January 03, 2007

I resolve to be resolute

So I have decided to make a New Year's Resolution. I'm not necessarily anti-resolution, I just don't generally don't make them specific to the beginning of the year because I'm pretty much a fan of setting goals all year round. This year, however, in an effort to make my progress more measurable -- resolution -- I plan thee.

Obviously I have long been a lover of books, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten my degree in English, and it is one of those passions I just can't shake. I love to read books, read about books, read about people who read books -- I'm sure it's unhealthy, really. But since I graduated, I have been less committed to my reading than in the past, and that totally bums me out.

For three years in a row (2000-2002), I resolved to read a certain number of books. First 30, then 35, then 40. Not only did I achieve those goals, but I recorded their titles, authors, and my general opinion or interesting thoughts I had on each. It was fun to look back and see what I read, or how my life was influenced during those specific times. Then I went back to school. Obviously in college I wasn't doing a bunch of "reading for pleasure" per se, although clearly what I read was pleasurable to me. And logically, immediately after I graduated, all I wanted to read was brain candy. I can't tell you how many books with hot pink covers I devoured like bon bons on a sunny afternoon. It was wonderfully sinful, but then I slowly realized that I needed to actually challenge my brain a little bit for fear of the "use it or lose it" philosophy on life to which I wholeheartedly subscribe. Last year I adopted an "every other" rule to my hot pink reading; however, I still found myself consuming less than nutritious literature. I mean I even purchased, completed, and file away on my bookshelf a "novel" by James Patterson...and counted it as "non-hot-pink". Yes, let's all just have a moment of silence.

Another disappointment was that I picked up and put down more books than I completed. Now I'm not one to condemn putting down a book that you are just not interested in. Sometimes we just don't click with books, or sometimes we just don't want to work to read (though I think working to read can be enjoyable) and that is just fine. But this past year I definitely just got lazy. I'd pick up a book, and halfway through it just put it down -- Books I enjoyed -- Books I was intrigued by. And for no good reason.

Anyway, with that I have "resolved" to recommit to my reading, and I think the beginning of a new year is a perfect time to make that goal. Not in a crazy marathon training kind of way, but with the following goals in mind:

1. Read more regularly.
I always love "having a good book." Whether I am reading every night before bed, or whether I am stealing moments here and there to get in a few pages, or whether I am spending an entire Saturday afternoon involved in a totally fictitious environment, I am going to make a marked effort to always have that available to me by making sure I am always actively engaged with at least one book.

2. Pick up a few of my abandoned books.
I can think of at least 3 books that I picked up and put down last year that I'm still dying to finish up. I'm determined to find out how they end, as surrounding myself with this lack of resolution is horrid! I have a wealth of books sitting on my bookshelf that I was interested in once, and I hereby commit to being interested in again. I'm going to be all about the finish this time.

3. Get back to the library.
I can honestly say I think I fell in love with Garrett a little bit when he first
shared with me his utter displeasure the day the Carmichael library closed for its renovation/remodel. I LOVE THE LIBRARY! And finding a partner who appreciates this is fabulous! Besides at the rate I purchase and store books I don't read, it is probably good that I start doing some borrowing otherwise I might need to rent a small storage space for my unread books. And what better way to keep it "timebound". See...keeping the end in mind.

4. Aim Low.
Ok not really. What I mean is that I could probably aim for 40 or 50 books this year, but in an effort to make my goals realistic and attainable I am resolving to FINISH 30 books this year, and keep an active record of it. I miss doing that! So I'm going to, damnit! Besides, if nothing else, maybe it will give me something more interesting to talk about here than the minutiae of my life, my recipes, and my horrible tv watching habits.


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