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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Reading Resolutions

So, we are over one month into a new year and a new decade. By now I am sure that many of us have abandoned our noble intentions of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising daily. What about reading goals for 2020, though?  If reading more isn't one of your aims for the upcoming year (and decade) there are a number of reasons why it should be.  Reading will not only make you smarter and increase your vocabulary, but studies have shown that readers are kinder, more empathetic, and even happier. Also, if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, caregiver, etc. there is no better way to encourage little ones to be avid readers than to model that behavior.

There are oodles of apps and websites to track the books you read but the easiest and most popular of these is Goodreads. You can create an account, rate and review books, mark ones that you want to read, and set a goal number of books to read for the year. This is nice because if your resolution is just to read more, Goodreads just counts number of books. If you want to read only mysteries or romance novels or horror is your jam it doesn't really matter. Seriously, no judgement. You can read teen books, kids books, graphic novels, whatever gets you reading! I'll let you in on a secret (and I know that some people count this as cheating) but I also count audiobooks. Hey, there are only so many hours in the day and why not listen to a book while I am driving or folding laundry?

Now, if you want to go beyond just number of books and really challenge yourself to not only read but read outside your comfort zone there are a number of 2020 reading challenges available online. You can find one that you like or create one that suits you. Yep, I am a huge book nerd and also pretty low tech so I always set my own goals and keep track in just a spiral bound notebook.

Like I said I am a huge book nerd and a librarian so don't feel intimidated by my 2020 reading list/ Or maybe you think that I am a total slacker for being a librarian and if that is the case let me know in the comment section and I will try to up my game.

My 2020 Reading Resolutions
1. Newbery Medal winner-(hey, I order juvenile fiction so I like to know what other librarians think is the best book of the year for that age group). This is the first time ever that a graphic novel has won the Newbery Medal and I have heard amazing things about New Kid by Jerry Craft.
2. Printz Award Winner- This is the American Library Association award for the top teen book and since I have three teens I want to know what has been recommended for that age group. I have only read a couple of reviews for Dig, but this dramatic story of a wealthy older couple and their diverse descendants sounds very intriguing. 

3. A recommendation from my daughter- My oldest is 18 and is in her first year of college so reading something she loved makes me feel closer to her and gives us something to talk about.
4. A recommendation from my oldest son- He is 16 and spends 90% of his time playing video games so I feel like asking him for a recommendation is also encouraging him to read something.
5. A recommendation from my 13 year old son-Well, I cannot leave anyone out and this one makes me happy since my 13 year old has only recently become interested in reading. He has already asked me several times to read the Falling Kingdom series by Morgan Rhodes. Zane read this six book series in just over a week which has to be the fastest he has read anything that was not a comic book. I happen to adore fantasy so I am very excited to read this series that is being advertised as Game of Thrones for teens!

6. A book set in a country other than the United States, Canada, or England (and not written by an American, Canadian, or English author)-Unfortunately, I do not have the opportuntiy to travel very much so I just have to learn about the world and other cultures from books and I think it is important to hear stories from the people that live in those countries and cultures.
7. A nonfiction book-This is tough for me because I would much rather read fiction, but I always try to read at least one nonfiction book. I feel incredibly accomplished since I have already read a nonfiction book this year: 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End  by Scott W. Berg. I started this in December but since I finished in January I think that it counts. If you are not familiar with the largest mass execution in American history I highly recommend this book. It is extremely well-researched and Berg's writing is exceptional. It took me a while to read because I was so emotional while reading this book, but I think that it is incredibly important that we familiarize ourselves with all part of our nation's history, even the ugly parts that we would rather be forgotten.
8. A book off of the New York Times bestseller list- I think I added this because I so rarely read what is popular.
9. A book by a debut author-Like most readers I have a tendency to stick to authors and genres that I know and love so I think that it is important to try something new and unfamiliar.
10. A classic-I was an English Literature major so I have read a lot of classics (some that I would rather forget) but there are so many amazing classic novels that I have not read yet.
11. A book that I loved as a child-I am a chronic re-reader of books, especially ones that made me a lover of books and reading. That is why I think that it is important to revisit some of these treasured favorites. Last year I re-read the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a classic fantasy series that I first read when I was about ten years old. It was just as good, if not better, reading it as an adult because I understood the language more and I could appreciate the inspiration of Celtic mythology in the series. FYI: I still despise Disney's animated film, The Black Cauldron, which does not really follow that book at all. It more takes bits and pieces of the first two books and puts them together in ways that are just not good. Feel free to hate me for this opinion, but read the books and you will understand my feelings.
12. A book that inspires me-I know that this seems pretty vague, but I want to find a book that inspires me to do and be better. Whether that turns out to be a biography about a historical figure,  a parenting book, or something educational I am not sure yet

These 12 books are the only "specific" ones that I want to read in 2020. As far as number of books total, my goal is to read at least 75 books this year. There are already several sitting on my desk just waiting for me.

Big or small, I hope that this post inspires you to set your own reading resolutions for 2020!