Reading Resolutions: How I Will Read in 2021

I’ve never written reading resolutions before. Though I’m *big* into resolutions of other kinds. Always trying to Optimize The Self and Be More Better (but seriously, my resolution to floss my teeth, made over a decade ago, still at it! My resolution to write a novel… hahahha). I guess you could call the 100 books in a year of 2011 something of a resolution, but that was more of an overly-ambitious-and-self-satisfied goal of a adjacently employed* adult with no real responsibilities save making elaborate desserts and self-improvement.

So why now? Well, 2020 wasn’t the finest year for me and books. I know, I know, there were a few things going on. And I know, I know, the whole point of me + reading is for it to be enjoyable and not instrumental. And I know you can hear the BUT coming. But. I finished the year disgusted with the volume of words I’d committed to the American election, to the Pandemic, to googling the aches of middle age along with “what does it all mean,” etc. And I certainly didn’t feel any more energized, better informed or more relaxed.

So because there’s nothing I like more than a clearly defined SMART(TM) goal, ideally if it has a matching strategic plan and attendant KPI’s, I present to you my resolutions for reading in 2021:

  1. Read things I like. Stop reading things I don’t like.
    • On this, I began reading Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, and I recognized it was a Good and Important book, and I *should* read it, and so I gave it 100 pages. But then I stopped because now I am (once again) a person who stops reading things I don’t like, even when they are Good and Important.
  2. Limit the accumulation of fines at the library to under $10 by visiting the library once a week.
    • To this end, I owe you a post about The Death of Vivek Oji which I was a mere 30 pages from finishing when the library began sending spam-levels of warnings about the fines I owed. Here’s my summary: it was good and I will probably never get it back out because it was also sad. Spoiler-not-spoiler: Vivek dies.
    • In other news, I may be singly handedly paying for the new main branch library in the fines I paid last year, even while fines were frozen for most of that time. Turns out when you check out 100 kids books at week some slip through the cracks of your well intentioned System for Keeping Track of All the Books About Diggers.
  3. Adjust my reading habits to prioritize reading books instead of my phone by keeping my phone in the bedroom during the day and in the kitchen at night.
    • As this goal has a negative 20% chance of success owing to my Addiction, I will concede this one is unlikely to stick past next week. However, I am nothing if not an optimist.
    • Perhaps I will reward myself with fancy wine recommended by C. if I can complete this goal for a month. TIME WILL TELL.
  4. Read more (e.g. any) non-fiction by reading one non-fiction book after each four novels.
    • Because of The Times I have already ordered Man’s Search for Meaning and Dare to Lead and expect to be 1000x more balanced and a far better employee, by this time next month because isn’t that the purpose of non-fiction?
  5. Concede that the Children get in the way of blogging and be okay writing less.
    • This resolution inspired by L. waking up Right Now. So… goodbye.

*when employment is understood as a graduate degree in English literature


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