Reading Resolutions

I’ve been keeping a running bibliography of books I read since 1993. I keep it in a little spiral note book and jot down the date I start and finish reading each book. This habit has proved helpful when I find myself re-reading a book that I didn’t remember reading … but everything feels like deja vu. I can just go look it up … did I read this book before?

Although I’m still keeping this written record, I’m now also logging it into my Good Reads account.


Well, I like to have the written back up … and it is much more portable. But Good Reads gives you some interesting stats that I would be hard-pressed to do with my little notebook. For example, I know from what I’ve recorded that I started and completed reading 21 books in 2011. However, Good Reads told me that

  • I completed reading 23 books in books in 2011 (I had started two of them in 2010.)
  • I’ve read about 6,575 pages in 2011 (of course they are counting the total pages of the two books I started in 2010, and not the book I started but haven’t finished reading yet).

With my notebook, if I want to see how my reading compares from year to year, I have to flip through a lot of pages. But with Good Reads, I can quickly and easily see that my most prolific reading years were 1999 (31 books) and 2004 (30 books).

Looking on this, I can see that it will more than likely take me almost 5 years to read the books currently sitting in my review queue for The Genre Travelerand that’s if I can read 30 books each year! Realistically, I can only read about 2 books a month, which equals 24 books a year. And, given I need to read at least 6 books a year for the New York Journal of Books, I can only read 18 books a year from that TGT queue. So that brings me up to a little over 7 years. Ack!

Of course, shorter, quicker books will make it easier to read more books. But that’s not what I’m seeing in my queue. Erg.

The good news is, all the books in the TGT queue that I’ve already reviewed for the NY Journal of Books already have reviews written … I just am holding off posting them in the order listed. So that takes 14 books off that list (currently at 129!).

So what are my resolutions for 2012 in the reading department? Well, obviously, read more! If I can keep to no less than 2 and as much as 3 or 4 books each month, I’ll do well. I may even selectively read some of the books … not all of them really need to be read cover to cover. In fact, I’m resolving to read a book at least 30 minutes every day.

As a writer, it is important to read … but also to write. I also plan to work on my fiction at least 15 minutes every day, preferably 30 to 60 minutes. What are your writing and reading resolutions for 2012?