After what has felt like five years packed into one, it’s finally 2021. And, despite the very strange new world we’re navigating, one thing is still the same: New Year’s resolutions. I want to share my experiences of – and advice for – New Year’s reading resolutions.
As an avid reader, I’ve pretty much always set reading goals for myself. Usually, I set a number of books that I want to have read by the end of the year.
But lately, I’ve found this way of recording my reading to be counterproductive; instead of inspiring me to read more, it’s actually taken away my love for reading, and made it feel like a chore. Towards the end of this year, I’ve found myself looking at the number of books I’ve read, and not really remembering many of them.
Instead of focusing on the books themselves- which you think would be the whole point of reading- I focused too hard on the numbers.
Maybe it was a comparison thing: I wanted to look good for my bookish friends and followers on Instagram. I boasted when I passed the 100 book mark.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing what you’re reading, it’s something we do all the time at Vision Books, but when it became more about my image, and less about the books, I had to question why I was really doing it.
So this year, I’m trying something different. Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution to read a certain number of books, I’m going to set a different goal.
My resolution is to increase the types of books that I read, rather than the figures. I want to read that book my friend recommended to me, but I never got round to. I want to reread a classic that I loved as a child.
I want to read a few books out of my comfort zone, a genre that I’ve never tried before, a nonfiction on a topic I know nothing about. My reading goals for 2021 aren’t centred around numbers, but around books that will give me joy and enrichment.
As Donald Trump famously tweeted during the 2020 Presidential Election: “STOP THE COUNT!” I know he wasn’t talking about books, but it’s a nice simple phrase that I think I’ll hold onto this year.
My New Year’s reading resolution is to stop counting the books I read, and start enjoying them instead.