(image via flickr)
It's a new year, which means it's time to make resolutions that you plan to implement to better your life. Smoke less. Exercise more. Finally write the great American novel, while exercising, and resisting the urge to light up a cigarette...you get the point.
As bibliophiles, however, we make New Year's Resolutions that are largely—if not entirely—reading-related ones. And there's nothing wrong with that! Check out our ideas for some reading resolutions for 2014 below, and make sure to add your own in the comments!
Catch up on that series you fell behind on: We've all been there: you've been reading a series, but there's just so much you already have to read and you don't have the time. Before you know it, the books are coming out faster than you can read them and you're 1, or 2, or 4 books behind the author. Now's the time to catch up on that series you let fall to the wayside.
Finish the catalog of your favorite author: Okay, so your literary heart beats for a certain author, but there are several books in their collection that you have yet to read. Make the time to catch up so that when you explain your love for that writer you can have feelings on all the works in their authorial catalog.
Read the classics you've been putting off: You've been planning to read more classics, but it's just so hard to plod through Dickens when there's so many contemporary works coming out. Even if you only read one or two of the so-called classics this year, you have accomplished your goal and earned bragging rights forever.
Don't judge a book by its cover: Pluck something off the shelf that looks—operative word being looks—different, weird, thought-provoking for all the wrong reasons. Crack it open, sample a chapter or two, and see where it takes you.
Finally organize your bookshelves: The new year is a great time to tackle projects you've been putting off for ages. For example, if you've been meaning to organize your books by color, genre or even with the Dewey decimal system, now is the time to get started.
Shop at your local independent bookstore: Make an effort to go out and buy books—yes, actual, physical books—from human beings in a brick-and-mortar establishment. Think of it as an investment in your city's literary community (and an excuse to browse through all the shelves!)
When you start a book, commit to finishing it: If you're a pathological book-abandoner, or you find yourself partially into several different books at the same time, maybe it's time to resolve to finish every book you start this year one at a time. No rush—just get it done.
Conversely, don't feel obligated to finish a book if you don't like it: On the other hand, if you're a reader who feels guilty for giving up on a book that's not up your alley, don't. There's only so much time in the world, and it's okay to admit defeat. Even in reading.
Tackle the best books of 2013: The great thing about books is that they never go stale! 2013 may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean it's too late to catch up on the books that garnered the most buzz last year. In fact, it's never too late to read. Period.
Try out a new genre: Branch out! Diversify! Push your limits! Go to your local library and check out a genre you normally wouldn't, or ask a friend to recommend something that's totally out of your comfort zone. Who knows? You may find your new favorite thing to read!
Read that book: You know the one. The one people won't shut up about. The one you looked down your nose at. The one that, okay, you haven't actually read, but you don't need to read in order to know that—nope. No excuses. Before you let one more judgmental thought skitter through your brain, try actually reading it. Then make with the snark...or not.
Just read more: No matter what your reading resolutions may be and whether or not you keep them doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you read.So pick up a book, any book and get reading! Do that and you've already accomplished something. Bravo!
Cassandra Rose is a freelance writer and an avid bibliophile. When real life isn't getting in the way she spends her free time being snarky on Twitter and contributing to the literary blog Bibliomantics.