Image of New Year's ClockHaha, whoa, that’s pretty bad, isn’t it? But since I seem to have significant motivational problems with resolutions that involve moving around or eating less, I thought I’d set myself some book-related resolutions this year, as that seems much more attainable (and fun). Reading resolutions = readolutions. I know, I’m sorry.

1. Finally get that Kindle and load it up with library books. A while ago, I wrote about my struggle between desiring a Kindle and not quite being able to justify one. But my biggest reason — that you couldn’t borrow library books on one — has been blown to bits by the Seattle Public Library. Now I’m just waiting to accumulate a few more Amazon gift cards through my freebie and rewards sites to make the Kindle free! But that’s a different obsession for another time.

2. Read more non-fiction (and magazines don’t count). Truthfully, this one shouldn’t be too hard at all: the older I get, the larger a proportion of my total reading has become non-fiction. As a young reader, I almost exclusively chose novels, but the current abundance of popular-science books written for the layman has made a wide variety of topics accessible for casual readers. Oddly, for someone who couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to math or science in school, I now find those topics fascinating (if perplexing) as an adult. Maybe 2012 will be the year I can finally explain string theory.

3. Seek out more graphic novels. Before you dismiss them scornfully as comic books, hear me out! Graphic novels, especially those that play out over years in trade paperbacks, can be as richly developed, compelling, and profound as non-illustrated books. Right now, I’m looking forward to reading Radioactive, a graphic novel about Marie and Pierre Curie that will also help me with goal #2. Fun Home is an autobiographical story that uses its illustrated format so skilfully, you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie instead of reading. For true-crime thrills and chills, try this year’s Green River Killer: A True Detective Story.

4. Cook something from each and every one of my cookbooks — or get rid of them. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to my vintage cookbook collection, which includes inedible ’50s delights such as frosted sandwich loaf. But I’m talking about the regular, modern-day cookbooks that were meant to serve as everyday cooking inspiration… and still have pristine, uncracked spines. Some were gifts; some I bought in a fit of optimism. But I intend to look through them all and find at least one new recipe to try in each, whether it’s the updated Gourmet cookbook or the Martha Stewart baking handbook. And if I can’t find anything interesting (unlikely though it seems), then I should probably pass it on to someone more deserving and clear out some bookshelf space anyway.

That seems like a good start to me — and more importantly, a fun one. But if you have suggestions for more readolutions, I’m all ears. What do you think we should read in the coming year?

Stephanie Perry
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