I’ve never really been the kind of person to make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I tend to keep checking in throughout the year, evaluating any areas that I think might need improving (eating healthier and doing exercise are two that never seem to get done for some reason…).
One thing that is always on my mental list is to read more. I did a degree in English and American Literature and for three years I was very strict about what I allowed myself to read. If it wasn’t something on one of my modules or related to the course, I usually gave it a miss for fear of falling behind on my workload. It probably goes without saying that it was a fairly liberating experience when I finally graduated.
Now that I’ve been out of uni for almost two years, I’ve finally got back into my love of reading anything that comes my way. However, I seem to have a tendency to stick to the same types of story, or always go for the nearest book to me rather than really making the most of the time I’ve got to read. So, this year, I want to try and set myself some goals to broaden my horizons a bit.
I signed up to the Penguinspiration emails via Penguin books (you can read more about this here: http://penguinblog.co.uk/2015/01/01/penguinspo/) and have committed to reading 30 books this year. To run alongside this, I’ve also made a list of different types of books I’ll aim to read to make the most out of the challenge I’ve set myself.
I’d like to read:
An autobiography/memoir – when I was at uni, I read Just Kids by Patti Smith. I’d never read anything like it and it’s so far from the kind of thing I’d normally read, but it is hands-down one of the best books I’ve ever read.
A book of letters – I’m obsessed with other people’s letters and that golden age before emails and texts, so I shouldn’t have any problems with this one!
A book I read when I was younger – something like To Kill A Mockingbird would be great for this one. I’m pretty sure when I read this at school I didn’t appreciate what a wonderful story it is.
A book from over 100 years ago – I shouldn’t struggle here as I tend to lean more towards classics than modern books.
A book released in the last year – definitely expecting to struggle. I’m not keen on reading something just because there’s a current hype about it; I’m always more drawn to books that have proven to be timeless.
A self-help book – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is filling this slot nicely. It’s so interesting that I even bought it for my boyfriend, who’s enjoying it just as much!
A signed book – I’ve been lucky enough to see Sarah Waters and Margaret Atwood in the last 6 months, both of whom signed their books for me.
A poetry book – I’ve been a fan of Tyler Knott Gregson’s work for a long time now, mainly keeping up with his work on Instagram. I got his book, Chasers of the Light, for Christmas, and it’s so so beautiful.
A book by a British author – I’ll admit I don’t have a clue what I’ll read here. Suggestions welcome!
A book by an international author – my first thought here is something by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
A book that has since been made into a film – without a doubt, this is going to be The Hunger Games. Okay, okay, I know I’m massively behind having not read the books OR seen the films, but 2015 is the year that changes!
A book about science – I saw The Theory of Everything at the cinema last Friday and am really keen to read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. My brother is a final year biochemistry student and has assured me I won’t understand it with my pathetically limited scientific knowledge, but I do love a good challenge! (If I fail miserably, I’ll have to hope he has something more “readable” to recommend.)
A book from the year I was born – I’m actually looking forward to finding out what books came out in 1991. I expect this will end up being a prize winner from that year.
A book that has been recommended to me – the only category that I’ve completed already! My mum recommended Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and it was the first book I took out of Bath Library. I’m working on a blog post about this which will be coming soon.
So there we have it. Obviously that’s less than 30 categories, but I wanted to leave myself some freedom to find new authors and stories along the way.
If any of you have any suggestions for categories and/or books, I’d love to hear them!