It’s the end of December, a time when many are setting New Year’s Resolutions, although I personally prefer to just go with a list of goals. Whatever your terminology, perhaps you’re considering a reading resolution? If you’d like to undertake one but you’re unsure where to start, here are a few ideas:
The most basic reading resolution of all is to simply set a target number of books to read over the course of the year. Perhaps consider how many you read last year, and go from there. You could choose the same number, or increase the number to challenge yourself. Track your reading on paper; or sign up for an online challenge, like the one at Goodreads, which allows you to set your personal challenge and then add books as you read them to keep track of your progress towards your goal. It’s a social site, so you can also find friends and see what they’re reading.
Perhaps more than the number of books you read, you’d like to find ways to read more widely or select books using a different lens than you currently do. There are many reading challenges that will provide a list of categories for you to check off with the aim of diversifying your reading list by genre and author perspective.
Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, now in its fifth year, sets 24 tasks for you to complete as you break out of your regular reading pathways. From an epistolary novel to a business book, from a novel by a trans or nonbinary author to a translated book written by and/or translated by a woman, this challenge will have you reading a wide range of genres and voices. Do it on your own, gather a group of friends, or find an online community for support and book suggestions.
The Reading Women podcast brings you… the Reading Women Challenge. As you might guess, this is a list of challenges focused on reading widely while centering women creators, with categories such as A book about nature, A book by a South Asian author, and Any book you picked up because of the cover.
Boasting 16,000 participants a year, perhaps POPSUGAR’s 2019 Reading Challenge is for you. With 40 prompts, plus 10 additional prompts for overachievers, you’ll certainly be kept busy as you read a book being made into a movie in 2019, a book that takes place in a single day, a ghost story, and much, much more.
Maybe you don’t want to do a year-long challenge, but just want some focused effort.
If you like both reading and competition, check out The Tournament of Books run by The Morning News, now in its 15th year. They select 16 books published the previous year and pitch them against one another in head-to-head bracketed competition, like a literary March Madness. They just announced the shortlist; the bracket will be up closer to March.
Your very own Seattle Public Library runs a Summer Book Bingo for adults, complete with a 25 square bingo grid with categories to complete. Get bingo or blackout (all the squares), and enter to win local prizes. Last year’s categories included Local author; Graphic Novel; and Recommended by a librarian. The 2019 Book Bingo grid will be revealed in early summer.
Regardless what you decide to do, we wish you a robust reading year in 2019. Let us know if you need help finding something to read: browse our online booklists; write into us at Your Next 5 Books for a list of personalized suggestions selected by librarian; or just pop into a branch and see what the librarian has to suggest.
~ posted by Andrea G.