The Bookish Staff’s Reading Resolutions for 2018

The Bookish Staff’s Reading Resolutions for 2018

Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s 2018, and we’re celebrating by making literary resolutions. Here, we’ve rounded up the Bookish staff’s goals for this fresh new year. Some of us want to read more; some of us just want to read different things. Let us know what your reading resolutions are in the comments!

There are few things in life better than discussing an awesome book with a close friend. At least, it’s one of my favorite things. In order to have more of this in my life, I’m resolving to loan more books to friends. That way, when they’re done reading them, I can strike up a conversation! Friends of mine: You’ve been warned. —Elizabeth

I have a friend who writes an annual wrap-up of the books she’s read that year, noting some demographic trends about the authors: how many women of color versus white women, and how many men of color versus white men. I aim to keep track of the same, and diversify my reading list as much as possible! So far I’ve read one book by a woman of color (Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing) and one book by a white woman (Simone St. James, Broken Girls, on sale March 2018). —Kristina

I’m always torn between keeping up with new releases and reading all of the older books in my TBR pile. So this year, I’m challenging myself to read a backlist book for every 2018 book I read. I think bouncing back and forth will really help me whittle down my pile of unread books while still keeping me up to date on new releases. —Kelly

My resolution is to read more science fiction! It’s a genre I’ve casually enjoyed so far, but would love to explore and even study in more detail. —Tarah

When I looked back on the books that I read in 2017, I realized that the subjects, characters, and authors were mostly heterosexual. This doesn’t feel like a genuine reflection of myself or the world that I live in, so in 2018, I want to make an effort to read more books about LGBTQ+ characters and by LGBTQ+ authors. —Stephanie

In 2017, I finally read my first ever romance novel. I tore through it in less than 24 hours and want to tell everyone I know how smart and sexy and delightful it is (it’s Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date and everyone should read it). Now, in 2018, I want more! Romance is such a huge genre and, frankly, an overwhelming one to delve into as a rookie. But I feel confident that by this time next year, I’ll know if I like historicals or paranormals; moody unapproachable heroes or sensitive beta heroes. By the end of 2018, I will have giggled and swooned at some dreamy novels. —Nina

This is embarrassing and shameful but I believe Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, Volumes 1-3 was my first Amazon purchase about 20 years ago and I have yet to crack the spine on any of the volumes. I am determined that 2018 is the year I read at least one page. —Myf

I want to read more novels! I’m a total nonfiction junkie, and in 2017, I read a ton of memoirs and other true stories. I didn’t read as many novels as I would have liked, but the few I did read reminded me just how much I love them. In 2018, I’m resolving to recommit myself to the world of fiction. –Elizabeth

In 2018, I’d like to find more local places to donate books. My own shelves are overflowing, and I really want to give those books back to my community. I imagine my local librarian would have a few tips for me, so stopping in to see her is high on my agenda this month. —Kelly

This is the year that I’m going to sign up for Audible. Many of my friends (*cough*Elizabeth*cough*) have told me how addicting audiobooks are and how convenient they make reading. So this will be the year that I broaden my horizons and start listening to books, as well as reading them. —Stephanie

I’m going to read Moby-Dick this year. Sure, a strong training in gender studies has given me more than a little skepticism about big difficult books written by dead white men, but for some reason, Moby-Dick has been calling me. And I’ve enjoyed the other Herman Melville works that I’ve read in the past. To keep me honest about this goal, I plan on reading Moby-Dick with a small book club. A few friends in my neighborhood decided during one late night that we would read it together and then last week in the cold light of day, one friend handed the rest of us copies in the same edition. Look out bi-weekly meetings and pencilled annotations, I’m ready. —Nina

In keeping with the Proust theme, I’m thinking this is the year I should try Karl Ove Knausgaard as well. Wait a minute. Do those two white, male writers really need another reader in me? Typically, most of my reading is work by women. This is an unconscious choice, as I simply read what I am drawn to. This year I want to be more conscious of my book choices and seek out diversity, including the voices of writers of color, queer writers, and differently-abled writers. On my list are Alexander Chee’s Queen of the Night and Porochista Khakpour’s forthcoming memoir, Sick. —Myf

It’s a grab-bag! I hope to read more of what’s been called ‘new nature writing.’ My gateway to this wonderful stuff was work by Scotsman Robert Macfarlane and H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald, but I know there’s much more to explore. Happily, Macfarlane tends to end his books with lists of additional reading, so I can just start there. I’ll also be reading some F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories. I dove into The Great Gatsby over the holidays and emerged vowing to go on a Fitzgerald binge. I’ve only read a few of the dozens of great stories he wrote. Beyond the above, I’m aiming to read a few more biographies of visual artists—always a pleasure—and some printed screenplays. Christopher Nolan’s script for Dunkirk, for example, has been released in book form, and he writes with such fluency. Maybe Lady Bird and The Shape of Water will appear as well! —Phil


  1. I want to read nonfiction this year. The very minimum of 12 titles. I can read a novel by my favorite writers in no time! I mean gobble them up like thanksgiving dinner!

    I’ve started with When Breath Becomes Air. Its slow going but I know its me. I’m training my brain that “its alright to read everything else”! Wish me luck!

  2. I want to read some classics this year. I love Charles Dickens books and would like to read or reread one every month.

  3. I want to read some of those book club fiction books everyone else has been reading, (Samurai’s Garden, Life of Pi, Kafka on the Shore, Cold Sassy Tree…). I’ll try not to get too distracted by my tendency to go on detours such as, I’ve read the Samurai’s Garden, now I think I’ll read about the history of Samurais (non-fiction books are my weakness). I’m sure I’ll do a little of that anyway, but I resolve to keep as close to my chosen path as I can.

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