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Reading Resolutions 2012

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year, Friends!

Each year, we all make resolutions. And as readers, we make book-related resolutions, most frequently the vow that this year will finally be the year we read that classic, or that book all of our friends told us was amazing, or the book we’ve pretended we read in college but never quite got to.

Here’s what we’re resolving to read this year.


This fall when Christopher Paolini was on tour we spent a few hours together while he signed books for Partner’s West. We talked books, of course, and we each discovered a book the other hadn’t read that we considered a must read.

The book I shocked Christopher with was Dune. To be fair, I actually also shocked him and several people with us by admitting I’d never read Tolkien. And never plan to. But I will give Dune a try. It was ruined for me because I saw the 1984 David Lynch film (AKA The Most Boring Film Ever) when I was a teenager.  I have to overcome visions of Kyle McLachlan, Sting and that giant worm thingy, but I’ll give it a try. OK, I’m ready to be told where to go about how this movie is actually The Best Film Ever Made. Go for it.

The worm thingy is so hideous I can’t even post a picture of it.

In exchange, I told Christopher that me must make it a priority this year to read To Kill a Mockingbird! I really think he got the better end of the deal.


May the Librarian Gods strike me down – I have never read The Book Thief, The Phantom Tollbooth or Bud, not Buddy.  (And I’m sure the list could be longer than those three, but I’m already worried about what my mother is going to think about these!)  I’ve never read these books because I’ve never had to.  They were never assigned to me in school, they were never forced on me by my family, and as a bookseller, they sold themselves.  But I hear such marvelous things about them, and they all hold a place on my shelves, so this year I will read them, or maybe I will listen to them on audio. 




Last year, I resolved to finish more books rather than putting them down halfway. This year, I resolve the opposite: to not tie myself down attempting to finish a book I’m not passionate about when there are so many wonderful books yet to be read! And this might be the year I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird (or listen to it- Deanna raves about the audio version enough, and I trust her opinion). Other books I’ve never read that I really need to get to: The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Mockingjay (I seem to have a problem getting past two books in any given series), The Stand by Stephen King and The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve been told those last two books have many similarities with some of the dystopian fiction I’ve enjoyed recently so I’m sure I’ll love them.


In 2002 I read Jeanne DuPrau’s City of Ember, in one sitting. I loved this book and as a result had a long conversation with the editor Jim Thomas that ended with me admitting that I didn’t really like to read fantasy (except Philip Pullman). Jim challenged me to try again and suggested I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I promised I would read it, I even bought a copy. It’s now nearly 10 years later, I still haven’t read this and the pages of my copy have yellowed, but I WILL read it in 2012. Really. I do now read lots of other fantasy and dystopian novels, so some good did come out of that chat.

As long as I’m confessing, I’ll admit that even though I’ve been selling Walter Farley’s Black Stallion for over 20 years I haven’t read that one either. It’s on the list now. And for a few more recent books that I should have read by now, since I own them all in hardcover and all are now available in paperback, I’ll be adding The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (I did start this one and it is delightful) to my list as well.

We’d love to hear from you: what do you vow to read this year? Or are there other book-related resolutions you’re making, like buying more books at your local indie bookstore, trying a new genre, or upping your books-per-month average? Please share! And if you want to see what Erin resolved last year, check out this post (she’ll have to comment on the post to share if she kept those reading resolutions or not!)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheryl McKeon permalink
    January 2, 2012 12:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing your confessions. As a bookseller my excuse has always been, “That book does so well on its own, it’s among those I don’t read so I have time for the debut authors, the deserving but unknown great novel…” But this year I think I’ll treat myself, at last, to Cutting for Stone. (And Nic — do read Bud Not Buddy soon, as Christopher Paul Curtis has a sequel coming!)

  2. January 2, 2012 12:50 pm

    Ooh, I want to read Dune and The Book Thief too! I am adding these to my list right now!!

  3. January 2, 2012 2:36 pm

    Nic, I am a fierce and loyal fan of The Phantom Tollbooth (I’ve probably read it 30 times on my own, with students, and with my sons). Please share what you think once you’ve read it!

    I’m committing to reading more adult titles this year. As much as I love keeping up with children’s titles, I found my 2011 list was dominated by new MG/YA titles. I feel most nourished when I read a variety of books, so I plan on reading more intentionally this year.

    I’d also like to pick up titles that have been on my shelves for years, ones I’ve yet to read.

  4. January 2, 2012 11:00 pm

    Out of all the classic and mostly sad-ending books that we were assigned to read in class this year and last year, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the best ones. I myself am a fan of happy endings that conclude without leaving any important (or not-so-important) questions answered. And the Chronicles of Narnia are amazing! Huh I’ve never really thought of setting myself a goal with books… although, I do admit, I am losing my French, which means I should probably read more French books. Which I will, after finishing the book that I am currently reading, The Dragon’s Tooth, which is doing good so far! =)

  5. January 2, 2012 11:46 pm

    I’ve somehow never read To Kill a Mockingbird either. Maybe I’ll try to make this the year I get to it, too!

  6. January 4, 2012 10:51 pm

    Nic, I second what Caroline said. Although I haven’t read it as often, I’ve certainly read The Phantom Tollbooth at least four or five times.

    And really, you have to read The Book Thief too. So impressive.

    Don’t feel bad, though. I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice (*hides head in shame*). And I never make New Year’s resolutions because I know I won’t keep them, but I really should read more adult literature.


  1. Reading Resolutions 2013 « Random Acts of Reading

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