When it comes to reading, January is my favorite time of year. The holiday celebrations and work parties are over, my evenings are free from last-minute baking and gift-wrapping, and now, as we dig into the heart of winter, is the time to hibernate with a good book. If it's a little cold in the house I'll throw a blanket over my lap while I curl up in the comfy chair in the living room. Before you know it, the evening has slipped by and it's time to drift into a deep, winter sleep.
January is also a time for resolutions – a time for breaking old habits and creating new, better ones. Last year at this time I resolved to read a certain number of books over the course of the year. Did I meet that goal? Well that would involve A) remembering what the number was, and B) keeping track of the books I actually finished. Hmmm…
Once again I find myself at the start of a new year wanting to encourage myself into reading more, but not quite sure as to how to go about it. Should I read all the winners of the 2008 National Book Awards? Or just those that are fiction? Should I again give myself an arbitrary number of books to read this year, only to lose track of the goal? How do I inspire myself to read more, without making it seem like a task?
Granted, it's not the next couple of months I'm worried about. I have books and time galore. It's the rest of the year, when I'm suddenly working like mad on the garden, or going on long walks after dinner, or throwing parties out on the deck. Wait a second – I don't want to give up any of that!
Maybe I should just revel in the fact that now is the real season for reading. The more I read now, and the more fun I have doing it, the more likely I am to jump into a book later in the year, recalling the pleasures of winter. For now, I'm just going to pick up my latest book (Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje), grab a cup of tea, and settle in under my blanket.
So do you have any reading resolutions? And what are you reading now?
Whatever your situation – Happy Reading in 2009 – may all your books be eloquent, your evenings long, and your local bookstores well-stocked.