2015 Reading Resolutions / by Madeleine

Last year I set three separate challenges for myself that made up my Reading Resolutions for 2014. I'm sure you can guess what happened... (hint, it's typical for many resolutions). Yes, I completely failed to complete two of my challenges, despite the fact that I had the blog to hold me accountable! I only completed my classics challenge, which I think was a great catalyst for getting myself more interested in classic literature. I loved treating those books not as famous works on a syllabus, but more as books that were just beautifully written and universally loved. I plan on reading more classic books this year, and expanding my reach into some more children's classics as well. I was super proud of myself for reading four classics, but I didn't read one American history book or two memoirs as planned. Instead of feeling guilty, reflecting on that failure just made me shrug my shoulders.

I love to read, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I read every single day of the year, but at times those challenges were a little nagging voice in the back of my head. I'm approaching my last semester of my undergraduate career, and with a full course load and a rather big project in the works, I'm working to mitigate some of the pressure that I put on myself in other areas of my life. Reading is often my escape from the more stressful aspects of real life, so instead of adding pressure by increasing the number of goals and deadlines that I have to meet, I'm simply not setting any resolutions for this year.

I will not be setting a reading challenge on Goodreads, nor will I be setting one on here. When I pledged to read 60 books (as I did for 2014), I often thought about that goal while choosing my next read, and sometimes this led me to choose books that I know I'll get through quickly, rather than the tomes that have been on my reading list for forever. This may seem silly, but so many of the readers on Goodreads tackle insanely long reading lists (I've seen readers complete a 1,000 book challenge in a year...ain't nobody got time for that!) and I can feel like my own reading list is inadequate when compared to those lists.

I'm making 2015 my year to read whatever I want. I'm excited to tackle some of the thickest, most difficult books on my reading list, without being concerned about how long it takes me to read them. I started off the year by choosing a book that I love and one that I've never "had time" to read before, Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, and eliminating the idea of a resolution has me feeling like I've taken a long, deep breath of fresh air.