Hope is eternal, at least as far as readers and our books are concerned. When we discover new titles (or new to us) on social media or via podcasts or just browsing the shelves of a bookstore, we are all excited about a new experience that we will have the opportunity to live … as soon as we’ll have finished that other pile of unfinished books sitting in a corner (or on the bedside table, or covering the floor…).
I like to take some time at the start of each new year to stop, take stock of what I’ve read last year, and jot down some hopes and goals for the new year. Sometimes it’s a number of books that I hope to read – yes, it can be an arbitrary measure, but setting such a goal is one way to encourage a habit of daily reading. Sometimes it’s a particular genre that I hope to read more. Or it could be specific titles that I had on my list, and I decided this is the year that I will finally tackle it.
Here, the writers at GeekDad and GeekMom share our reading resolutions for 2022 – may your year be filled with great books!
Jonathan H. Liu
One of my hopes this year is to stay ahead of my stack of books, not only by reading, but also by being more selective about what I keep. I won’t lie: it’s so much fun when publishers send me new books. They are also good at their jobs – each book usually comes with a letter from the publicist describing the book in a way that makes me think it will be my next favorite book. But I’ve been doing this for over a decade now, and it’s time to admit that I just can’t read everything I get sent, let alone the books I choose for myself because I have heard of it elsewhere. (And anyway, if I do somehow magically go through my entire stack, there’s always more on the way.) So I have to be more selective and agree to read a fraction of these books and give up the rest .
So how do I decide which ones? Well, hopefully I have a mix of authored books that I’ve enjoyed in the past, including continuing some series, and trying out writers who are new to me. I have a science fiction shelf from non-American writers (Cuban, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and others) that I hope to explore. I feel like I haven’t really read a lot of mid-level novels in 2021, but my youngest is now in that age range so maybe I can check out some of these books with her. We also still enjoy picture books, but I can see that we may be about to read them regularly, so my own coverage has dwindled – I should do a few passages on the stacks I have and decide what that we really want to keep and that we can bear to let go of.
A few specific titles on my list: I just started Noumenon Ultra by Marina J. Lostetter, the third book in a series on large-scale space travel and the evolution of mankind. I am eager to City Spies: Forbidden City by James Ponti, continuing a mid-level series about a team of child secret agents. And I have a copy of Mike Chen’s latest novel, Light years from home, which may be about alien abduction (but, knowing Mike Chen, it’s really about family). It’s also high time to delve into those mid-level “Rick Riordan Presents” books written by various authors, inspired by folklore and legends from their own cultures – they look great, but I haven’t quite got it yet. sitting down to read them. .
Turns out I have a few reading resolutions, besides reading everything under my bookshelf and on my computer (one can dream).
This year, I wanted to focus on the diversity of voices in YA, which means more diverse books from different authors from the United States and abroad. I am We Need Diverse Books for this and I started to collaborate with World Kid Lit, mainly because my main work focuses on Bolivian literature for children and adolescents and there is not yet a single translated title. in English !
The portrayal, reviews and thanks for the translated / diverse voices are very important, so I hope I can show you all books in that direction.
Following the pattern of the past two years, I hope and plan to read at least 22 books in 2022. I’m in the middle of a few books—Emma by Jane Austen and Write well by William Zinsser, but has planned many more. Maybe this will be the year I finally read Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series. And Rory and I can get to Persuasion after we are done Emma. I would also like to read Matt Haig’s third book A boy called Christmas series if ever our library gets it, my grandfather’s Creative writing guide, and maybe even delve into some of Shannon Hale’s books that I haven’t read yet. This year will also include household purges, so I hope to find books that I will be happy to part with once I read them. Maybe some of them will be on my final 2022 list. I look forward to all these reads!
I’m not sure how many pounds I should set for 2022 or if I should set a number. The numbers are good because they help us see the big picture, but are they really indicative of our results? I mean, I’m having some health issues right now, and honestly reading a book a month is an accomplishment. So this year I think I’m going to take a break before I say I’ll finish the X books this year and be happy with whatever I can do. I will continue to follow my reading for fun, but not because I push myself to get a badge in Goodreads. I will say that I plan to overtake paperbacks and listen to more books in my car on my commute to and from work. I also plan to take a book with me everywhere so that I always have something to occupy my mind (theme parks included).
I feel like I should keep my resolutions small this year. No major reading projects that will fail by the end of January. I hit a good pace with my reading in the second half of 2021, so I want to continue in that vein. I will endeavor to read 50/50 review books / purchased books. It gives a good balance between reading the new and exciting and catching up on the countless that I missed.
One resolution I want to bring into my life more generally, in part so that I can find more time to read, is to reduce my use of social media. I find that I waste a lot of time reading what people I generally agree with say about people I strongly disagree with. It can give me fleeting moments where I feel like “a good guy,” but ultimately it’s exhausting and a waste of time that could be better used.
It’s a delicate balance as I also discover awesome books and games and interact with my own community of gamers on various platforms. I don’t want to lose all of this, but I have to develop a certain willingness not to read what people are saying about Boris Johnson.
It’s not exactly a resolution, perhaps wishful thinking. Towards the end of 2021, I read a review of a book by Nobel Laureate Olga Tokarczuk. Jacob’s Books. Described as “the richest, largest and most ambitious novel by the Nobel Prize winner, which follows the rise and fall of a mysterious Messianic religious leader as he weaves his way through Europe. 18th century, ”sounds like the kind of book I’d like to read. The review was filled with superlatives, and I would love to try it. It’s also 912 pages.
I like the idea of big books. Deep and immersive. Something to get lost for days on end. In practice, I buy them and they stay on the shelf because I can’t find the time to fit them into my reading schedule. Maybe I should start with something smaller? A resolution, therefore, to read a book by Olga Tokarczuk.