I’ve been setting myself bookish resolutions for two years now and want to do it again for 2014. Unsurprisingly, many of these are centred around my ‘to read’ pile…
1. Buy all physical books from bookshops rather than online
I said last year that ‘I know books tend to be cheaper online and I know it’s more convenient, but it’s just not as fun‘. I want to continue to support ‘bricks and mortar’ bookshops, especially independent bookshops, next year – but you may notice one small difference. I said last year that I wanted to ‘buy fewer books online and more from bookshops’ but this year I’m saying ‘buy all physical books from bookshops’. Yes, you heard me, ALL THE BOOKS.
2. Visit more London bookshops (and then blog about them)
Yes! I will be continuing with A Tour of London Bookshops next year. I’ve blogged about Skoob Books, London Review Bookshop, Daunt Books, Marylebone, West End Lane Books, Daunt Books, Hampstead and Keith Fawkes already, but there’s even more to come. I especially want to do a ‘before and after’ with Foyles Charing Cross. As you may know, they’re moving a few doors down to 107 Charing Cross and it sounds like it’s going to be a really special shop.
3. Read books I already own
Okay, I have a confession. My name is Stacey and I own too many unread books. There, I said it. Now, what can I do about it? I currently have 236 books on my ‘to read’ pile so I’m hoping get this down to, let’s say, 199 by the end of the year (it was 170 at the end of 2012!).
4. Do not buy books unless they’re going to be read straight away
I have another confession: I buy too many books. Although, it’s not really buying books that I have a problem with. I have a full-time job (in book publishing, I should add), and I figure that that’s what money is for. I pay rent and bills and buy food and a bus pass, but after that, I’m free to do what I want with the money I’ve earned and there’s no better way to spend money than on books. And I don’t actually spend that much money on them. I mainly have a problem with the fact that I buy them and then don’t read them for weeks or months or years. I’m going to try super hard to avoid this next year.
5. Use the library more
I know, I know. Using the library isn’t really going to get my ‘to read’ pile down, but it isn’t going to add to it either. I look at the amount of books I have and figure that I really don’t need to own every single book I want to read ever. (Besides, where do I put them all?). I’ve been enjoying going to the library recently, where I’ve borrowed Maus, Eleanor & Park, Champion, The Fiery Heart and Where You Reach Me in recent months. I’m hoping to use the library much more in 2014 and I’m sure I’ll buy my absolute favourites (The Book Thief being a book I originally borrowed from the library.) I was originally going to pick this as a resolution for this year but I figured it probably wasn’t going to happen since my library is poorly stocked. I didn’t realise you could reserve books and that they’d get them for you from other libraries… Oops.
6. Read one ‘classic’ book per month
Of course I’ll be continuing with the Classics Challenge next year! I look forward to picking a new classic every month and there’s so many more I want to read, including a few Vintage Children’s Classics, Great Expectations, Little Women and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And more Roald Dahl of course!
7. Read more children’s (middle grade) fiction
I noticed this year that although I’ve read a lot of young adult fiction, I haven’t read as much children’s fiction, so I want to improve on that next year. I particularly enjoy realistic/contemporary middle grade and classic children’s fiction such as Stay Where You Are and then Leave and Mary-Mary. Some of the books on my ‘to read’ pile are Sleuth on Skates, Goth Girl, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Dandelion Clocks, Little Celeste, Fire Spell, Charlotte Sometimes and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
8. Accept fewer review copies
It’s not easy to turn down free books, but I love the freedom of reading what I want, without worrying that I won’t enjoy it, or that I have to review it, or that I won’t be able to read it for ages, or that I’m not getting a chance to read the books I actually bought. I didn’t actually accept very many this year – I mostly received them at blogger events – so hopefully I can continue to do that next year.
9. Read 100 books in 2014
I challenged myself to read 50 books this year and I’ll have read 63 by the end of the year. I want to have another go at reading 100 books in a year as I’ve only done it once before in 2011. However, I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I do not reach this goal as there’s no point reading 100 books if I’m not enjoying it. It’s also another way to get my ‘to read’ pile down!
And I also have a few blogging-related resolutions:
1. Spend 20 minutes per day reading and commenting on book blogs
I am absolutely terrible at reading other book blogs. I’m ashamed of this because I know how much work and time goes into book blogging. What would be the point in Pretty Books if no one read, shared or commented on my content? So, I’m going to try to spend around 20 minutes per day appreciating my fellow book bloggers and their hard work!
2. Write (or draft) book reviews as soon as I’ve finished the book
I am normally pretty organised when it comes to writing book reviews, but lately I’ve been about three or four reviews behind. I know this doesn’t sound like many, but when you have a terrible memory like myself, it becomes incredibly difficult to write about a book that I finished three or four weeks ago. It took me five hours to write my last two book reviews when it usually takes an hour. It isn’t a very enjoyable experience, having to write about a book you do not remember much about, so I’m going to try to write reviews as soon as possible next year.
Have you set yourself any bookish resolutions for 2014?