Happy New Year, dear readers. 2016 is almost a memory now, and 2017 stretches out before us, full of promise, or maybe chaos. On the one hand, a whole new year of new releases, new series, new authors, maybe even new subgenera, but on the other hand, a whole new year of new releases, new authors, maybe even new subgenera. All of this on top of our already towering TBR piles/cases/pyramids, with rereads and challenges and resolutions and and and and and…what’s a dedicated reader to do, to keep up with all of this and still stay sane?
That of course presupposes that we readers are sane in the first place, and our non-book-obsessed friends and family might want to contest that one. That’s fine. They can. We’ll be too busy planning out our 2017 reading to give such opinions much mind. The thing about a whole new year of reading is that there really is an endless possibility to the entire endeavor. It’s a chance to make new plans for our upcoming reading year, whether that means staking out the blank book section of a brick and mortar bookstore, to find the perfect book to track our reading goals and progress, setting up a fancy-dancy spreadsheet to take care of the same information electronically, setting a certain number of books or pages as our ultimate goal, or thinking maybe it might be nice to try some more category/romantic suspense/inspirational/historical/indie/whatever romance in the coming year.
For every reader, there’s a goal, or resolution, and yes, not setting a goal is a goal in itself. It’s perfectly fine to follow where the wind blows in one’s reading. There’s a spontaneity in picking up what feels right at a particular moment. Some of the best discoveries are made that way. Who hasn’t picked up something on a whim, and then found it to be either an all-time favorite, or a gateway into a whole new world? 2017 is bound to hold a few discoveries like that for most of us.
Some of us like to set out our boundaries far ahead of time. We’re the ones who have not only our reading journal picked out, but the special pen we’re going to use to write in it, sticky notes and color codes at the ready, pages numbered, and a plan of attack specific to any number of variables, from author to series to setting to anything else we can use to sort out our reads. The more technologically minded of us may have electronic versions of the above, maybe even synced to a mobile device, for ready reference on the go, because one never knows when one is going to run into a circumstance in which one may acquire new books, or read those one already has.
Others of us get to the tail end of December and, um, well, er, :scratch back of neck: yeah, new year is getting pretty darned close. Books. We should read some of those. Like these books over there. Some of them have been here a while. Bought this one when the baby is little, and (s)he now wants to borrow it when (s)he is home on winter break. Probably should get around to reading it one of these days. But this new book is out today, and we’ve been waiting for it for what feels like forever, and there’s this other one we just discovered, and and and and and :sigh:
Then there are those who are somewhere in between. Maybe we’d like to get through the books of a particular author this year, whether that means tackling an entire ouvre that spans decades, or binge reading the debut trilogy of a hot new voice on the romance novel scene. Maybe we’ve been thinking it’s time to revisit some old favorites and see if they still hold up, or experiment with something we’ve never tried before. Maybe one reread for every two new books, or the other way around. Maybe we’d like to read books set in a particular time or place, or that feature a certain character type. The criteria can be whatever we want, from red-haired heroes (currently writing one, so these guys are on my radar) to historicals outside of the Regency, or a certain plot device; secret babies, maybe, or mistaken identity.
Then there are those who are playing a number game. Last year, my goal, on a popular reader’s site, was to read fifty books. Met and exceeded that, so considering upping the ante on this years. Is it time to dare to double that number? Maybe split the difference and go for seventy-five? Break it down into different sorts of books, as in so many for this genre, so many for such and such character type or setting? One thing I do know is that, this year, I want to read more historical romance than any other genre. While I’m glad to have read a lot of realistic YA, some women’s fiction, contemporary romance and general fiction in 2016, historical romance is my first and greatest love, and I’d like to put more emphasis on that sort of story. We’ll see how that goes.
So, dear readers, at the end of this tumultuous year, I turn things now over to you. Do you make reading resolutions? Are you making some this year? If not, have you in the past? How did those turn out? Do you keep track of your goals, or only books actually purchased/borrowed and/or read? If you do keep track, how do you do that? Paper, electronic, a mix of both? Keep it all in your head? If you don’t make reading resolutions or goals, we want to hear about that, too. Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.