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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Making Reading Resolutions

It's a new year, which means a new year of reading! Some people like to take up challenges, hitting a certain book count or checking off categories both general and obscure. Others may just want to follow their whims and see where the reading year takes them. Whatever your plans, it can be fun to reinvent the New Year's Resolution by making some reading resolutions! There's nothing wrong with indulging in favorite authors, series, and genres or book releases we've been anticipating, but here are a few ideas for making 2021 Reading Resolutions that may pull you just a bit out of your comfort zone. As the year gets underway, please share with us in the comments or by email ( what some of your favorite books are this year, whether you consume them in regular print, large print, audiobook, e-book....

If these ten resolutions don't strike your fancy, but you'd like suggestions for what to read next, fill out the Choose My Reading Adventure form on our website ( or at the circulation desk to get reading recommendations tailored just for you.

Without further ado...

  1. Read a book in translation: Translations make so many more works of literature available to us and can take many forms... popular fiction, classics, poetry, nonfiction of numerous kinds. A translation is a one-of-a-kind collaboration, often inviting us into another culture and always begging the question of authenticity and the ability to take words from one language to another without sacrificing both cadence and meaning. If you haven't tried it before, give it a go! We can always offer suggestions by email or in person.

  2. Read a picture book: Maybe you already read them by the hundreds! If not, try to rediscover the sense of wonder inherent in childhood reading by poring over the pages of a beautiful, funny, or lyrical picture book. We have an ample stock of delightful and diverse books both popular and obscure supplied by Miss Amy in our children's library!

  3. Make it a game and do a book swap: Find a friend and pick a book for each other. Or get together a whole group (virtually these days!) and have each person recommend a book and then randomly assign the recommendations to others in the group. Sure to inject a little excitement and sharing into your reading life.

  4. Read a book of letters: A personal favorite of mine... Many books of correspondence, often between authors or historical figures, have been published and offer windows of absolute delight, intimacy, surprises, poetic language, historical information, or contemporary insights. It's a unique experience to immerse yourself in the back and forth between others, words with true meaning and agency.

  5. Reread a book: Sometimes it feels like there are so many books out there that rereading is a waste of a chance to check out a new one, but it can be a rich experience to revisit a book you either loved or hated at one time in your life and see how your relationship to it has changed.

  6. Read a book by a debut author: Try a recent book by a new author. We're happy to provide suggestions and this may just be an upcoming booklist!

  7. Read a book about current events: Politics, climate change, economics, Black Lives Matter... check out our new nonfiction section for ideas. Sometimes it's hard to stomach this stuff, but there are many fascinating, relevant, and/or controversial reads coming from multiple viewpoints to keep us informed about our world.

  8. Read a how-to book: You don't have to read it cover to cover. You don't have to walk away from it and become a perfect knitter or build some amazing structure. But there are so many great DIY books out there... maybe you just learn something new and tuck the information away for a rainy day or maybe you develop a whole new passion!

  9. Read a book by an author whose culture you know little about: Whether it's someone from another country, another race and/or ethnicity, another religion, or the next town over but from a quite different background, select a book written by a person with different cultural experiences, perhaps a #OwnVoices book or a book by a person of color and/or Indigenous author (if you are not), to learn more about another's perspective.

  10. Read a genre you don't normally read: This resolution speaks for itself! If you always read historical fiction, try a memoir or contemporary novel. Or are you mired in nonfiction reads? Go for some speculative fiction! Consider a book of essays, that romance you always scoff at, trade some literary fiction for a thriller or vice versa. Maybe you'll hate it or maybe you'll discover a whole new love.

.... And with any of the above, what's the worst that can happen? Library books are free after all! Here's a year of wonderful reading and of sharing our favorite finds. (And if you read this whole list and then go pick up a book by your most tried and true author, hey, we're not judging. Sometimes that's just a necessary nourishment.)

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