Two years ago, after an awful year, I vowed to make 2015 a better one by reading one book a month. Somehow that one book a month escalated into reading 26 books in all of 2015. My reading speed, even as a literature student, had been embarrassingly slow, but by the end of 2015 it was faster than ever. Come New Year 2016 I set myself the monumental task (to me at least) of reading 30 books. When I surpassed 30 books in September I was gobsmacked, but bucked up and carried on reading. Which leads me to today, 31st December 2016 when I’ve just finished my 42nd and final book of the year.
The actual logistics of reading 42 books this past year are lost on me when I consider that for the last four months I’ve been doing my final year of university, that I didn’t read at all in June, that one of those books was War and Peace and that I wrote an 100,000 word novel in the midst of it all. But then I remember, where and how I started the year. This time last year I was living in Lyon, with a… shall we say, ‘calm’ social and work life which left me with a lot of free time and a hellish commute to kill. I was also training for the Paris Marathon and audiobooks are always a pleasure when running long distance. And yet somehow, I read 27 of those books since returning from my year abroad.
The other reading resolution I set myself for 2016 was to read six books in French. Not many, but it can be quite tedious trying to comprehend as well as enjoy a text. And yet I surpassed that too, reading ten books in French this year.
The instinct is to say 50 books in 2017, with half of them in French, but I am very aware that 42 was a hell of a lot and may not be realistically achievable in this next year, since I’ll be graduating and then busy crying about graduating and then probably crying about the fact I’m unemployed.
This tweet also sums up why there might be less time for reading this year…
So I’ll keep the resolutions calm this year.
In 2017 I plan to read 36 books including 12 in French, at least. ‘At least’ being the crucial words. My logic with this one works out at three books a month, one in French, but I don’t want to too rigidly bind myself to a monthly reading schedule as you never know what’s going to crop up, but equally, no skipping June this year, Skippy.
There’s one other crucial reading related resolution, and that is to blog about reading. Ah yes, that’s why you’re here. Fictitiously Hilary will now be home to my literary blog. I suspect it will mostly be about books, reviews and such, but there is the possibility that I might share some creative writing or rants about how difficult creative writing is, among other things. I really enjoy blogging, I did it for the London Marathon and my year abroad but those things both ended. This one, my love of reading, I can’t imagine ending any time soon.
I have several blog posts already planned, including a round up of what I read, loved and hated in 2016 and I’m yet to set my writing resolutions so watch this space! (I think I’ve ended every blog I’ve ever started with those three words).