Every year since 2005, I have made a New Year’s resolution to read 50 books. I had read or heard somewhere that Stephen King read that many books each year, and so I resolved to do the same. The idea intrigued me: the resolution seemed appropriately ambitious, and yet doable.
That first year, I achieved the goal, coming in at exactly 50. Knowing me, I was probably racing to finish that fiftieth book on New Year’s Eve, ignoring any people and festivities around me in true introvert style! I also somehow achieved the goal in 2009 and 2010.
The other years have been less stellar for me in the number-of-books department. My worst performance was in 2012, during which I read a grand total of 22 books. Even though Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust and The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson were among those 22, I still consider it a dismal performance.
I am able to report all this because I have kept a book list since 2005 in a little notebook. I keep it simple. When I finish a book, I record the date of completion, the title, and the author. I also keep a running tally of whether it was the first, second, third, or etc. book I read that year.
And that’s it! I don’t muck up the little notebook with thoughts, critiques, star ratings, or anything like that. It’s just the barest of records and a tally. That makes it easy for me to commit to.
What’s hard to commit to is the reading itself—and, unfortunately, it has become harder due to ever-present modern distractions. If you, like me, have made a book resolution, perhaps some book solutions are in order. Here are a few things I do to keep the pages turning throughout the days, weeks, and months:
Of course, everyone is different, and I wouldn’t expect all of these book solutions to work for everyone. What book solutions work for you? Share your tips on this Facebook thread or drop me a line. I’ll feature some of your book solutions in a future post—because, hey, learning from one another through the power of words is what we book lovers do best.
Happy reading in 2019, everyone!
Join your local SBC Chapter for some sustained silent reading with friends! Hong Kong, Boston, Denver, Chicago, and more.