2014 Romance Reading Resolutions

Book and e-readers wrapped in red bowsI'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:

 

Elyse:

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.

 

RedHeadedGirl: 

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.

 

Carrie: 

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.

 

Amanda:

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!

 

Sarah: 

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? 

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  1. 1
    kkw says:

    It’s my goal the finish fewer books. If I don’t like a book, if it bores me or irritates me or just isn’t my thing, I’m done. I’ve been getting better about this, but life is only getting shorter, and I’m not hanging in to the umpteenth chapter of a book that never engaged me in the misguided hope that it could somehow be worth my time.

    I’m not going to try to talk myself into liking romantic suspense (ok, fine, I’m totally working through the Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann blacklists) and I’m done with YA for realz (except if the kids I’ll be tutoring actually read anything, which I now feel selfishly conflicted about) and I don’t have to try to figure out why anyone would read steampunk. It’s not my problem. No more small town contemporaries. No absurd shape shifting. No dukes. Unless…unless…No. No more idle curiosity, only active and entirely engaged curiosity, will have me picking up a book this year.

    I’ll be reading a lot of cereal boxes instead I suppose. Actually, I’ve been getting more and more into non-fiction. I really want to find more non fiction that is well-written.

  2. 2

    I definitely want to whittle my TBR pile down this year. I also want to pace myself when it comes to buying e-books and not go overboard with that.

    I also want to catch up on some series that I read. I’m really bad about reading the first book (or even a couple) in a series and then getting distracting by a shiny new book in a new series.

    But mostly, I want to read great books this year, the ones that make you say “Wow” after you finish them and wish that you had written something so good. Not something that I can really plan for, but I hope it happens a lot this year. Fingers crossed.

  3. 3
    Julie says:

    My first reading goal is to read The Rosie Project which is $1.99 today WOOHOO!

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Rosie-Project-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BSBR9N6

  4. 4
    Laurie says:

    My goal is to spend more time reading my books than I do shopping for my books.  So with that in mind, my New Year’s resolution is to read five books that I have waiting on my ereader for every one book that I purchase.  Not sure how well I will do with this though because sites like this are always tempting me.

    And like RedHeadedGirl, I would also like to read or re-read some of the old school romances.  I think I will start with Madelaina by Michaela Morgan filled with Mexican Revolutionary characters like Pancho Villa.  And for sheer WTFery, this one is hard to beat.  The villain uses a false penis because he is so inadequate in that department.  Pretty sure that I have never come across this anywhere else.

  5. 5
    Beverley says:

    I have two resolutions this year

    1. Discover 5 new-to-me authors this year whose books I love. Hopefully, they will have this ginormous backlist that will keeping me reading for weeks.

    2. Don’t contain those 5 new-to-me authors to just new adult and contemporary romance writers. I would really love to have a couple of historical romance authors thrown in there.

  6. 6
    Lostshadows says:

    My resolution is to make another attempt at seriously denting my backlog.

    This may be tricky, since I just bought an ereader and most of my backlog is paper and unavailable as digital from the library.

    My other resolution is to try to avoid spending too much money rebuying books I already own. (I wish I could rip books like I do CDs.)

  7. 7
    Vicki says:

    The Rosie Project is also $1.99 at B&N

  8. 8
    jcp says:

    1. make a dent in my TBR pile
    2.  wait for book sales on the internet web sites

  9. 9
    azteclady says:

    I don’t make resolutions, per se, but my reading-related project is to re-read less and try new stuff more (I could stand to have some of your excess stuff thrown at me, Sarah…) and to go back to writing reviews. 2013 was pitiful in that regard—I believe I wrote a whooping 8 all year! Very sad, indeed.

    Happy new year to everyone, and best wishes for you and your family in 2014, SBSarah!

  10. 10
    Heather S says:

    I’ve already established my goal on GoodReads to read 100 books this year (same number as last year), so that’s done.

    I would like to return to reading more sci-fi/fantasy with romantic elements – Garth Nix’ “Abhorsen” trilogy is a great example of what I’m looking for.

    I would like to read more historical fiction outside my catnip setting of ancient Egypt. I’ve stocked up on Susanna Kearsley, for starters, and I’m chugging away on “The Ghost Bride”, which is set in 1893 in Malaysia with a Chinese female protagonist. It’s so neat learning about the superstitions and beliefs of the people there at that time!

