on reading

The Sixteens Blog About topic for the month of January is reading resolutions for 2015. Now, I think we can all agree that reading resolutions are the best kind of New Year's resolutions. It's so easy to resolve to do something you want to do anyway. A few years ago, my reading resolution was to read more books. Last year, it was to specifically read more books by female authors. As far as New Year's resolutions go, these are kind of on par with "eat more chocolate" and "pet more kittens" in the level of personal hardship they require, but I am not ashamed, nor shall I hesitate to make the exact same kind of resolutions this year. For this year:

1. Sometimes maybe instead of always buying new books, I will read the ones I've already got on my bookshelves. Now that my books are out of storage and delightfully alphabetized all over the apartment, it's time to start working through the multi-year backlog of "books I am totally going to read someday."

2. And that means the nonfiction too! Read more non-fiction in general. I like learning things. I like books that help me learn things. I always enjoy nonfiction when I read it. I have a metric fuckton of unread nonfiction books on my shelves. I should read it.

Corollary to 2. Expand my nonfiction reading horizons a little bit. There are in fact nonfiction books out there on topics besides the history of science and people dying horribly of plagues and/or during polar exploration, but you would never know it from looking at my bookshelves.

3. Reread Patrick O'Brian's entire Aubrey-Maturin series. It's time, and now I actually have all the books in my possession. When I purchased the last one I was missing (The Nutmeg of Consolation which, let's be real: greatest title or greatest title ever?) the man at the used bookstore and I agreed that not understanding any of the nautical chatter is part of the experience. You just let it wash over you, like the ocean. Like the Southern Ocean in the Roaring Forties while you're being chased by a 74-gun Dutch ship-of-the-line and about to hit an iceberg. Like that.

4. Make all of my fellow Sweet Sixteeners send me their books so I can read them before the rest of the world gets to read them and taunt people who haven't read them and feel very smug.

5. Slow down and pay more attention. Just… slow down. Pay more attention. The books aren't going anywhere. I've done the thing where I read like all the world's literature is going to burst into flames if I don't pack it into my eyeballs as fast as possible. Now I can try the thing where I slow down and savor and contemplate.

These are my reading resolutions for 2015. It's going to be a good year for books. I know it.