Want to read more sci-fi? What does it mean to “read diversely” and do you need to do more of it? Are you notorious for not finishing your to-read pile? It’s a new year which means a new year because that’s how it works, right? Some of the WWAC contributors have shared their reading resolutions for 2017 and we have total faith in their chances of making them a reality.
Christa Seeley: I’m a pretty eclectic reader and I like to see what surprises the publishing industry has in store for us, so I try not to sign up for too many reading challenges.
That being said, there are a few ways I want to try and branch out and expand my reading (in 2017 and beyond).
- I’m a pretty avid sci-fi and fantasy reader but looking back at 2016 these were probably the least diverse genres I read. So in 2017 I would like to read more in this genre from people of colour — especially women of colour.
- I also want to read more translated books. I only read one last year (Han Kang’s The Vegetarian) and I want to increase that significantly this year.
- This one is a bit of a resolution/confession, but despite owning a number of books by the following authors I’ve still never read them — Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Toni Morrison, Donna Tartt, and Jhumpa Lahiri. This year I will finally experience their fabulousness for myself.
Ginnis Tonik: Like our lovely books editor, I am a pretty eclectic reader, as well, though I have noticed what I buy versus what I read tends to lean more towards the nonfiction. I have also been thinking about a bookshelf challenge to read all the unreads on my shelf because I am really working on paying off my debts this year and to calm the fuck down on book buying – it’s so addictive. But, a bookshelf challenge feels so daunting, so I think I will focus on a fiction bookshelf challenge instead, and a lot of mine is in the fantasy, sci-fi area, but there’s also a few classics I have never read despite being a *gasp* English major in college.
Ardo Omer: My reading resolution is to continue reading diversely and expanding on what that means. I want to read classics by people of colour like One Thousand and One Nights which I started last year. I also want to read more translated books. I want to move beyond western stories and be exposed to writing styles from other countries. I think I’ll do the Read Harder 2017 challenge which I haven’t done yet despite being a Book Riot contributor and one of the hosts of the Read Harder book clubs. A checklist can help with my quest to expand.
Wendy Browne: I’ll be setting up my reading challenges this month, starting with the standard Goodreads challenge. I have consistently set my goal at 100 books and graphic novels for the past few years, which gives me some wiggle room to add some extras at the end of the year, rather than the pressure of trying to reach my previous goal of 150 books, many of which will be audiobooks as I aim for the “Marathoner” rank in the Audiobook Challenge for this year. I am also fond of the many reading challenges at Worlds Without End which I can cater specifically to my to-read pile. These challenges have also helped me broaden my reading — albeit still within the speculative fiction genre. This year, I want to add more books outside of this genre, so I’m looking at reading challenges like this one or this one. In case you missed it, I’m pretty fond of challenges. They keep me focused and help me answer that age old question of what to read next as I stare at my fully loaded bookshelf.
Amber Love: I don’t have a target number of books to read because I’m tremendously slow at reading. My goals are to read more authors of color and to promote indie books that don’t have the advantage of hundreds of reviews. I might not be able to discuss The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl, but I want to read and share insights of books that might fly under the radar and deserve some buzz. You can find me on Goodreads too.
Ray Sonne: I am very jealous of Wendy for setting a goal of 100 books for her Goodreads challenge because I have not managed that since college. I’ve read only 84 books these last two years so that is the number where I have set this year’s challenge. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to read differently this year. My gut tells me more manga and more poetry, both of which I started in the last two months of 2016. I also enjoyed reading a spurt of books by Asian and Asian-American writers recently and would like to continue that, as well as read more modern black and Native literature. We’ll see if it happens. I still have sooo many unread books of different kinds on my shelves; it’s hard to predict what I’ll end up prioritizing.
Stephanie Tran: I’ve a very bad habit of borrowing books from the library, renewing them constantly until the renewal limit is reached, and then returning them unread. I’m not exactly sure why I find the books interesting when I pick them up in the library and then find my interest gone once they’re at home, but I suspect it may be linked to my bad habit for instant gratification. Instead of reaching for my tablet to play games, this year I resolve to actually read the library books that I borrow before bedtime. I hope that by replacing games with books I’ll both sleep better and stir up my imagination to give more writing inspiration.
Jen Grogan: I read a lot of books every year, but I do a terrible job of actually keeping track of them. One of my goals last year was to try to get most of my books from the library (except reference books that I need for my work), and I’ve done really well with that… with the consequence that I often can’t remember what I’ve read in the last few months because everything went back to the library already! I also, like Stephanie, have a bad habit of getting too many things out from the library at once and not getting to finish them all. So my goals this year are to keep track of all the books I read (whether on Goodreads or in a private document, or both), and use the “save for later” function on my library website so that I don’t have so many books out at once that I don’t finish them.
Anna Tschetter: I recommend books a lot, but I’m not always prepared for these recommendations! One goal for 2017 is to push myself to read and recommend beyond my comfort zone. There are some genres that I struggle to read – mysteries, historical fiction, and romance, mainly – but I need to read those. My goal is to read more of the genres I often pass up to read the next great YA fantasy or science fiction book. In addition, I’m trying to write at least 2-3 sentences on my Goodreads account about each book in hopes that it will help me remember each one more!
Megan Purdy: My reading resolution is simple: make a dent in my ridiculous to-read pile. Andi from Estrella’s Revenge tweeted about a challenge she was setting herself for 2017, #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and invited others to join her. Perfect, I thought, a challenge that doesn’t require me to buy or track down new books, but instead helps me to tackle my book clutter and encourages me to read more. I haven’t decided on the exact parameters of my reading resolution for 2017, but to keep myself honest I’ll be blogging twice a month and reviewing the books that really stick with me. I guess we’ll find out soon how many of the million books I’ve bought were actually worth it.