I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions anymore. What’s the point? Every year for the past 30 plus years, mine has been the same: lose weight and get fit. And nearly every year for the past 30 plus years, I’ve failed abysmally and started the next year fatter and more unfit than the previous one to the point where, even as I’m making the promises to myself, I know I’m going to fail. Which is depressing. So, this year, I didn’t bother.
However, at the back of my mind, I did sort of make a New Year’s Resolution and this was one that there was a remote possibility of me actually achieving: read every day. OK, if we’re going to be pedantic about this, I’ve already failed in it but the idea to read far more regularly is something I’ve certainly achieved so far.
I love reading. As a writer, it comes with the territory. I love reading for escapism. I love analysing why I enjoyed one book and not another. But reading takes time and, ith a demanding day job, family life, trying to write, and being a Brown Owl, finding time to read is rare. I’d love to be able to curl up on a regular basis and pour over a good book but that won’t get my assignments marked, my next book written, or pay the mortgage.
Over the years, commuting to work has always been a great time to read (obviously not the jobs where I’ve driven to work!) but I work from home now so I don’t think the short walk across the landing from the bedroom to the office quite constitutes a commute or an opportunity to read more than a sentence, no doubt tripping over the puppy or the munchkin en route if I ever attempted it. Mind you, a broken leg and a hospital stay could give me some valuable reading time, couldn’t it? Hmm. Bit extreme. So it’s back to what I used to do when I was a child: reading at bedtime. And I like it. Even if it’s just one chapter. Even if it’s only a few pages. Slowly, steadily, I make my way through a book.
I’m very conscious that, being part of a 10-strong writing group – The Write Romantics – all of whom are now extremely talented published writers has changed my reading habits because most of my reading across the past year has been devoted to books by the WRs. Although I love and admire their work and would choose to read their books even if they weren’t friends of mine, I have a huge TBR pile on my bookshelves and on my Kindle of both favourite and new authors whose books I want to explore too. Having read maybe 3 x WR books in a row, I decided to turn to my TBR pile and read a paperback which I’ve had on my shelves for a year or two: One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin. I’ve never met Holly but she did contribute to the WR’s anthology ‘Winter Tales’ and I really enjoyed the warmth and humour of it, so I was keen to read a full-length novel of hers and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve just posted a 5-star review of it on Amazon which you can read here.
Next up, I have a couple more WR books I want to read and then perhaps I need to just systematically work my way across my TBR shelves and refuse to let myself buy any more books until I’ve at least made a dent. Yeah, right, as if that’s going to happen!
Do you manage to ever get on top of your TBR pile? If so, I’d love to hear how you manage it?