Reading is often a very personal, solitary pleasure. However, our enjoyment of reading can be increased by sharing books with others, broadening our horizons, and stretching our minds. If you love reading books, here are ten resolutions to get you ready for the new year.
1. Join a Book Group
Join a book group, or if you are already in one, volunteer to lead a book discussion. Connecting with other readers is a great way to share your love of books, learn about fantastic books you wouldn't ordinarily read, and have fun with like-minded people.
2. Use Technology
Instead of a print book, read at least one book on your phone or tablet all the way to the end. Some readers have a reluctance to switch from print to ebook, but there doesn't have to be a choice. You should still enjoy print books, but using technology will save you money and help you enjoy more books on the go or when you're stuck waiting for someone. So go ahead and soak in a hot bath or snuggle in your favorite chair with a print book, but go on vacation with just your phone or ereader and leave home the extra suitcase of books you normally need to take along (yeah, we know how it is). The best of both worlds is at our fingertips, and technology is here to stay, so you might as well jump on the train!
3. Finish that Book You've Been Waiting to Read
Finish that book that's still waiting on the bedside table or crammed in your drawer. If you have more than one, finish that top book before letting yourself buy more. By making the time to read, you'll be a lot happier, and everyone should be able to carve out ten or twenty minutes a day to read. This will recharge your batteries and help you work harder.
4. Meet an Author
Attend an author book signing or online book event. Go prepared with a few questions to ask. This supports authors, who work hard to give us the books we love to read, and also helps you more easily recommend books to others and connect with people who love the same type of books. If the event is online, be sure to "friend" fellow attendees on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
5. Read the Book People are Talking About
Choose five books that everyone is talking about and buy them to read. Make sure at least one of these is in a genre you don't usually buy. If you want to up the ante, make all five new genres. Opening yourself to new genres expands your world view and gives you more to think about and discuss.
6. Look Up Words
Invariably, you will run into a few words you don't know. Look up at least one from every book you read. Alternatively, look up an idiom you haven't heard before or aren't sure of the meaning or origin. Examples of idioms are "drop of a hat," "raining cats and dogs," "cry over spilled milk," and "take with a grain of salt."
7. Recommend Five Books
Recommend at least five books you've read to your friends. This not only shares the enjoyment you've experienced but also shows support to the authors whose books you love. Make sure you tell your friends the content rating of the book, so they'll know what to expect.
8. Write a Book Review
Write at least one review on a book you really loved. Make sure you say why you loved the book and why others will too. Remember that a book doesn't have to change your life or be the best you've ever read to earn a five-star review. It just needs to fulfill its purpose (genre, grammar, etc.). If it gave you hours of pleasure and took you away from your concerns, then make sure people know that.
9. The Movie VS the Book—Read the Book!
If you see a movie based on a book, go read the book too. Better yet, read the book first so you can study how drastically it was changed for film. Which did you like better and why? Share those thoughts online or in person with your friends.
10. Share the Love
Clean out your bookshelf (gasp!) and give away the books you will never read again so someone else can enjoy them. Or if you can't bear to part with any, buy and give away at least one book to someone you care about. Choose books as gifts when you are invited to a housewarming or birthday party. Sharing books we love is like sharing a part of us—and passes on hours of enjoyment, especially if it's the first book in a series. If you have a source for finding books and new authors, such as Book Cave, be sure to tell your friends about it. Every reader loves finding new authors to read.
Here's to another new year of reading fun! Let's make the year the best yet for the books we love.
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