Saturday, 31 December 2016

My New Year Reading Resolution

I would say that my New Year Reading Resolution is to stop buying books that I subsequently don't read (which happens a fair bit), but I don't think that's practical - you can never really guarantee that however much you like a book's premise or initial chapters, you'll like it enough to continue reading to the end. Therefore, my actual Reading Resolution is to reduce the number of books I fail to finish. This is my action plan for achieving my goal. 

1. When I failed to finish a book, I will put it into one of two categories: won't finish or try again. Books that I that actively dislike (eg. I don't like the plot or just find boring) will go into the first category while books I just can't seem to get into will go in the second category.

2. Every time I need something to read, rather than buying a new book as I usually do, I will look at all the books in the "try again" category to see if there's anything I fancy giving another go. I can only buy another book if nothing from that category grabs me. 

3. Visit the library more often! I must confess that I probably go to my local library once a year (if that). To be fair, because of work commitments, I can only really go on a Saturday - which does make returning books a bit of a faff. But, I would certainty save some money if I made more of an effort. After all, you can fail to finish all the library books you want and you still won't be out of pocket.

4. If I try a book for a second time and still fail to finish it, I will move it to the "won't finish" category. Sometimes you have to accept that no matter how well written a book is or how good the plot is, it's just not for you. While going against the goal of reducing the number of books I buy and don't finish, at least I will know that I gave it my best shot.

5. Review my "won't finish" pile every now and then to learn what it is I don't like. For example, having looked at books I've failed to finish this year, I've realised I only like history books about people - I am not interested in learning about events or places, no matter how important they are for how we developed as a society (which is why I gave up on Mary Beard's book about Rome). 

6. After step five, get rid of my "won't finish" books. If physical, take it to a charity shop. If an ebook, delete it completely from my Kindle library. I have only just figured out how to do this (before, I just deleted it from my Kindle but not my virtual library) and it's been really liberating. I know that an unfinished ebook doesn't take up any space - either physically or digitally - but I found seeing a list of books I'd bought over the years and would never finish oppressive. 

7. Accept that I buy a lot books. Some people are passionate about music, some about fashion, and others about model aeroplanes (seriously, I used to work for two magazines dedicated to the subject), but I love books; they are "my thing". Therefore, I am going to spend a substantial amount of my disposable income (I do recognise that I am extremely fortunate to have disposable income) on books and the law of averages means that some of those will end up on my "won't finish" pile.  

I am hoping that the above steps will help me to reduce the amount of books I buy and don't finish, but most of all I want to stop feeling guilty about it. Guilt only has a purpose if it inspires you to change - continuing to do something while feeling guilty about it is plain ridiculous. 

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! I can't stop buying books even though I've got a huge stash of e-books and paperbacks to get through!