This is how it’s going to go

I know that a lot of us love a bookish list and love to make, read about, and break bookish resolutions for the new year. But I am also guessing that about now many of you may be beginning to tire of reading those new year’s lists. Which is why I didn’t use that language in the title of this post, but the reality is, I am about to give you my list for the year. (Cue Kermit the Frog waving his arms and saying “yaaaaaay!”) That’s right, I just cat-fished you into reading one more list of reading resolutions for 2016. Let’s see how many of you hang in there to the end.


Get back to 100
I think it has been a couple of years now since I made it to a 100 books in a year. Last year was a respectable 81, but 2014 was a measly 63. I need to up my  game. The only way this is going to be possible is if I read really short books watch less TV. And here it is January 4th and I still haven’t finished a book. I am already behind. But let’s make this more interesting. Instead of 100 books, how about the equivalent of two books a week and make it 104 books for the year? Sounds good, 104 it is. Now I am even further behind.

Come to terms with platform confusion
I keep track of books I read in at least four ways: 1.) A handwritten list in a notebook that I started keeping in 1994; 2.) An Excel spreadsheet; 3.) Goodreads; and 4.) This blog has tabs for books for recent years and then alpha lists by author. This is going to take some thinking. There are redundancies and things that are annoying and time consuming and there are also new possibilities afforded by my conversion to WordPress. Not sure how this will resolve itself, but I have resolved to resolve it.

Limit book purchases to newly published books
I bought a LOT of books last year and most of them used. When Simon Savidge was here in September I vowed that my resolution for 2016 would be to only buy books published in 2015 or later. I still want to do this, but I’ve also resolved that I am going to break this resolution whenever I want. This may seem like no resolution at all, but there is a nuance in it that oddly makes sense to me. Besides, NW DC is getting a new used bookstore and I consider it my civic duty to support that venture.

Spend some time in my library
I’m not talking about the public library, I’m talking about the beautiful room in my house that was completed over a year ago, is chock full of books, but almost never gets used. In fact, I have really only used it to store books. Lucy often curls up on the chair, but due to less than adequate seating and lighting, I haven’t spent one minute (seriously, not one) in there reading. This means I really only read in bed. How have I gone so long without a reading spot? Must make seating and lighting for that room a priority.

Figuring out the ineffable
There is something else I want to achieve in 2016 relative to reading, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. As I sit here thinking about it, I think it may boil down to feeling like I frittered away far too much time that could have been used for reading. There were many times during the year when I wanted to go read and then an hour or more later I would still be futzing around not doing much of anything. So I think carving out longer spans of time to read it definitely part of it. And I think maybe I just need to shut-up and read.

26 thoughts on “This is how it’s going to go

  1. Sarah C January 4, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    Is that pic up there your library? Man, oh, man, if that gorgeous room were in my house, I’d never leave that room!


    • Thomas January 5, 2016 / 10:18 am

      That is indeed the library in question, and I agree with your sentiment. But I need a chair and light that actually makes it usable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah C January 5, 2016 / 2:39 pm

        Get thee to a Room and Board catalog!


      • Thomas January 6, 2016 / 9:44 am

        I am sure not all of their stuff sucks, but we bought a sectional from Room and Board in 2011 and ended up getting rid of it when we redid the house in 2013. It was so cheaply made it wasn’t worth keeping.


      • Sarah C January 6, 2016 / 10:35 am

        I have had fairly good luck with their furniture (and it’s a style I love), but I know that things have been changing since many of the original factories they used (US-based) have shut down. More parts being made cheaply overseas leads to lower quality, in general. Anyway, good luck with your furniture and lamp shopping, and know that we’re all out here being jealous of your library room!


  2. Liz Dexter January 4, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    Hehe – I once had a bet with my husband that I could limit myself to 104 in a year. Nowadays, it only just gets up to that number, so I tell him quite often that I have actually won a challenge I gave up in July 2003 …

    Happy reading and book buying and resolving for 2016, anyway!


  3. BookerTalk January 4, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    If thats the library in your home how can you not want to spent time in there??? Your comment that you spend time faffing about that you could be reading struck a chord with me – I fall into that trap too and I don’t spend anywhere near as much as other people seem to on Facebook/Twitter etc.


    • Thomas January 5, 2016 / 10:19 am

      I think I am also going to add in some morning reading time. Finished up my first book of the year that way this morning.


