In January, some of us in the Information Store decided to make a different kind of resolution: a reading resolution! We are now more than halfway through and we’re looking back across the last eight months to see how we did, as well as looking forward to how we can work on our resolutions more in the rest of the year. Here is our Reading Resolutions post from earlier this year.
We challenged ourselves to read more than we had the previous year. Some people put a number on it (one per week in some cases!), and some people preferred not to put a number on it.
“Read 52 books, aka a book a week – I am on 23/52 books for the year. If you do this week by week, I’m three books behind, but the summer is a great time for reading, and I have a holiday booked, so I’m hoping to get through a few then.”
“The Six Book Challenge really boosted my enthusiasm for reading (you can see our roundup here) and I set myself the challenge to read 24 books this year, one every two weeks. I’ve already beaten my own record for last year, since I’ve read 16 books so far and last year I only managed 12. Over halfway there, but I need to keep going if I want to succeed by December!”
Read something different
“This has been moderately successful. I probably need to read a little more non-fiction, but I have read romance, historical, slice of life, and a very short autobiography. I’ve got a couple more books on my to-read pile in different genres as well.”
“I’ve read one very challenging book this year: Escape from Camp 14, which I received on World Book Night, was harrowing and very hard to finish. While I’m still attached to genre fiction (fantasy and historical in particular) the books I review for Between the Lines are mostly chosen from our Quick Reads section (helpful when you’re trying to complete the Six Book Challenge!) I tend to overlook non-fiction but I’ve added lots of ‘Historical Ladies’ (on display at Norfolk House) to my to-read list.”
Get rid of as many books as you read
We’re book lovers, so we always have more books than we can fit on our shelves at home! Giving away our books to friends, to charity shops or (our favourite choice) to the Book Exchange in the Information Store means we have more space for future books. Some people sell them online, some turn them into art projects, but we’ve got one thing in common: we’re trying to make sure the books we own are the ones we really want to. One of our staff was given loads of boxes of books by a friend and the plan is to sell them this year to fund a plane ticket.
“I’ve got rid of a few more boxes (and bought that aeroplane ticket!) but now I’ve got to sort through the books that are harder to part with- and promise myself that I won’t replace the books that have gone!!”
“This is the one resolution I haven’t been very good at keeping. I think I’ve actually acquired more books this year than I’ve got rid of! However, I’m moving soon and it’s a good motivation to start getting rid of books, so we have less to pack!”
Use the library more
We’re so lucky in Norfolk to have access to so many great libraries. We’ve been trying to use them more, which means we spend less on buying new books and get to support our local library as well!
“Out of the pile of books I have read this year 14 of them were from a library, rather than books I owned. I’ve been mixing and matching the libraries as well, since every library has a different collection. In my to-read pile are approximately four fiction books and a whole pile of non-fiction books from the library as well, so my library card feels very well-loved this year.”
“I’ve been making good use of the Norfolk Digital Library, as I tend to buy far too many eBooks (thanks, Amazon OneClick!) It’s free to reserve eBooks (hard copies are charged at 50p) so I’ve been trying to reserve the more popular books I would normally rush out and buy.”
Reading aloud is a great way to enjoy books. We’re trying this out, with one of our staff working their way through the Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell with their partner and others using it as an excuse to share books they love.
“Well, we’re on book 5 [of Sharpe] and my original complaint still stands!! My partner and I need to find some books that suit our varied tastes, without being overambitious- we’re both reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but reading that one out loud would probably break us!”
“I’ve got into a pattern now where I read to my partner while he cooks dinner. We just finished Good Omens, which was loads of fun with all the silly voices, and we’re now starting on Charmed Life, one of my very favourite books in the world. I’m really looking forward to sharing it with him.”
Keep track of what you’ve read
Whether it’s online, in a notebook or by writing reviews, we’re trying to keep track of the books we’ve read.
“I’ve been pretty good with my Goodreads account, and it’s really nice to have a record of what I’ve read in the past so I can look back through and remember what I liked. I was planning on trying to write a review of everything I read, but that’s just not happening. I have kept another bit of my resolution, though: I’ve got a little notebook by my bed and I write down everything I read, in case I forget to put it on Goodreads.”
“My Goodreads account has not been updated for a long time, but I regularly check out my friends’ lists for recommendations. Is this what Goodreads was designed for? Maybe not, but it works well for me!”
Sometimes, it’s OK to just read…
Making time for reading is a challenge, but we’ve taken it on!
“I’ve started trying to read right before bed, even if it’s just a little bit. On some nights, I’m too tired to read more than a paragraph, and sometimes I get into the story so much that I go to sleep much too late!
Apparently looking at a bright screen before bed might be bad for you, and I certainly find that reading a physical book for a bit means I fall asleep a lot quicker than if I’m checking Facebook. I’ve actually got through most of the books I’ve read recently at bedtime!”
Get involved with World Book Night (23rd April 2015)
We had a really great response to World Book Night this year – have a look at our blogpost for more information. Check out our review of one of the books we were giving out, and if you feel inspired to try the World Book Night books, we have copies of several in the library now! And, of course, keep an eye out for next year’s World Book Night events. I think we well and truly resolved this resolution. Good work, everyone!
Make sure to look for our full year roundup in January 2016, where we’ll look at what we did well at, and where we can improve – and whether we have different resolutions for next year.
jamarmstrong (2010) I love books. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamarmstrong/5215439819 (Accessed: 06/08/15)
kitty.green66 (2010) Little cat. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53887959@N07/4984811225 (Accessed: 06/08/15)
Mills, Amanda (2015) Stack of books topped by pair of eyeglasses public domain image. Available at: http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/objects/books/stack-of-books-topped-by-pair-of-eyeglasses (Accessed: 06/08/15)