Well, kind of sort of nearly true anyway
Happy New Year! A common resolution in January is “I’m going to read more this year!” In fact, if you Google “read 365 books in a year” you will be astonished at how many people set out to do just that. I love to read (in case you weren’t sure) but I also love movies, dinners out, sleep, Netflixing an entire season of Breaking Bad – things that would take away from such an ambitious project.
Some people make very specific resolutions – like Matthew Davis of the BBC, who spent last year reading the complete works of Charles Dickens. I read about him (Davis, not Dickens) and thought, wow! That’s dedication and a great idea for a resolution.
But there’s no one author that I could really see myself settling down with for an entire year. As the new year crept closer and closer inspiration struck.
My New Year’s resolution is to read less. You read that correctly – I am going to read fewer books. But better books, different books, more challenging and diverse books. My reading patterns have become predictable and I will admit a tad safe.
Blame it on the hectic holidays or my busy work schedule, but the reality is I’m in a bit of a “reading rut.” Like a kid in a candy shop, surrounded by untold variety but choosing to eat Milky Way bars, I have every book-lover’s dream job yet find myself drawn to the familiar.
It’s very easy to fall into a “book rut.” When you find an author you enjoy it’s simple to go to their spot on the shelf every time and pick another fail-safe book. Douglas Kennedy, Phillipa Gregory, Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, Lauren Oliver … I have my favourites and as soon as their new title comes out I’m in the hammock with it. But they are all fiction writers and I’ve realised this past year that I very rarely read nonfiction. The few that I did read I enjoyed immensely so why not branch out a bit this year?
A great way to expand your literary comfort zone is to join a book group. I’m in two and can say that I’ve read books I never ever would have picked off the shelf on my own. And many of them I ended up loving! Not always, and sometimes I don’t finish the assigned book (scandalous!) but at least I tried something different.
So my New Year’s resolution is to read less but read better! Venture into the history section or the nonfiction bestsellers list. Pick up a business book or maybe a behind-the-scenes biography. Of course, Douglas Kennedy’s new book comes out in April, and the third book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium Trilogy comes out in March … maybe I’ll read more and read better? It’s a new year – anything is possible.
Megan McCluskey moved to Cayman in January 2012 from New Jersey. A life-long reader and admitted book geek she is also a proud mom, pop culture junkie and die-hard fan of the New Jersey Devils. Megan can be found in person at Books & Books in Camana Bay, online at [email protected] and every Sunday in a hammock with a good book or three.