Monday, 4 January 2016

A Book a Week for a Year

Okay, so I may be being overambitious with my New Year resolution, but I might as well be bold. In 2016 I’m going to read a book a week ... every week.

I’ve done it before, twice, but there were advantageous circumstances. I was on maternity leave for part of both years, and had a wonderful start from those few weeks when there was nothing to do but wait. The second one wasn’t so easy, of course (baby AND toddler, hmmm) but there were always those moments when one was napping and the other snoozing on my lap.

The second thing I did was set the rules to suit me. I allowed myself to read books I’d read before, which I think I would now consider cheating. I did, though, insist that at least half of the books had to be new to me — and some of the ones I’d read were books I hadn’t read for so long that I’d completely forgotten them. Maybe that’s a reason not to read them again, mind you. And I also insisted that at least 26 had to be fiction and at least 26 non-fiction. (Yes, I comfortably exceeded my targets on both occasions).

This year I’m going to try and keep it simple. Just one rule. At least fifty-two books, none of which I have previously read, by the end of 2016. I might try and read some more challenging books to go with the lighter ones, but that’s not in the rules. 

The good thing about this is that it’s a resolution that brings pleasure, not pain (gym, anyone?). It’ll make me more widely read. It’ll improve my intelligence. It’ll expose me (I hope) to genres I don’t usually read. And it’ll help me tackle that enormous to-be-read pile of all the books I’ve bought with good intentions and not yet got round to opening.

Taking advantage of the New Year bank holidays, I’m off to a flier. One book down already, a cosy crime novel from the 1930s. That’s a genre and period which is making a long-overdue comeback and one for which I have several books in the queue. And I’ll be reading books by my friends, too.

I ought, of course, to commit to reviewing every book to prove I’ve read them, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to do that, partly because I don’t review books I don’t like and that means if I don’t review a book for whatever reason — laziness, probably — then people might get the wrong idea about whether I enjoyed the book or not. But I will continue to discuss the on my blog.

It’s the kind of challenge I think I could really enjoy. Roll on book number two!


  1. Wow - that's some challenge, Jennifer! All the best with it - I wish I could take the same challenge but I'd fail before getting started, although I do read every evening. Don't think that would be enough!

    1. I don't know how far I'll get. The only thing that gives me hope is the fact that I've done it before. And some books are nice and short!

  2. That's the kind of NY resolution I like, Jennifer!