Not a New Year's Eve goes by without talk of resolutions, and every year I make the same ones — the same ones that I give up on by mid February, that is. But this year is going to be different, because for me, 2016 is going to be the year of reading New Year's resolutions.
Yes, I'm going to try and get to the gym more, and I'm really going to stop doing so much online shopping and start saving more money this year, but instead making those my resolutions, I'm dedicating 2016 to books, and you really should, too. While most other resolutions can be stressful and hard to keep on track, reading-related resolutions are actually enjoyable. A reading resolution takes something you already like, and gives you a chance to explore it. Maybe you consider yourself an avid reader already, but setting a goal for the number of books you finish or the genre you decide to read will give you even more chances to spend time with your nose stuck in a book. And, like the best resolutions always do, reading resolutions will challenge you, surprise you, and even teach you something about yourself.
Are you ready to pull curl up with a good book and get a jump start on 2016 yet? Just in time to ring in the new year, here are 11 reading New Year's resolutions that are guaranteed to be more fun than that daily spinning class.
1. Revisit Your High School Reading List
That book you did a report on by skimming SparkNotes instead of actually reading it? Yeah, this new year, you're finally going to finish it. The classics that have been sitting on your bookshelf, the one you pretend to have read but never did? Yes, you're going to read that one, too. In 2016, you're finally going to read all those classic books you know you should have, and now that you're older, you might actually enjoy them more.
2. Finish an Entire Author's Catalog
Whoever your favorite author is, make 2016 the year that you read all of their published work. Short stories, essays, letters, anthologies — read them all. You'll probably fall in love with that author even more (not that that's a bad thing).
3. Try a Different Genre
Yes, I know that you're addicted to murder mysteries, but I promise, there is more out there! If you think you only like one kind of book, I urge you, try a new genre in the new year. You could find a new favorite author, an addictive new series, and some really terrific reads by breaking out of your comfort zone.
4. Go to the Library More
Though I'll admit that one of the best feelings in the world is adding a new book to your ever growing library, visiting your local library is just as great. Between the visiting authors, diverse programming, and easy access to all kinds of books (old, new, physical, digital — seriously, whatever you're looking for), the library should be added to your list of weekly errands.
5. Read More Diverse Books
Just because 2014 and 2015 were the years of #WeNeedDiverseBooks doesn't mean that 2016 shouldn't be filled with diverse books and authors, too. Keep the important reading trend going in your life by making it a resolution to expand your TBR pile and make it more diverse than last year. You'll be happy you did. If you need help, check out We Need Diverse Books' "Where to Find" page.
6. Join a Book Club
Whether it's a group at work, your book-loving friends, or brand new bibliophiles, turn your love for reading into a social activity by joining a book club. Your 2016 will be the year of wine, cheese, and some serious book talk.
7. Read the Best Books of 2015
They're the books you kept hearing about, the books you saw everyone reading on the train, and the books you yourself never got around to reading. The best books of 2015 are the books you know you should have read, wanted to read, and after setting your resolution, will read in 2016. It's going to be a great year of reading. Read every major award winner, or pick a best books list and read everything on it.
8. Go to a Book Event
OK, it's not *technically* reading, but 2016 should be the year you finally make it to an author signing or a book convention. Reading is only half the fun of being a book-lover — the other half comes from being a part of the wonderful world of books. From library readings to comic book conferences to author book store signings, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved, and you should make it next year's priority.
9. Set A Numbers Goal
Whether it's a page count per day or a book count per week, set a quantifiable reading goal in 2016. By creating a resolution that you can count, you'll be able to check your progress as the year goes. Goodreads, for one, has a great reading challenge you can sign up for. Get ready to turn those pages.
10. Read the Book Before Seeing the Adaptation
Every year, there are more and more movies and TV shows based that come out based on books. Don't let a Netflix series or future Oscar-nominee in your sight before reading the book first. Make a list of all the book-to-movie adaptations for 2016 and ensure you've read the book first. Trust me, the book is almost always better.
11. Finish That Series
We've all been there: you started a series, but somewhere between finishing the third book and waiting for the fourth, you completely lost track of the series and now you're more than a few books behind. With all of 2016 ahead of you, use the year to revisit those books and finally finish off the series. The best part? You won't have to wait a year in between books, because there are already plenty on the shelves waiting for you to read them. It's binge-reading time.
Images: Cora Foxx/Bustle; Giphy(11)