Happy 2010! I am back in London and feeling slightly better. Today will be a PJs and book day, I think, as I attempt to finish my first book of the year (yesterday I didn't manage to read a word as I don't find reading in the car conducive to my physical well-being). I didn't read as much as I had hoped for over the festive period but it was more important to be enjoying quality time with my loved ones, which I did in abundance. This intentional placing of less pressure upon myself to read a set amount of books (normally in an impractical amount of time) ties in with the bookish resolutions that I have set myself for the coming year; these are simple, relaxed rules that I hope will ultimately enrich my reading experience rather than constrain it.
1. Enjoy reading - it's not that I didn't enjoy reading in 2009 but there were occasions, especially in late November/early December, where I felt thoroughly overwhelmed with reading deadlines that I had set myself (or that were dictated by library due dates or book group meetings). I had enough of reading as a chore when I was at University and I need to return to the days of reading purely for pleasure and not with a sense of obligation or pressure.
2. Read freely - part of my stifled feelings at the end of the year were due to having far too many books on my TBR list that weren't there solely out of choice and whimsy but because of challenge commitments or themed reading that I set myself. I will still dabble in these but as and when I feel the freedom to do so. There are so many exciting and interesting reading challenges across the blogosphere and I am not banning them but I need to read for me this year. I miss the freedom of choice in my reading so in 2010 expect more randomness in my reading and more of an insight into my preferred reading material. I'll still challenge myself but on my own terms. I fully intend to complete the two challenges that I have already committed to for the year ahead and some exciting read-alongs but I won't be stressing myself to meet deadlines and missing out on other wonderful books along the way.
3. Acquire less books - I am not imposing any book-buying ban on myself but I am simply going to try to buy and borrow (from the library and friends) less books and obtain review copies until I have made a significant dent in the books that I already have. I already have an immense TBR list and acquired a lot of wonderful-sounding books last year and it saddens me that there were some that I didn't get around to reading. This year I am not making any written reading plans but plan to let my own senses and circumstances guide me in my reading choices on a book-to-book basis as I used to do successfully; for the latter half of last year I had a half dozen books at a time lined up and I don't read well under that pressure. A reduction in the amount of incoming books is required to realistically get on top of the ones already waiting for me.
Three fundamental, unconstrained, achievable resolutions that I won't feel pressured to achieve as they should come naturally. Reading is my favourite pastime; I have read prolifically and eclectically from an early age and I don't want that to change; blogging has enriched my reading experience through blogger recommendations but I want to strike a balance between my own personal reading freedom and participating in the blogging community. Here's to a 2010 full of wonderful books!