First of all, happy new year everyone! It is a new set of 365 pages we can write on.
After all the festivities, it is now time to draft how the new year is to be by writing an old-fashioned new year’s resolution. To some, preparing a new year’s resolution has become a ritual. For me, I use it to give a direction to how the year is going to shape it. Yes, I am cognizant that not all items listed in the resolution are always fulfilled. For instance, until now I have not joined a book club. Haha! I never found the time to join one (here comes the excuses). This is just a proof on my competence (or rather incompetence) in following through with resolutions. Nevertheless, I always I find writing a new year’s resolution a good exercise which will hopefully guide me during the year, both in reading and in blogging.
So, to start my new year, I have come up with my personal reading goals and resolutions. I am fervently hoping that I will be able to pull through, especially that I epically failed in most of my 2018 reading resolutions and goals. However, in 2019, I will be quantifying all, if not most of my goals. I found it ambiguous when I simply write “Become more of a nationalistic reader.” There is no real metric upon which I can gauge how my year went.
Without more ado, here are my reading resolutions for 2019.
1. READ MORE AND BUY LESS!
I am carrying over this resolution from my 2018 resolution. Moreover, I am placing it again on top to remind me of my ultimate goal for the year, considering how miserably I failed on this resolution last year. To reiterate, I must learn to stymie the urge to purchase more books whenever I pass by the mall. The Big Bad Wolf PH Event totally messed up my 2018 resolution. Or maybe I simply cannot resist the temptation. Please, someone help me! Haha!
2. Read at least 50 Books.
In 2018, I was able to complete books although my original target was just 50. I know I am capable of reading more; in 2016 alone, I read a whopping 92 books. However, in true procrastinator’s fashion, I am keeping a modest target. I did once target a hundred books but I keep on failing but let us keep things realistic, and attainable. Maybe one day, I can aim for that 100 books in a year.
3. Read all 20 books in My 2019 Top 20 Reading List.
No word can describe the elation I felt when I closed the final pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace last year. Whereas I failed by one book in 2017, my 2018 Top 20 Reading List has finally come full circle. I am still completing my 2019 list but yes, I am hoping that I’d be able to fulfill it this year (again).
4. Beat the Backlist.
Because of my tendency to buy more books than I can read, my pile of unread books has become taller than me (at least if I were to pile them all up). To decongest, I am listing myself up for the BEAT THE BACKLIST (2019 edition) challenge started by NovelKnight. Basically, I will be listing books I have purchased in 2015 and 2016 and hopefully I could complete them before the year ends. For a more realistic figure, I will be listing 15 books from my unread list; I am still in the process of finalizing the list. To help me accomplish my goal, I have incorporated the books on some of my resolutions/goals for the year.
I have already started the challenge with George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I think I bought it back in 2015 or 2014. Oh sorry for ignoring you all these years. I will make it up to you and to all the books that have been gathering dust on my bookstand.
5. Read diversely.
One thing I am great at is reading diverse subjects spanning different genres. I always see to it that my reading is as varied as possible in order for me not to be bored. I rarely concentrate on one genre on any given year. I succeeded in keeping 2018 a diversified year and with plenty of time to mix it up this year, I am continuing this trend of diversified reading.
6. Raise the flag! Read at least two works by Filipino authors.
Whereas I am great at diversifying the books I read, I fail (horribly at that) in reading works of local authors. I grew up patronizing foreign authors more than I should but in 2018 I made a step forward towards the right direction by reading my first Filipino work since reading Dr. Rizal’s El Filibusterismo, circa 2007. I am still quite wary of local authors but I will carry on what I have started in 2018 by (hoping) targeting two books by local authors
7. Up the ante! Read 15 books from the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.
In 2018, I have made a very big leap towards attaining my goal of completing all, if not majority, of the books listed in the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Nearly half of the 63 books I read are part of this list; to be exact, I have read 30 in all, 10 books more than my goal. But my biggest accomplishment in 2018 is ticking off my 100th book in the list. Way to go! In 2019, I am going to be modest again and just set my target to 15 books. Moreover, I plan to acquire at least 10 more books from this list although I have 50 unread books belonging to this list. Geez.
8. Build up my appetite on non-fiction books; read at least two non-fiction books.
Honestly, I am not too keen on reading nonfiction books in the same manner that I am averse to poetry and short story collections. However, in 2018, I read my first nonfiction book in years, partly because it was part of my resolution. Building on this momentum, I am targeting at least two more nonfiction books in 2019.
9. Read 12 classic books, at least one per month.
Classical works, especially English classical works, have proven to be the most tedious and challenging reads. Nevertheless, I always look forward to the literary journey that they behold because they challenge the inner literati in me. I have got a long way before I can call myself well-read but I am hoping that by taking on classics, I am one step closer to achieving this goal. To make myself on track, I have designated the books that I am going to read for each month:
January: Middlemarch by George Eliot
February: Emma by Jane Austen
March: Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
April: Kim by Rudyard Kipling
May: Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
June: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
July: Bleak House Charles Dickens
August: Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
September: Absalom! Absalom! By William Faulkner
October: Moby Dick by Herman Melville
November: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
December: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
10. (Not much change here!) Join a book club.
I know, I failed last year but hopefully this year I could join one. You know, I am always open for possibilities.
11. Post regularly here in my book blog.
When I started blogging, it has become my dream to be a established writer. Writing about books and doing book reviews is just the start. In 2018, I was able to complete and publish 73 book reviews which is largely due to my unemployment in the last quarter of the year. The free time it afforded me has helped me cope up with all my backlogs. I am afraid that once I get to find a new job, I will once again fall into a spell of delayed writing (the pessimist in me is taking precedence). However, I will do my best to write at least three book reviews every month; this is also in conjunction with my 10th resolution.
12. Complete book review within a week of finishing a book.
Nothing much has changed in 2018. Because of various circumstances, I always fall behind my book reviews; some took me months before I completed them which is, for me, unacceptable. This resulted into quite a backlog. In 2019, I will be carrying over this resolution from 2018, with a definite timeline. I still have three book reviews pending from 2018 though. (*haha*)
13. TAKE IT ALL IN STRIDES.
In life, we face unnecessary stresses from various sources causing us to unduly give pressure to ourselves. I am no longer rushing myself, at least vis-à-vis reading. I have learned that quality is always better than quantity; it is more important to appreciate the book that I have on hand. It is banal but something that I must keep reminding myself: drink in books one page at-a-time.
The year of the fire pig has began (not really, it will officially start on Chinese New Year). If there is one thing that would happen this year is that I hope it would feed my voracious appetite for books and reading. I hope it will do the same to all of you fellow readers! Again, happy new year!
P.S. I have quite a very tall order before me! Haha. My 14th resolution for the year is to complete all these thirteen resolutions!
How was your 2018 in terms of reading? What are your reading goals and resolutions this year? Let me know your thoughts and let’s talk down in the comments section. 🙂