One of my reading resolutions for 2016 is one that shouldn’t have to be a resolution:
I resolve to read for fun again.
I read many, many amazing books in 2015. I read some prize winning books, a couple of classics, I finally met Lisbeth Salander, and I discovered some of the best reads the UKYA scene has to offer. But I also started book blogging, and it’s changed the way I read.
As a book blogger, the pressure to read is palpable. Everything is new! And exciting! And the ARCs, oh my goodness, the ARCs! And you have to keep up to stay relevant and be friends with everyone. Don’t forget the reading challenges, and the book hauls, and the TBRs…
I’m just a small and adorable library assistant and even I’m getting stressed out by all of this. So here’s a proposal. For myself. And for you, if any of this is resonating:
Re-read. Forget about the new and shiny, and look to the old and potentially dog-eared.
I wouldn’t dream of calling an album my favourite unless I’d listened to it at least twenty times. It’s not until I’ve seen a film two or three times that I can even get a feel for the themes and beats of the story. So how can I say a book, an enormously complex series of words designed to show you a world and change the way you feel, is my favourite when I’ve only read it the once?
When you read a book, you’re creating it along with the writer as you go. It stands to reason that when you read a book again, you bring to it not only the memory of having read it before, but the experiences you’ve had in the wide world between then and now. You’ll be a different person every time, no matter how many times you read the same book.
Also, I’ve reached a delicious point with some of my favourite books where I’m starting to forget what happens in them.
So. Januareread. As a word, it doesn’t quite work, but as an idea… I can’t wait to get cracking. I first read Fingersmith by Sarah Waters six years ago. It’s well overdue a re-read. I want to spend some time with Remus and Sirius, so Prisoner of Azkaban, here I come (again). Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy was life-changing for my 17 year old self, but what would I make of it now? I’ve re-read Animorphs, His Dark Materials, and The Dark is Rising several times, isn’t it time I read Noughts & Crosses again? I’m also desperate to read The Secret History again, but I think I still remember rather too much of it.
I’ve also committed to re-reading The Raven Cycle books 1, 2 and 3 in preparation for The Raven King (finally) being released. As I read books 1, 2 and 3 in April 2015, I’m not anticipating many surprises, but hey, maybe I’ll be… surprised? I am mainly looking forward to gathering ammo for my “Gansey is the literal worst” argument. Care to join me? (On the re-read. You can skip the Gansey bashing.)