New Year’s Resolutions & Reading Plans

Happy New Year everyone, another year begins. I hope it will be a year full of health, happiness & plenty of good books for us all. This photo isn’t especially about New Year but Phoebe is sitting in the wastepaper basket (one of her favourite spots in the study although right now she’s on my lap) in front of unread books which is a theme of this post.

I counted up my list of books read for 2013 & I read 115 books last year which is good but not as good as 2009 when I read 172! I know I spend more time on the internet than I did a few years ago as I now have an iPad which makes it easy to look something up from the comfort of my chair without having to start up the PC & disturb a sleeping cat on my lap. However, it also makes it too easy to be led from one thing to another & suddenly discover that half an hour has gone.

I want to read more books from my tbr shelves this year, which is a perennial resolution, I know. But, I’d like to make some sort of a dent in the shelves. I seem to collect books from my favourite publishers but then read very few of them. I don’t want to be too structured as I’m not a big fan of reading challenges or being too prescriptive. I’d just like to read more of all these lovely books.

Wodehouse & Slightly Foxed editions. I bought all these Wodehouses from Clouston & Hall when they were remaindered & I’m slowly making my way through them. I subscribe to the excellent quarterly journal, Slightly Foxed, & also to their series of memoirs in these beautiful pocket-sized hardbacks. I’ve also subscribed to their new Slightly Foxed Cubs, the children’s historical novels of Ronald Welch – even more to read!

Hesperus Press & Greyladies, two more favourite publishers. There are also a few E F Bensons & a Hugh Walpole there.

Nonsuch Press, Capuchin & Canongate.

The Folio Society (along with some Mary Stewarts, a Walter De La Mare & a D E Stevenson).

OUP & Penguin Classics.

Virago (as well as some books on mostly women’s literature. You can see by the spine labels that I rescued a few of these from my library when they were being withdrawn).

I also have other tbr shelves organised by subject like this overflowing shelf of  mostly mysteries.
Some are rereads – Marsh, Fraser, Heyer, Tey – but I really do want to read them again so I haven’t shelved them on the main shelves. I also picked up that stack of Arcturus Crime Classics from Clouston & Hall a few months ago.

Finally, this is the stack of books on my desk which is meant to indicate that these books are next to be read… I won’t tell you how long some of them have been sitting there. The 6th book from the top does deserve special mention, though. Mary Gaunt’s Kirkham’s Find was republished by Penguin as part of a wonderful series of reprints of Australian women’s novels. They were published in the bicentenary year of white settlement in Australia. For those of you who don’t know when that was, it was in 1988. The book hasn’t been sitting on the desk that long but I did buy it that year so it probably rates as my oldest tbr book. I must read it! It has one of my favourite paintings on the cover, Clara Southern’s An Old Bee Farm, & this is definitely the year I will read it.

So, more reading from the tbr shelves (I haven’t even mentioned library books or ebooks but they don’t take up nearly as much room) & I have a resolution about blogging too. I’d gotten into the habit of posting two reviews a week as well as a poem on Sunday & I’m starting to feel a little constrained by the schedule I’ve set myself. I think it’s stopping me from picking up longer books unless I’m reading them in installments with a reading group because I want to post those two reviews a week. I also subscribe to some lovely magazines & journals which I want to actually read rather than just pile on the coffee table. So, I will try to be less structured this year & post more serendipitously & not worry if there are no posts some weeks because I’m reading Trollope or a big biography. I may put up more cat pictures if the girls are in the mood to pose or photos of my veggie garden which is looking wonderful at the moment – green tomatoes on every plant & the promise of an awful lot of pumpkins (I only have one plant which is taking over the garden, how many do they produce??).

So, that’s it. My reading resolutions for the year, such as they are. I’ll look forward to hearing about everyone else’s resolutions, if you make them, & reading some wonderful books in 2014.

30 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions & Reading Plans

  1. From your “Next to be Read” pile read My Family and Other Animals. Great book that I read aloud to my preteen children quite a few years ago and recently reread. It's a great romp and won't take you very long. READ IT!!

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  2. I am drooling over your shelves, Lyn–many titles that I already love and quite a few that are on my to be read shelves too. I'm almost afraid to ponder my shelves too closely; they do tend to be daunting when examined too closely!

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  3. Your shelf organisation astounds me! It's so pretty, as well as practical – I can never find anything on mine.

    Good luck with reading in 2014 and may I nudge you towards Westwood? Wonderful book when you get round to it. Actually, maybe you should delay the pleasure for as long as possible!

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  4. What a treat it is to look at your shelves! All the best with your resolutions and reading plans. And more photos of Lucky & Phoebe is always a good idea. 🙂 Happy New Year!

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  5. If I didn't have some organisation on the tbr shelves, I'd never find anything! I do want to read more Stella Gibbons so thanks for the recommendation of Westwood, it's just moved up a notch.

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  6. Thanks Michelle. Phoebe is always ready to pose for photos but Lucky is a little more elusive. I'll have to make that one of my resolutions – more photos of Lucky. Happy New Year!

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  7. I'm looking forward to 2014 – my reading plans include finishing a Hardy reading project with some friends – and undertaking a WW1 theme read-along with othe readers and bloggers who belong to a Virago roup on Librarything. I will also be attempting to read the entire 12 novel sequence of Dance to the Music of time – infact I just finished the first one.
    http://heavenali.wordpress.com/reading-challenges-2014/
    I like how you shleve your books with books of the same publisher together – I do that 🙂

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  8. You certainly have lots of lovely books to get through, but as a keen gardener I would love to see some photos of your garden, although it'll make me envious of what you can grow in it, compared with my Scottish garden.

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  9. I read your blog all the time but am a bit of a lurker so haven't commented. Probably because I get your posts in my email so it's a bit more of an effort to comment. I also love Hardy & still have a few of his early novels unread. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on ADTTMOT, I've never read it.

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  10. I'll definitely post some more garden photos, Katrina. My tomatoes are my pride & joy at the moment. Lots of green fruit & I can hardly wait to start eating them!

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  11. I think reading from my shelves (and also the huge pile on the floor) is the way forward for 2014.

    I enjoy blogs which post about all sorts of things and I always look forward to the cat pictures when they want to oblige.

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  12. Well, if I can read that Mary Gaunt novel that I've had since 1988, I'll be happy! I would like to read a few other Australian books. The Text Classics series is wonderful, I've been buying them for my library & we have them as ebooks as well. I have no excuse really.

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