Hello 2017! Ringing in the New Year with Reading Resolutions

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It’s pretty common knowledge that 2016 sucked. Hard. Like most of you, I have been patiently waiting for this year to finally be over so I can move on to a better and brighter 2017 (fingers crossed). And with that comes some New Year’s resolutions that are guaranteed to make this next year rock. Usually, I make the typical resolutions: more gym time, less TV (yeah, right), and no more chocolate after 10 p.m. (sure). But, obviously, I tend to break them by about – oh – yesterday. This year, I want to do it right, which is why all of my resolutions are about something I genuinely love: books.


Not only do I want to read more, but I also want to step outside of my comfort zones and expand as a reader in general. So in honor of a better 2017, here are the five book-themed resolutions that I swear I’m going to keep:

  1. Read More Books

I have always been a voracious reader, usually devouring at least a book a week. This past year, I definitely allowed other distractions to get in the way. I partially blame Netflix, as it’s just way too easy to stream show after show after show. Plus, how was I supposed to resist that Gilmore Girls reboot? Or Stranger Things?? But of course I also blame myself, as I let work and life get in the way of something I truly love doing. After all, reading isn’t just for fun, it’s also a stress reliever and a way to keep your mind actively engaged. This probably explains why 2016 felt so off in general. Think of how great 2017 will be if we all just start reading more!

If I had to guess, this past year I probably read around 25 books. My goal for 2017 is to read at least 50, but hopefully more.

  1. Keep Up with My Favorite Authors

51l5ne9mCDLOut of those 25 books I read last year, at least half of them were repeats – my favorite novels that I turn to again and again. This year, it’s time to read some new titles, particularly by those authors who I know I love. First up? Anne Bishop. I adore her Black Jewels series, so I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t read her latest series, The Others. (You win again, Netflix.) Now seems like the perfect time to dive in, especially since she has a new book in the series, Etched in Bone (Roc Books, March 7, 2017). But there are plenty of other favorite authors I’ve been ignoring as well lately, so it’s time to play a little catch up this year.



  1. Finally Put a Dent in that To-Be-Read Pile

4122qNtVgsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Speaking of which, my to-be-read pile has gotten completely out of control. As in, if I take a wrong turn in my bedroom, I might get buried under a pile of books. And I’m basically scared to open my Kindle at this point, as all those unread titles are just taunting me from their virtual shelves. It’s time to finally tackle some of those books that have been waiting so patiently for me to find the time to read them.

For some reason, lately I’ve been neglecting all those young adult books I wanted to read in 2016. While there are hundreds I can’t wait to dive into, I might be most excited for Lauren Oliver’s Replica (HarperCollins, October 4, 2016), a book with two narratives that you can read in multiple ways.



  1. Read Outside My Genres of Choice

51FekE+aRALI’m not going to lie: I love a good romance novel. Actually, I live and breathe romance novels, whether it’s a new adult erotica, a contemporary love story, or a historical romance with a rakish duke and his ‘innocent’ bride. But 2017 is going to be my year to branch out into books where I don’t automatically know that I’ll have a happy ending. Honestly, I’m a little scared.

Still, there are so many great genres out there to choose from. I dabble in scifi/fantasy and read a ton of young adult novels, but mystery, horror, thriller and nonfiction are mostly untapped areas for me. So I pledge to read with more variety this year, starting with How to Murder Your Life (Simon & Schuster, January 31, 2017), a memoir by Cat Marnell about addiction, partying and the New York fashion scene.


  1. Join a Book Club

Reading is great, but it can get kind of lonely sometimes. For years, I’ve been saying that I’m going to join a book club – and this time, I actually mean it. I’m not talking about a weekly hangout where we pretend we read a book but mostly just drink wine and gossip. No, I want a real book club, where we dive deep into the heart of the narrative, dissect the characters, and analyze the plot. But obviously we can still drink that wine.

Want to join me with my book resolutions, or have some of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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