Reading Less, Not More

Reading resolutions? you may say. You’re making resolutions about your reading. Who does that?

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Bookish people do that, that’s who. Goodreads, one of the main social networking and book review sites, hosts challenges at the beginning of every year where people sign up to read certain numbers of books in the coming year. This article notes that so far, “28,723,103 books have been pledged.”

Bookriot is holding a Read Harder Challenge, to encourage readers to expand their reading boundaries by reading books in different categories. Examples include: “a book by an author from Southeast Asia” and “a non-superhero comic that debuted in the past three years.”

Some people make up their own challenges. They want to read Moby Dick. Or read a book a week. Some people, like me, usually just want to see how many books they can read in a year.

Last year, I read 282 books. The year before, 204.

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This year, I want to read fewer books, not more. Because here’s the problem when you always want to be jacking up the numbers: sometimes you choose books you might not necessarily want to read. You choose a shorter book because you can read it in a day. You ignore the big fat tome that’s been sitting on your pile for years because it would take ages to get through. You ignore what you want for something easier.

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That’s not cool. It’s still reading and I still loved reading all the books I read in 2015, but I missed out on something, too. I missed out on reading deliberately. I missed out on savoring books. Choosing books for a reason.

Yes, sometimes I’ll have to read things. As a librarian, I want to keep up with the latest popular books. But the good part is that often, I want to read those books.

I want to stop needing to read every new popular book, though. I want to pick and choose, not feel a need to read something because it’s what everyone else is reading at the moment.

Quality, not quantity.

That said, I do want to read a few books in particular, ones I’ve been meaning to get to.

I want to re-read Gone With the Wind.

I want to read a Stephen King novel. (I’ve only previously read On Writing and 11/23/62, so suggestions are welcome.)

I want to read John Adams. (Or try to. I’m not positive it’ll be my thing, but I used to be way into Revolutionary War stories and I recently listened to Hamilton.)

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I want to get through some of the books hanging around on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to read.

I want to read what I want to.

What would you like to read this year? What would you recommend?

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2 Responses to Reading Less, Not More

  1. It is always had choosing books to read – I hope to read those on my shelf (mostly ARCs) and not so many from the library, but it’s tricky. Because this year, I want to be a little more rounded and not just YA and Adult books too…

    Like

  2. Silvia says:

    I read a fabulous book you recommended on FB once and would love to return the favor if I can. 🙂 Amitav Ghosh – The Calcutta chromosome, and Iris Murdoch – Word Child. Have fun!

    Like

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