Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I am terrible at sticking to my New Year's Resolutions. In fact, I can't really remember one that I've carried out the entire year. Last year I was going to lose weight (ha!), stop smoking (I did... but not until like October), completely paint my house (that didn't happen in any shape, form, or fashion), and I was going to stress less (double ha!). This year I'm making more manageable goals in my personal life. I want to treat myself with more respect, surround myself with like-minded people, and get back to doing the things I love. That includes reading.
It seems silly to include reading, right? Obviously I have been reading since my GoodReads Challenge is sitting at 175 as we approach the last few days of 2016. But a lot of my reading habits has turned reading from a hobby I love to something that almost feels like a job at times. It wasn't until I talk to my girlfriend about it that she pointed out I was letting things like bookstagram, reading challenges, and other bloggers reshape my way of buying and reading books. After a lot of soul searching, I realized she was right and that this needed to change in 2017. I want to get back to a very simple love of reading and books and I want to connect with people who don't think reading is a contest.
So, here are my Bookolutions for 2017:
1. Avoid book challenges or readathons. I think book challenges and readathons are great for people who want to participate in them but I am extremely competitive and get caught up very easily in numbers. I had originally planned to participate in #DiversityBingo2017 but a few things kind of turned me off from it. One of them is personal and I won't be sharing because that's not fair to the creators but the thing I will share is... I don't like most Sci-Fi. It's a personal preference but I really can't see the point in participating in something that I'm either going to have to leave the space blank (and lose) or force myself to read something I'm just not into. I will be setting a GR challenge just so I can easily keep up with how many and which books I've read during the year, but I probably won't set the goal over 100 so that I'm not pressuring myself and I'll feel like I have more time to enjoy some of the bigger books on my TBR.
2. Speaking of TBRs, mine is out of control. This year I want to reduce my TBR by either getting rid of the books or reading them. Seriously, I have books on my shelf that I've been holding on to for YEARS. As my Grandma says, "It's time to piss or get off the pot." (she's very eloquent.) I started culling books back in the summer but I'm definitely serious about getting rid of what I don't plan to read this year.
3. Limit myself to 3 brand new books a month and spend more time at the library/used book shop. I'm not sure when I got so vain about having brand new hardbacks, but it's kind of an issue. I used to spend hours and hours combing through used books at the library rummage room or going through boxes of used books in the back room at the used book shop (the owner had gotten to know me so well that I got first dibs). This was an every weekend thing. People knew where to find me on Saturday afternoon. But I went to the used book shop this past Monday and the owner was like "I thought you had died!" It had seriously been that long. I don't know when or why my mind started thinking that I had to have brand new books in order to fit in with other bookstagrammers or bloggers. I think used books are beautiful (not to mention affordable) and I love discovering little notes and markings left in them by their previous owners. I have to get out of this "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.
4. Read more freely. This connects directly with #1 but this year, I felt very cramped with my reading. I want to get back to reading middle grade books. I love weird, horrible, trashy romance and cozy mysteries and all the books I pushed to the side because I wanted so badly to fit in more with the YA community. I feel like I missed so many great MG books in the last half of 2016 because I was so worried about keeping up with YA.
5. Support more Native American/Indigenous authors. I stated on my twitter earlier in the month that I was terribly disappointed to see so many people excluding Native and Indigenous voices from their diversity lists. While I can't force people to read these authors, I can make sure that I'm reading more than my portion and uplift their (and in return, my) voice.
And this isn't a goal because it's who I am as a reader and as a Queer Mvskoke, but I will of course be pushing forward in promoting diversity books and literacy in our communities. I've been asked to partner with our community action board as a liaison to the libraries and schools in my county. I'll be helping them set up reading programs and securing more diverse books for our expanding community. I'm really honored to be blessed with this position and I'm looking forward to moving my activism into a place that I love.
What are your Bookolutions for 2017? Or just goals in general?
Have a Happy New Year!