I have mixed feelings about New Year's Resolutions- I think they can be good if people really stick to them, but waiting to January 1st can be an exercise in procrastination (if you weigh 350 pounds in August you may want to move your ass and eat your veggies mid-year instead of waiting). Society seems to accept not sticking to New Year's resolutions, since the whole thing is a bit gimmicky, which may not be the best thing if you're trying to give up smoking. I haven't made any for a few years, but this year I thought it might be fun to make some literary resolutions- then, if I'm still blogging, I can see how I did when 2011 is over.
Read more 2010 has been incredibly busy, and many of the things that have taken up my time have included reading for something that I wouldn't exactly call pleasure (finishing my Master's and studying to get my science credential). In 2010 I read only 26 books, compared to 39 in 2009. I'm not going to put a number out there, but I'd definitely like to go over 30 in 2011.
Try a graphic novel I'm still actually having a lot of trouble calling them "graphic novels," as I'm more inclined to just say "comic book." My husband, whose judgment I trust, has read several over the past few years and raves about both the stories and art. And I do believe Times Magazine listed The Watchman as one of their top 100 novels, so at some point in 2011 I'll give this genre a try.
Get real I generally stick to contemporary fiction/authors, but I do enjoy a good biography or piece of nonficiton occasionally. While I do learn a lot from fiction, I feel that I'm actually being educated when reading nonfiction. Unfortunately, the writing isn't as always top shelf and can be dry. No promises, but I'm sure I can squeeze in a few.
Writing Like so many of my fellow English degree holders, I'd like to one day write a novel. This year I plan to continue actively contemplating this endeavor (please note I didn't necessarily say I was going to physically do anything about it...)
Finish what you start I have been in the middle of Don DeLillo's Underworld for years now- I call it my "project" book. I read its prologue in a class in college and received it that year for Christmas. It's a beast of a book (832 pages), and, for those not familar with DeLillo, he's a wordy son of a bitch. Every year or so I pick it up and start again and put it down for whatever reason (one of the only books I've ever not finished). But, I generally finish what I start and it truly is a great piece of writing, so I'm missing out if I don't. I just hope I don't have to restart it...
Go to more readings Going to author readings is one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, for some crazy reason, no one wants to come to Riverside, so I'm forced to drive to LA. Most readings are on Monday or Tuesday nights, which makes it difficult to schedule in. As an English teacher, I think the district should give me a sub the day after...
Curb the habit I really need to stop buying books. On average, I end up with maybe one or two new ones a month, which doesn't sound like too many, but for our spacing issues it is. I'm probably going using them as a running reward- a new book every 150 miles or so (hmmm, so that means a new book every six weeks... not sure if that's too much better).
We'll see how I do!