Reading Resolutions

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful 2014 is over. I’m ready for a fresh new year that will hopefully have fewer big life changes in store for me. The big changes that came my way in 2014 were fantastic (new job, new baby, new house), but WOW! are they stressful! I welcome 2015 with open arms.

Girls Like UsNew Year’s resolutions never work for me, however. I always pick something like drinking more water, but already that hasn’t been working since my little one has decided to wake up multiple times a night so now I’m drinking more caffeine than normal. The idea of a reading resolution sounds like something I can stick to though. Today during class my students and I were silently reading and I decided to make a reading resolution and share it with them. My reading life is hard to navigate right now with Jack in tow and it’s hard not to stress about it. I want to sit on my couch with a warm blanket, a cup of tea, my cats, and read uninterrupted. I want to read EVERYTHING. But I know that’s not likely to happen, so I need to read with intention. That’s my reading resolution.

I’m in the middle of reading Girls Like Us by Gail Giles–which is fantastic, by the way–and decided that I’m going to read more diverse literature. I told my classes about Quincy and Biddy’s stories and why I think this book is diverse. I don’t know of any other YA titles that feature special education characters the way Girls Like Us does. To me, diverse lit isn’t always about race. It’s about mental illness, it’s about exploring religion, it’s about marginalized characters, and more.

I also want to read for myself. I often look at my reading life door to make sure that I’m reading a good mix of books. I don’t want to read too much realistic fiction and not enough fantasy. Or too many romances and not enough mystery. I’m always seeking balance, but this year, I think I’ll allow myself to go off-balance, especially since I plan on reading more diverse lit. If a book I’ve been looking forward to for months releases or an ARC comes my way, I’m going to read it. If I’m reading a book that’s moving too slowly, I’m going to put it down without guilt. My reading life is precious right now, so I want to make it count. I want to read a book that I can’t put down.

Time will tell if this works for me. I certainly hope it does. I’m constantly putting pressure on myself to reach a numeric goal and to keep up with all of the new releases. It was refreshing to listen to the audioThe Summer I Turned Pretty for The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han because it was a book I wanted to read, a book that allowed me to connect with a specific student, and a book that’s a backlist title. When it comes right down to it, I’m still making reading a priority and I’m still reading books that I can add to my class library.

Hopefully my students will make some reading resolutions as well. Have you made any reading resolutions this year?

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