my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

February 5th, 2012

Reading Resolutions

Apropos of nothing, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we choose what we read. Does anyone pay attention to reviews (I did when I got the paper; but I’ve all but stopped reading reviews in my life at the moment)? What about marketing, does it work? What about the bestseller list, does anyone pay attention? For most of the year I wasn’t working in the industry, and not having to read anything for work, I was frequently stumped, standing in front of my shelves feeling utterly uninspired.

It’s the book equivalent of flipping through 100 channels and still finding nothing to watch — seeing 400-odd books on your shelves and not desiring to read a single one. And yet, I’ve collected them all for a reason, whether I enjoy the writer, or heard something good about the book, and until I give each title its due, I can’t get rid of them. But they weigh, weigh, weigh me down. I feel immense pressure to “get through” them — it almost takes the joy out of reading. All the lists, all the challenges, all the tries in terms of keeping my life organized — it comes out in microcosm with reading. I think on some level that if I manage to keep my books organized my brain won’t feel so scattered.

So this year I’ve just made two resolutions — I’m going to take the pressure off. I’m going to read alphabetically and then I’m going to read everything else organically. What does that mean? I’m going to read books that have been recommended to me by friends, colleagues, other bloggers and I’m going to carry on ignoring everything else around me. Those subway posters are usually terrible anyway.

2 Responses to “Reading Resolutions”

  • Donna says:

    I always have trouble figuring out what to read next. I used to keep a list of books I wanted to start reading, but I got out of that habit. Yesterday I started reading Hanging Hill based on your recommendation, and I cannot put it down. I liked your review because it described the book without getting too bogged down with details and still piqued my interest. I just discovered your website and now I’m hoping to use it as a source for new things to read. So, thanks!


  • Jan says:

    My resolution is similar, actually. I’ve found that if I own too many books I haven’t yet read, I just….never get to them. They get eclipsed by books lent to me (sense of urgency returning them to friends) or books from the library (again, due dates). They languish, and despite feeling guilty, more often than not I do nothing about it. As such I decided to just stop buying books at all, which also works well seeing as I’m currently unemployed!


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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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