Why I Haven’t Made 2021 Reading Resolutions

For the past couple of years, I’ve made reading resolutions in January about the kinds of books I want to read that year. It’s included things like finish a specific series, read more non-fiction, and finally finish Anna Karenina (which I actually did do last year!). 2021 is different however and I wanted to write about my slightly different approach to reading this year…

Thinking about it now, making reading resolutions made next to no sense for me. I hate New Year’s resolutions with a passion and I don’t find them helpful in any way. This was basically just a bookish version of it, so no wonder I wasn’t a fan! I barely ever completed any of my resolutions and that’s okay. I think last year I actually referred to them as reading intentions and expressed that I may not complete them all and they may change throughout the year.

I’m someone who likes to set little goals and intentions for myself throughout the year – I have weekly and monthly tasks I like to set myself and complete. I have long term goals but tend to plan the small steps towards them to not overwhelm myself with the end goal (which may change!). I also don’t believe in sticking to something you hate/don’t need to do just because you said you would do it ages ago when you were potentially in a different place and mindset. Flexible and changing goals are more helpful and useful to me. I have a healthier way of planning and living when I adapt as I go on. It may seem like a little thing to some, but reading comes into this too.

I think the lockdown really amplified the need I had to mood read. There are books I may have to read at a certain point – our monthly LGBTQ+ Book Club picks, if we choose to do blog tours, or we are sent an ARC and we want to review them in a timely manner. I usually always have a non-fiction book on the go, or a book to educate myself and learn about certain topics/issues. However, most of the time in terms of other (mainly fiction) books, I find mood reading is much more beneficial. It means I don’t go into a book negatively because I’m not feeling it right now and I’m forcing myself to read it because I set myself some meaningless resolution months ago!

So this year I am going to be mood reading. Each month I will have our book club read so that’s a little bit of structure for myself but other than that, I’m going to pick up whatever I fancy! I am going to prioritise certain books and make sure I read more diversely too. In particular, I will be reading more from trans authors, non-binary authors, and Black authors. But I’m not going to set myself rigid and pointless goals like “finish my reread of His Dark Materials” because I’ve been telling myself this for the past two years and haven’t yet done it because I simply have not been feeling it.

I hope this post made sense! It was a little bit of a stream of consciousness post but also something I have been thinking about over the last couple of weeks. I also love knowing how people structure/plan their reading each year – let me know in the comments below how you do it, or if you just see where your mood takes you!

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