    I would like to read more, in general. I get so busy buying up great books on sale – thanks, eReaderIQ and to you, the Queens of the Pink Palace, for all the notifications – that I often don’t get to reading them. There are books on my Kindle that have been there for the better part of two years!

    So: read more in quantity and variety is my goal.

  11. 11
    DonnaMarie says:

    Glad I’m not the only one with a huge backlog that needs to be read down before more is added. So, as always read what I’ve got before I buy more. And of course, the new Kindle I found under the Christmas tree is going to insure that that lasts about a minute.

    So, I guess the one I’ll really try to stick to is getting more diversity into my reading. I adore romance. It’s a love affair that started when I was ten. Like all relationships it’s had it’s highs and lows, but lately it seems to have taken over. So, one non-romance for every tw—thr—ten romances. I think that’s fair.

    Oh, and RHG, for transitional writers try Laurie McBain’s Dominick series. I think this is the third time I’ve brought her up in the last 24 hours. Time for a reread? Yes, I believe it might be.

  12. 12

    My reading resolution is to read 90 books this year.  I managed 75 in 2013, but I didn’t really push myself to read, so this year I want to get closer to 90.

    This may be a problem because my non-reading resolution is to finish writing my book, so I can try to get it published.

  13. 13

    I’m starting a Noel Streatfeild project on my blogBallet Shoes has been one of my favorite books for years, I just read and adored her book Apple Bough (a.k.a. Traveling Shoes), and I realized she had this massive output of books in her lifetime that I’ve never read. So, my reading resolution this year is to read at least one new-to-me Noel Streatfeild book every month and blog about it!

  14. 14
    PointyEars4 says:

    1. I will eat my TBR list like it was made out of chocolate until all that’s left are new(ish) releases (6-12 months) or reminders for unreleased novels. I must clear a TBR before I can add something new… and I need to stop re-reading Courtney Milan & Meljean Brooks in favour of new things.

    2. Cut down on my DNFs. I will not waste a moment of my life picking up a book I KNOW I’m going to hate just because it’s for a book club. “Lemming” a book is okay, because at least that means I actually want to read it & actively tried, but when just reading the blurb gives me a bad feeling. (I’m looking at you PNR/UF. One more “spunky” paranormal heroine who is actually TSTL… grrrrr… ).

    3. Read more fanfiction, because that’s where all the editors seem to be. (Also, write a scathing letter to any publisher I catch leaving a typo in because some of the stuff I found in 2013 should have earned me a refund.) 

    4. Read the bookclub selections as soon as they are announced.

    5. Get my friends & family to read more, and to read more of what I’m reading. I made an intellectual snob read The Rosie Project & she loved it & wants more, so this will be the most achievable goal.

  15. 15
    Joane says:

    I will only talk about my romance novels projects:

    This year I have a new Romantic project. I will go through the All About Romance Top 100 romance novels, and try to write a review on each one of them. That way, I will read some of the Romantic canon and perhaps discover new authors with the certainty that it’s a book well liked by many readers before me. And I think it will help me to understand the story of the genre.

    Another of my romance novels projects will be finishing S. Brockmann’s backlist, at least the Troubleshooters series.

  16. 16
    Lisa J says:

    My resolution is to stop buying books I will never read because they were way cheap or free and there is a one in one billion chance I may want to read it in the future.  I can’t begin to explain to anyone why I buy some of the books I do.

  17. 17
    Dana Marton says:

    My goal is to diversify my reading. Cut back on writing, do more reading. The past two years, I put out 6 books/yr, which barely left me time to read. That’s just no way to live! And I tend to mostly read books by friends who ask me what I think about their new novels. So the goal is to discover new authors in 2014. I already found some for my list in this blog post. Thank you!

  18. 18
    Aly says:

    Hmmm 2013 was a horrible year for me, a lot of wasted effort and failures. So unknowingly I ended up reading only romance novels (my favorite escapism). Well, I actually didn’t have much time to read, but the few books I read were romance.

    For 2014 my reading resolutions are:

    - Read more. I should cut back on the TV shows and invest that time on my reading.
    – Try to read more from other genres this year. Since 2013 was 100% romance, then 2014 should be at least 80% non-romance.
    – Read more old classics.

