Turn A New Page With These 12 New Year’s Reading Resolutions
New year, new books! What reading resolutions are you setting for yourself this year?
We ask because it’s a question we’re also sharing more and more with our families as our kids grow up. While it’s been so fulfilling for us to share our love of reading with our kids with our own Christmas tale, we begrudgingly recognize that at some point they may need to read some other books, too.
So as we’ve been talking to them about reading in the new year, we thought we’d take the chance to share some of our favorite reading resolutions with you, too.
Just like variety is the spice of life, reading variety is the spice of a good bookshelf, so we’ve gathered 12 New Year’s reading resolutions below.
Pick your favorite for the new year, or try to take on one a month!
12 New Year’s Reading Resolutions For Your Most Literate Year Ever
January: Make time for reading every day
For many of us, New Year’s resolutions are about how we’re going to spend our time. Whether it’s prioritizing more time with our family, changing our morning routines, or adding in exercise, a resolution is the chance to look holistically at our year and decide what we want to do with it.
Given reading’s many benefits - improved focus, reduced stress, mental sharpness - why not make time for reading every day?
To start your new reading year off strong, think about adding a daily commitment to reading. Pick an amount of time that you can realistically dedicate to reading amongst your other commitments (work, family, Love Is Blind marathons), and stick to it for the month.
February: Join or start a book club
There are many benefits to joining a book club, and with an estimated 10 million book club members in the US, there’s a good chance you’ve got some eager readers near you.
Book clubs are the ideal way to meet new people who share your love of reading. It’s an opportunity to discuss your favorite books with others and gain new insights into the stories you love.
Finally, book clubs help to motivate us to read regularly, as you'll be accountable to your fellow club members to keep up with the reading schedule.
Though book clubs do mean giving up the autonomy of picking all your reading material yourself, the commitment and social pressure can keep you turning the pages.
March: Read books outside your comfort zone
We’ve shared before how reading books outside of your comfort zone is a great way to break out of a reading rut. It can help you get renewed perspectives on the world, understand other cultures, and expose you to styles and genres you might not have considered before.
While readers who are trying to get back in the flow of reading after a long absence might do best sticking with a genre they’re comfortable with, more committed readers will surely enjoy the challenge of reading outside of their comfort zone.
April: Support your local bookstore
Supporting a local bookstore is about more than just the books. It’s about supporting your community.
Local bookstores are a place for people to read and talk about books as well as an ideal space for events featuring authors, musicians, talks, and more.
By buying books through them - or using a convenient service like BookShop that ships books exclusively from local bookstores - you can make each book you buy a way to positively impact your neighborhood.
May: Read more books by women and people of color
It's no secret that the publishing industry is dominated by white authors, with a recent study revealing that this group had written 95% of the books written between 1950 and 2018.
While we may not be in charge of the publishing houses, we still have power to have an impact. By buying and supporting books by women and people of color and supporting a wider range of authors, we can send a message that diverse books have a strong audience.
As avid readers, there may be no better New Year’s reading resolution than resolving to make sure more authors get a fair chance to share their stories.
June: Read books in translation
In case the last time you read a foreign language book was Spanish 2 in high school, don’t worry: this New Year’s reading resolution is not about giving you homework.
Instead, we’re giving you a pass. We’ll let you read the already translated version of a book originally written in another language.
Reading books in translation allows you to experience other cultures and worlds without ever having to leave your home. They can also give you an introduction into other storytelling forms and styles, as they come from authors who have been exposed to a different set of stories.
July: Read more poetry
A reading question for you: do Shakespeare’s plays count as poetry? After all, most of them feature verse, and five are written completely in verse.
I mention this as a reminder of the shared experiences we’ve all had with poetry. Adding more works in verse to your To Read pile, whether it’s just brushing up on Shakespeare or branching off to other authors, can be an inspiring and motivating break from prose and traditional storytelling.
In addition to being a way to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life, it’s also a literary form that allows for plenty of imagination, sensory description, and emotion.
August: Read more short stories
If you’re following along with our resolution-a-month plan, the dog days of summer may find you a little word weary. That’s why it’s the perfect time to embrace the short story.
For one, these self-contained stories can be wrapped up within a sitting or two. After a bunch of 500-page novels, a 15-page story will feel like a breeze.
Apart from their length, short stories are also often more experimental in nature, which can be a refreshing change of pace.
If you're looking for a quick read or something different from the norm, then be sure to check out some short stories. You might just find that you enjoy them more than you thought you would.
And if not, well, they’re short! You’ll be onto the next one before you know it.
September: Read more nonfiction
It’s back-to-school season for the young ones. Given they’re all about new classes and new books and new subjects to learn, maybe it’s time for you to get back to learning with a non-fiction book or two, too.
From biographies and breakdowns of history to behind-the-scenes memoirs on current events, non-fiction presents many opportunities to go deeper on real-world subjects.
It’s also worth remembering that non-fiction can also have some career benefits, too.
Whether you’re reading to upgrade your management skills or researching a new industry for a career change, there’s likely a non-fiction book waiting to help you out.
October: Keep a reading journal
What good is all this reading if you don’t keep track of the books you’re reading?
Resolving to keep a reading journal is a useful way to record your thoughts and reactions to what you're reading. Maybe you want to be able to look back and see how your reading habits have changed over time.
Plus if you’ve been keeping up with this reading resolution challenge, you’ll have plenty of reading to reflect on!
Here are some ways to get the most out of your reading journal:
- Decide what format you want your journal to take. Will you keep it as a simple list of books, or will you write more detailed entries?
- Set up a dedicated journaling space. This can be a physical notebook that you keep with you, or a digital document on your computer.
- Get into the habit of writing in your journal regularly. Whether you journal every day or once a week, make it a habit to sit down and write out your thoughts on what you're reading.
- Be honest with your thoughts. A reading journal is for you, so there's no need to sugarcoat your reactions. If you didn't like a book, say so. If you loved a book, rave about it!
- Have fun with it. A reading journal should be a fun and rewarding experience, so make sure to enjoy it.
November: Get your friends and family reading
The holiday season means family gatherings a-plenty. This could be the perfect time to get the family to bond over reading the same book.
From establishing a text group as you read through the book together to doing an in-person book club after Thanksgiving dinner, resolving to get your friends and family reading together helps us to strengthen bonds, which can be especially important for those of us who don’t see our families as much as they’d like to.
December: Host a book-themed party
The holidays are all about parties. For this resolution, we’ll have you take a break from office holiday parties and New Year’s Eve party planning and resolve to host a book-themed party.
With a reading theme - maybe you have people come dressed as their favorite book or their favorite author - you can get people interacting and thinking about reading in a new way.
Mark Your Reading Goals With Our In Real Life Achievement Pack
It’s never too late to start thinking about your reading resolutions for the year ahead.
Whether you want to read more, or just want to find ways to make reading a more enjoyable experience, we’ve got you covered. Grab your Reading IRLA Pack today to celebrate all your reading achievements in 2023.
PAGE TURNER, COIN EARNER
Earn these IRLAs with your dedication to the written word as each book notched brings you closer to another coin earned. Push your reading boundaries and expand your world with award-winners, genre-benders, and page-turners. Each coin you receive is just further proof of what we all believe: reading makes you the hero in this hero’s journey.
Time for your next page one.
Then let us know below which of these reading resolutions you’re excited to take on.