I've been thinking a good bit about what I want to read next year, and decided to not only make my normal set of secular new year's resolutions (I make resolutions at the Jewish New Year in the fall, too) but also reading resolutions. I asked Elyse, Carrie, Amanda, and RedHeadedGirl if they had any goals for their reading in the coming year, and to my utter not-surprise, they did.
Here are some of our resolutions for 2014:
My resolution for the new year is to try and make a dent in my paper books instead of just reading digitally. I have stacks of paperbacks waiting for me but I always go back to that Kindle….
I'm also going to try and read more historicals that aren't Regency/Victorian. At least one a month.
But getting back into the Old School ridiculousness! Examining how that brought us to where we are now! Finding out how many violet-eyed heroines there can possibly be! And related to that, finding more truly Old School stuff that brought us to the modern version of the genre.
And dipping my toe into paranormals a bit more. I'm always so dubious of that subgenre.
Oh my goodness, I have so many resolutions! But here's one that isn't directly work related: I want to read all the works of Jane Austen. I expect to stretch this out over the next two years, not one. I've read Pride and Prejudice, of course, but I've been so busy reading and re-reading and analyzing it that I still haven't read Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, or Emma! I did read Northanger Abbey, and that was like the mothership calling me home!
I'm also working on some science fiction classics – I need to read or re-read Jules Verne and H.G, Wells. And there's a big, fat biography of Ada Lovelace that I'm dying to read. I want to read more of the foundational stuff of steampunk, both fictional and nonfictional.
One other thing I want to do is consciously search for more diverse romance. I want to read more by and about people of color, people who are differently abled, and people who identify as LGBT.
I definitely second Carrie's resolution about diversifying my reading tastes. I loved The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie because he was said to have Aspergers.
I also just want more time to read. With the first semester of grad school under my belt, I think I'm getting the hang of things. It wasn't a big reading year for me and I'd like to improve that. If I read at least twenty books in 2014, I'll count that as a victory.
More contemporaries! It's probably the most underrepresented of all the romance genres on my shelf. It's not like I dislike them, but I always happen to gravitate towards something else. So bring on the recommendations!
I want to read more classic backlist, more of the older Harlequins and classic Regencies. I also want to try at least three or four books in genres I don't typically read, like science fiction romance and fantasy romance (Carrie! I can hear you vibrating with glee from here!!), and try paranormals again.
But more than anything, this year I noticed how increasingly joyful it feels for readers to see themselves, their lives and their experiences, reflected in the romances they read. When a book “gets you,” and understands and reflects your own feelings back to you, it's powerful and wonderful and comforting. I want everyone to see themselves in the romances they read, because, well, it's awesome. So I want to find more romances, as Carrie said above, that feature a greater diversity in character, read them, and talk about them.
And I want to do more hunting for books, rather then have them thrown in my direction by pitches, suggestions, algorithms, and whatever lands on my porch. I am extremely fortunate, but the nonstop delivery of more options to read makes me more complacent than I'd like. I want to go book hunting more determinedly, too, with a wishlist and goal in hand, and find romances that fit what I'm looking for. Given how much book shopping and book hunting has changed, I am curious to see how this works out.
So what are your reading resolutions for 2014? Any authors or genres you are determined to try? Books you're excited to read? New ideas you want to explore? What are your reading goals for the year?