Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hello 2012!

I've decided that making resolutions--for me, at any rate--is a lot like having Alzheimer's disease. In December I decide on the direction I want to go in, put some thought into my goals for the year. . .  then check the preceeding January's resolutions and see that they're exactly the same, and were exactly the same the year before as well! Good grief.

And looking at the lists of books I intend to read is depressing. There are carry-overs that keep popping up year after year, so no more of that. There's much more brawn to my read-at-whim muscle than you might expect, although putting together my fill in the gaps list of one hundred authors back in 2009 allows me the flexibility to be both flighty and on task. I knocked off another 20 from that list in 2011, bringing my total to 60. I should have no trouble reaching one hundred by the project's end in April 2014.

I'm bringing in the new year with David Brin's Earth, the type of hard science fiction I intended to read last year, before I became sidetracked by a fairly steady supply of time travel fare. I'm also reading Wayne Johnston's A World Elsewhere, a book that won't be published in the U.S. until late summer. After I saw it pop up on a couple of Canadian blogs several months back, I added it to my wish list--portions of the novel take place in North Carolina, in a mansion modeled after the Biltmore estate, so how could I resist? And then I thought I'd see if I could get it through interlibrary loan, and yes, there was a library in Texas willing to send it my way, although they want it back this Friday.

In theory, I remain committed to avoiding all reading challenge entanglements, but there are so many fantastic ones taking place this month: Carl's Science Fiction Experience; Redhead's Vintage Science Fiction Month; Kim's Australian Fiction Month; Allie's Shakespeare Month; and Amanda's Charles Dickens Month. Might I squeeze in one title from each challenge before I swear off them all for the rest of the year? In addition to book group obligations?

And I'm definitely taking part in C.B. James's TBR Double Dare, although I am turning it into a book buying ban until April. In fact, although I'm not officially making any resolutions this year, I do have a catchy slogan--Eschew the New--and I'm going to chant it whenever my finger gets twitchy over at the Evil Place. My daughter's moving to Berlin for six months in a couple weeks and we're going to want to visit her while she's there; I don't need to divert any money on books that I could get from the library if I'm patient enough.

Eschew the new. Or, to quote Maurice Sagoff:

The norm
(Dull minds conform)

Guess that means I'm bypassing the buzz books in 2012 to re-read some of my old favorites.


I just made a resolution.

Let's pretend it never happened.


  1. Eschew the new! I love it. My only formal resolution is to read no more than 24 books published in 2012 this year. I'm hoping that'll make me more thoughtful about the new books I pick up. I keep telling myself that it they're really good, they'll still be good 10 years from now.

  2. Anonymous1:20 PM

    Eschewing the new is not part of my scheme, but buying the new is. My main resolution is to make better use of the library's New Books shelf.

    Happy New Year and Happy Reading! -Fay

  3. Anonymous1:20 PM

    NOT buying the new I should have said.

  4. Lucky you--I would Love to go to Berlin. Isn't it nice when your kids or someone you know goes somewhere cool so you can go visit them? I'm trying not to set any goals though I have a list of books I want to read from as usual and will probably begin ignoring about March. Maybe this year will be different? I was just updating my sidebar and noting how many carryovers (meaning started prior to December) I will have and found there were more than I had hoped, but oh well. I bombed on poor Anthony Powell, but will try him again later--I started and was enjoying the first one and got sidetracked. Am hoping for better luck with Olivia Manning, which I am officially starting today. I'd love it if you wanted to read along--and I am not sure when I'll read Anne Tyler, but I AM reading her this year. Just let me know when you get to Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Maybe if I have a reading partner I'll actually do what I set out to do. It's never that I don't want to read the book, but only that I allow myself too many distractions! By the way--I love the Biltmore--it's gorgeous there--the Johnston novels sounds interesting so I'll have to look it up! Happy New Year!

  5. I always seem to fail at my bookish resolutions so I am trying not to make any this year!

  6. I tried to eschew the new in 2011, but got caught up in some really outstanding new fiction! I'm trying really hard to stay with the classics, but can't say I won't try something new if it really intrigues me. I admire your resolve, though!

    This year I'm not signing up for any challenges (other than my own personal ones), as tempting as they may be, and have only made one resolution so far - to restart my blog :)

  7. Anonymous9:02 PM

    I seldom make NY resolutions knowing my own weakness in dissolving them even before Jan. ends. And this year, I've decided to use reading challenges to replace resolutions. This year I have two: Graham Greene, and Ireland. So hopefully I'll be fulfilling them in 2012, as well as clearing out some TBR books by the year's end.


  8. I'm determined to Eschew the new and make it all the way through CB Double TBR Dare.

  9. Resolution? I didn't see any resolution there, though you have a spiffy new motto :) I envy your trip to Berlin. I'd love to go there one day.


As a reader I cherish the fantasy of one day stopping acquiring books, of subsisting only on what is already stashed away in the crammed lar...