As 2017 approaches so does the season for making resolutions — and for us bookworms, that means making tons of New Year’s resolutions for reading in the year ahead. We’re all familiar with (and have probably tried) the standard bookish resolutions: to read more books throughout the year, to finally beat your own record for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, to join a book club, to read more diverse books and authors, to complete that one series you’ve been working your way through for years, to conquer the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge — all standard fare on a bibliophile’s to do list. But in 2017, consider challenging yourself to take on some more unusual book resolutions — goals you might not normally think of on your own, but that could take your reading to a whole new level this year: committing to a year of re-reading your favorite titles, striving to give away more books to people who need them, or even letting your significant other put together your TBR pile. There are even more ideas on the list below, designed to inspire you to go where your reading life has never gone before.
Here are 9 unique reading resolutions to make in 2017.
1. Give Away More Books
Difficult for any true bibliophile, giving away more books in 2017 is a great way to pay your reading forward. Sure, it’s difficult to pass on those titles you’ve loved and learned from, but think about all the readers who will benefit from your impeccable literary taste. Plus, if you’re really missing a title you’ve donated to charity or given away to a friend, you can ALWAYS buy the e-book version (they’re easier on your wallet and on your shelf space.)
2. Commit To A Year Of Re-Reading
Although I’ve never attempted this resolution with books before, I’ve previously tried to commit to a year of re-reading with literary magazines and let me tell you: this one is NOT easy. Whether you’re looking to save some money in 2017, or you want to relive all those great literary moments from your bookish past, forgoing new book purchases this year in favor of revisiting all those great titles already on your shelves is a great (albeit challenging) resolution. Try to fight your literary FOMO (you can ALWAYS by the best books of 2017 next year, I promise) and consider only reading titles you’ve already loved and re-shelved this year.
3. Slow It Down
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I prioritize the quantity of my reads over the quality — especially after I’ve set that yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve been known to rush through a bestseller or two (or ten,) thereby missing a lot of those things that make a book great:unique character traits, mesmerizing prose, nods to other great works, subtle plot twists. This year, try to forget about the number of books you’re reading,and instead focus on the quality of your reading: immersing yourself fully into a plot, and enjoying all the gorgeous writing and literary gymnastics that authors work so hard on.
4. Let Your SO (Or BFF) Put Together Your TBR Pile
The ultimate leap of literary faith — one that could even make or break your relationship — this year let your significant other or bibliophile bestie put together a TBR pile of some of their favorite reads for you this year. Whether you discover your new favorite author, or realize you and your partner-in-reader are better together off the shelves than on, one thing is guaranteed: you’ll have someone to dish about all those plot twists and surprise endings with all year long.
5. Only Read From Other People’s Shelves
Let yourself be a total book mooch this year, and resolve to only read titles you’ve borrowed from the shelves of your favorite bookish buddies (just make sure you borrow with their permission!) Another great way to share the literary love (and save a little cash in 2017) is by lending from your friends’ libraries — and letting them lend from yours. A bookshelf says a lot about a person, and you might be surprised to find that not only will your reading tastes grow and evolve in 2017, your friendships will too.
6. Take Your Reading To New Locations
We've all got that favorite reading chair/nook/pillow/corner. (And who could forget Rory Gilmore’s study tree?) But this year, consider expanding your reading horizons, and take your reading to new locations. Normally cozy up in a nearby coffee shop? Try flipping those pages in a local park instead. Love chilling in bed all day with your favorite read? Head to the closest library and find your new favorite hideout. You get the picture.
7. Mix Up Your Format
I’ll confess that it took me a really, really long time to warm up to my e-reader. And while it’s true that there’s nothing quite like the aesthetic experience of holding an ink-and-paper print book in your hands, there’s something to be said for e-readers as well (like the fact that you can bring your entire library with you when you go backpacking across India, instead of the handful of titles you’re willing to bear the weight of.) Plus, with the right WiFi connection, I can have literally any book I want at my fingertips in seconds… But I digress. Resolve to mix up your preferred reading format this year: if you’re a print book die-hard like I was, venture into the e-book landscape this year. Or if you’re fallen fast for your e-reader, reconnect with your love of print books and hit up your local indie.
8. Dive Into That One Genre You’ve Been Avoiding
We all have them: genres we wouldn’t typically touch with a ten-foot-pole. Horror and thrillers have typically been mine — fear and suspense, forget about it. And then The Girl on the Train was published, and it was all anybody was talking about. I had to read it. And it wasn’t terrible. In fact, I was pretty into it. Will I be moving the memoir section of my personal library over to make space for a shelf full of thrillers? Probably not any time soon. But adding a few to my TBR pile here and there makes me a more well-rounded reader — and you never know how a genre might surprise you.
9. Read With Your Mom (Or Dad, Or Whomever)
If you regularly attend a book club, then you know the power of discussing literature with some of your favorite folks. Consider setting a resolution to read with someone you normally wouldn’t read with this year — mom, dad, your younger brother, whomever — and see what conversations and revelations result. You might be surprised what new insights you gain about someone you’ve known your entire life, just from sharing a book together.