  4. Travellin' Penguin January 4, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    I had a year a bit like yours too. For Christmas I got a nice reading chair and footstool. I moved stuff out of the bedroom to make room for it. Moved the bed over. At first it didn’t feel right to go in there at night to read. But I did it anyway. Now I find myself halfway through the day doing boring stuff and I start to look forward to going in there a bit earlier to sit by the open window at night ( remember summer here ) and I read for a couple of hours. It is really lovely. Get your library ready and let us know how you go. You might like to do what Book Journey does and pick one word for the year you find motivating. Lots of us have signed on and most effective so far.


  5. Rob January 4, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    Put a bed in there if you have to, but please use that library. I’d love to have a nice reading room with a fireplace.


    • Thomas January 5, 2016 / 10:21 am

      The chair isn’t so comfy for me, but perhaps I am overstating that. Maybe it is the lighting. I just need to figure it out. Kind of stupid of me really.


  6. dhanff January 4, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    I have serious ‘home library envy’ looking at that photo. It’s nothing less than book porn! Happy 2016! Happy reading, whether you stick to your resolutions or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joan Kyler January 5, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Your library is beautiful. I was wondering where Lucy was though. I have a library in my house, too, that I almost never use. It has two comfortable chairs and decent lighting. I don’t know why I don’t read there more often. I think a lot of us can identify with your ‘faffing’. Less faffing, more reading in 2016!


    • Thomas January 5, 2016 / 10:23 am

      I’m glad I am not the only one who doesn’t read in my library. I think I am going to go in there this weekend and figure out what I need to do to make it a place I want to hang out in.


      • Joan Kyler January 6, 2016 / 8:28 am

        After reading your post, I spent the afternoon reading in my library. I think I know why I don’t read in there: there are too many books. I was sitting comfortabley in a wing chair, reading, but I kept looking at the wall of books. I was being lured from my book by all the other books. It was almost like whispers disturbing my concentration. “Read me, read me, ….”


      • Thomas January 6, 2016 / 9:45 am

        Oh, I think you may be right on that point.


  8. Teresa January 5, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    I couldn’t help but laugh at your no used books plan, knowing that you were already trying to organize a visit to Wall of Books. I should consider a similar solution as I’ll soon be working close to the Book Bank and need to establish some ground rules for how much I can buy there.


  9. Nicola January 5, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Happy new year, Thomas! I loved Rachel Cusk’s Outline. She gets a hard time in the UK press but she is a great writer.


    • Thomas January 6, 2016 / 9:44 am

      I wonder if I will like her other books. Even though I just read Outline this past year, I kind of want to read it again fairly soon.


  10. Christy January 5, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    I like your crossed-out “read shorter books”. Ha! That thought may have also crossed my mind, as I also want to up my game in reading more books this year. I think I faff about quite a bit with the internet, so I want to cut that way the heck down, though not by sacrificing reading and commenting on other blogs, of course. :)


    • Thomas January 6, 2016 / 9:45 am

      Yes, the Internet is a double edged sword for sure.


  11. Annabel (gaskella) January 6, 2016 / 10:19 am

    I record the number of pages read too which is a better indicator than titles read which you can skew by reading a lot of novellas – or bricks…


  12. Geoff W January 6, 2016 / 10:52 am

    You totally fooled me! I’ve been reading 2016 resolution lists for two days straight trying to catch up on all the blogs I backlogged over the past few weeks! I agree with your need to prioritize the library’s seating and lighting! It’s too beautiful and perfect not to use. I’m hoping we’ll convert one of the spare bedrooms to a library/office/guest room when a roommate moves out sometime this year :-D (One can dream/hope/aspire right?!)


  13. Susan in TX January 6, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    I’m with you on carving out that reading time. It’s easier for me to turn off the TV than it is to get off the internet, though. Lately I’ve been trying to just check Twitter in those moments of waiting when I don’t have time/concentration to read a book. I then follow links from Twitter to blog posts. The problem I’ve found with that is that if I read someone’s blog post on my phone, I tend to not comment, because I hate typing on my phone. (Kind of kills the “conversation.”) So, I’m looking for ways to reduce internet time, but still keep up with people.
    I look forward to hearing about your platform confusion solution. I just started trying to figure out Goodreads, but I don’t think I’ll ever give up my paper record keeping. :) I’m also looking forward to seeing what you add to the library – from here that fire looks very inviting.
    Happy Reading!


  14. Ruthiella January 7, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I have this idea to turn my dining area into a little reading area/library. I pretty much only use the table to through mail and newspapers on it. I already have the comfy chairs…but lighting (especially as I age!) is absolutely key. I need something that will shine directly on the book. I am thinking a floor lamp where I can bend it to direct the light.

    In any case, I look forward to seeing what it is you ultimately end up choosing. I am sure it will be beautiful, you have lovely taste in furnishings IMO.


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