A 2023 New Years’ Resolution that I’m not repeating was my resolution to read 52 books (a book a week). I had been an inveterate reader from a young age, often winning the summer book-reading challenges at our public library. But as an adult, as with many of you, I expect, smartphones in general and social media in particular cannibalized the time I’d spent reading books.
In 2022, I realized that Twitter had so weakened my reading attention span that it was taking forever to read the nonfiction books I used to love. I’d read 19 books in 2021, and just 13 books in 2022. Given my four shelves of unread books, a New Year’s resolution to read a book a week seemed the right approach. I started by literally sorting the books by page count and reading the shortest books I had first!
That worked great. What I then found was that I had grown tired of nonfiction. Fiction, on the other hand, got me turning the pages, reading more than I meant to each day, to find out what happened next.
My other reading management change was to no longer feel as guilty about stopping reading a book I dislike. Slogging on had become such a bottleneck to my reading that it made me miserable. I gave myself permission to purposefully skim nonfiction books that previously I would have read all of. By design, I didn’t finish every book I “read” last year. Some were reference books, and I read the parts that interested me. One had sexual violence, and I set it aside.
With this relaxed approach, I did meet my challenge of reading all or most of 52 books last year. I’m using GoodReads to log my books at the moment, but eyeing Bookwyrm. Here are my 2023 books. I blogged about the Earthsea series and The Ultimate Micro-RPG Book.
Given last year’s reading of the shorter books, this year I do have many much longer books on my “to be read” shelves. Still, somehow, I have four shelves of unread books, since my book-buying hobby is often independent of my book-reading hobby! As a result, this year I’m going to read 26 books instead of 52 (one book each fortnight).
First up, a re-read of Apocalypse World 2nd edition, for our next campaign.