I’m a big fan of resolutions. I rarely achieve what I set out to at the beginning of the year, but I find that resolutions have a way of keeping me on track, keeping me mindful of what I’m doing on a daily basis, and if nothing else, they help to remind me of my priorities when they fall by the wayside. I find that the resolutions I make in hopeful, earnest January are the things that remind me of what’s important when I get to distracted July and apathetic August.
I try to make a broad range of resolutions; fitness resolutions, travel and language goals, writing resolutions. Below are the reading resolutions I’ve made for for 2015; perhaps ambitious, given how I went with my reading goals in 2014, but more detailed than I’ve made them before.
1. Read 50 books
It’s an ambition of mine to read 52 books in a year; one for every week. I’ve yet to hit more than 25 or 30 in a calendar year. Let’s hope this year, with it’s (slightly) more achievable goal of not-quite-one book every week, I can hit my target.
2. Read 12 Miles Franklin winners
I’ve always been interested in the Miles Franklin Literary Award, awarded each year for the novel by an Australian author that represents Australian life in any of its phases. I’m interested to see how the prize represents what the Australian literary scene of any given year (since 1957) views as the epitomisation of Australian life. This year I’ve joined a Miles Franklin book club through a friend at work, and I’m super excited to see how it goes.
3. Read 6 books written by Australian women
I’ve never really weighed in on the women-in-literature debate, except to say rather noncommittally that there seem to be fewer women represented in popular literature and literary prizes because women writers seem to write more genre fiction than “serious literary fiction”, but I do believe that as an Australian woman, the best lens through which to critically evaluate the culture I live in is through the writing of Australian women. I signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge a few years ago, and failed miserably, but I feel like between my Miles Franklin goal and my to-read pile, there’s no way I can miss out this year.
4. Read 10 works of nonfiction
I’m so glad I started getting into nonfiction in 2014, and I can only imagine that my love for a good essay will grow as I explore more of the essay collections, memoirs, and other nonfiction works that pique my interest.
5. Read 10 works on my to-read shelf
Forget a to-read pile, I have a whole bookcase crammed full of books I’ve bought with the intention of reading, and then never read. Fiction, nonfiction, award winners, classics, Australian fiction – all the works that I’ve bought with the best of intentions and then gotten sidetracked from. This year I’m going to read (at least) 10 of them, and I hope that once I get the ball rolling my to-read shelf will shrink before my eyes.
6. Read every book that I purchase
I went into a bookstore three or four days before Christmas, and I was only in there for about 5 minutes when I’d found three books that I wanted to buy. Being the week before Christmas, I refrained, but it got me thinking – if I’d bought those books, they no doubt would have ended up shoved on my to-read shelf as soon as I got distracted by something new. So, a resolution – try to buy books one at a time, and above all else, read everything that I purchase. Hopefully that’ll curb my tendency to walk out of secondhand shops with towering piles of oh-I’d-like-to-read-this-someday books.
So there you have it – my reading goals for 2015. Have you made any reading goals for this year? What were they? Let me know in the comments!