  19. 19
    Jessica says:

    Simple: work on my TBR shelves.  Not stack, not pile, literally one of those eight-squares Expedit shelving units, double-stuffed.  Nonfiction and fiction, romance and lit, YA and westerns, I want to work on it all.  Even though I work in a library, I want to lessen how many library books I bring home, when my TBR is so ridiculously huge.  And to weed what I have read, and honestly keep only what I’ll read again.

  20. 20
    Lindsay says:

    This year I’d like to get my Goodreads and Librarything lists up to date and reviews written for things I really like, and catch up on my ARC reviews. I’m changing jobs, which is good because of more hours and more reliable hours (M-F, wow!), but this will likely have me tired in new ways for a little bit.

    2013 was a really rough year for me health-wise, and reading is a major part of my mental and physical health, so I am going to listen to what my brain wants instead of make myself read things that I think I “should” read. If this means re-reading my entire Mercedes Lackey backlist, so be it!

  21. 21
    Algae says:

    Well, apparently, my new resolution is to read Laurie’ s recommendation of Madelaina, because the crazy in that one should be delightful!

  22. 22
    Brandi B says:

    I’d like to focus on a few book related things going forward—

    1. Start capturing where I heard about books I added to my Want-to-read shelf on Goodreads. I go back and look at the list and can’t remember what made me add it. And there are books I really wanted to read sooner rather than later but they get lost in the list of several hundred books.

    2. Write book reviews. I’m really bad about that and want to be able to explain why a book works or doesn’t work for me instead of just a simple “liked it”, “cute”, or “awesome”.

    3. Make a conscious effort to check for ebooks at library instead of buying without checking. Hopefully I’ll save a little money plus be forced to finish the book before it disappears!

  23. 23
    Sasha says:

    My romance-reading resolution has mostly got to do with the blogging side of things. I read mostly historical romance, but I hardly write about them—which is definitely going to change this year. I read a lot of new-to-me authors in 2013 (like Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean) and went through the backlists of “pillars” like Balogh and Kinsale, and there’s a wee bit of regret that I never got to write about most of these experiences.

    I fought tooth and nail to get reading done last year, and I’m just going to basically do the same this 2014. I’m going to keep reading whatever the hell I want, and the coming morning can go screw itself.

  24. 24
    Lizzie R says:

    My New Year book resolutions are:

    1) Try and include some classics in my reading throughout the year;

    2) I’ve got to start reading more portuguese.  According to Goodreads in 2013 I read 60 books and nary a portuguese one amongst them;

    3) I’d also like to start reading other genres;

    4) This one’s an impossibility from the outset,  but I should try reading all the books in my TBR pile before buying new ones, and yes I hear how ridiculous that sounds.

  25. 25
    azteclady says:

    Sasha:<

    I’m going to keep reading whatever the hell I want, and the coming morning can go screw itself.

    Will you marry me?

  26. 26
    Gemma says:

    To finally get through my boxes of Harlequins. I’ve got 250+ that have been sitting for years while I read other books. I only by Harlequins by favorite authors now (I was a bit indiscriminate years ago because they were so cheap at the local thrift store, 5 for a dollar), and I want to finally get the backlog dealt with. I’m making them part of my regular book rotation until they are done. This might take more than one year, though!

  27. 27

    I yearn for “old school” epic quality historical romance with a freshness to them. I love the mid-eighteen hundreds but want to find books in settings outside England. I belong to a book club so I read books way outside romance (The Bloodletter’s Daughter, for instance…really interesting and based on a true happening about King Rudolf’s handsome, but insane son).

  28. 28
    Vanessa says:

    Well, I also want to whittle my TBR list down before I lose control of it completely.  My plan is to (1) stop buying books when I own so many that are still unread and (2) actually use my TBR list to decide what to read next instead of recs here or from B&N.  It’s day 2 of 2014, and so far I’m failing at both counts.

    I really want to read more historicals this year.  I only read one in 2013, and it wasn’t until the end of December.  I used to enjoy them, but lately if I see a ball gown on the cover or mention of a duke/earl/lord, I’ve just been passing the book by.  Time to reconnect to that part of the genre, I think.

  29. 29
    Cassie A says:

    I want to get into reading other genres. I feel like I’m limiting myself by only reading romance and I want to find out what else is out there.
    I also want to use my kindle more. I try to use it but I still don’t use it much.

  30. 30
    azteclady says:

    It just occurred to me that some of you who want to tackle the TBR pile this year might want to join in Wendy the Super Librarian’s 2014 TBR Challenge.

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