of Fifty”:

“If you’re fifty years of age or younger, give a book fifty pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up.  If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100—the result is the number of pages you should read before making your decision to stay with it or quit.  Since that number gets smaller and smaller as we get older and older, our big reward is that when we turn 100, we can judge a book by its cover!”

According to this rule, if I don’t like a book after reading 45 pages of it, I should give it up.  This is something I’ve always struggled with, but I’m happy to say I’ve already had success this year. See ya “Cloud Atlas” and “Life of Pi”.

3. I also need to take a look at all the series I read. When I go over them in my head, it is very overwhelming.  Some of them are good but some of them I continue to read because I’ve invested a lot of time in them and want to see whats happening to the characters. I can’t think of one series I read that I’m excited when the next book comes out. When the new Evanovich came out, I was quite content to be 200-something on the hold list for it. My resolution for this? Some of the series I want to continue I will listen to on audio in the car. I like to listen to audiobooks that are not too deep or complicated, in case my mind drifts off while I’m driving (it happens a lot!). Most of the series  I read fit this criteria. Some series I will drop. The first one I am giving up is Henning Mankell’s Wallender series. I started reading it after watching the TV series, but I think the show is enough. The books aren’t as interesting if you know what’s going to happen!

So these are my 2013 resolutions. Have you made any of your own? Do you have any hints for me in keeping my resolutions? Please don’t suggest e-books! I read those too and I haven’t touched on the subject of my digital holds list and the stress it is causing me!

I will close with the story of my most successful (only?) resolution ever. I don’t remember the year, but it must have been at least 20 years ago. I found myself getting dressed a lot and never having an appropriate shoe to wear with my outfit. I resolved to buy more shoes. My closet has never been the same! I guess that’s the key to keeping resolutions – resolve something fun! Wishing everyone more fun in the new year!

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