Booktopia’s Caroline Baum reveals her New Year’s Reading Resolutions for 2013

by |January 1, 2013

I like making resolutions. Lots of them, so that if I fail at most of them, I still have a few achievable ones in reserve. It’s part of being an over achieving list-aholic.

While everyone else probably wants to try and read more books it is the perverse nature of my job that makes me think it might be a good idea for me to try and read fewer books, more discerningly, bingeing less, savouring more. I doubt it will happen, but it’s an aspiration. Here are a few other ideas. Let me know how you go.

New Year’s Reading Resolutions

I will read one classic (and no that’s not the same as vintage clothing, which is anything that is more than ten years old. I mean something by one of the greats you’ve been avoiding since school or university. For me the challenge will be Proust)

I will read one poem every month (not the kind you find in a greeting card. If you want to read a poem who writes about real life, try Les Murray, or the American Billy Collins, who writes about trying to give up smoking.)

I will wake up fifteen minutes earlier so I can read in the mornings, instead of when I am a zombie at night (anyone with kids has a dispensation from this one, as it’s simply impossible, even during holidays).

I will read the book BEFORE I see the film especially when it comes to The Great Gatsby (and, for that matter, Midnight’s Children, The Life of Pi, Anna Karenina)

I will read one thing outside my comfort zone or read one thing from a genre I have a prejudice against (for me it’s sci-fi-/fantasy and I just cannot crack it. I also don’t get the whole vampire thing, though I really have tried)Click here to buy...

I will not cheat and read the ending before I get to it. (I’d love a psychologist to explain this behaviour)

I will not spoil other readers’ pleasure by giving away crucial plot details in conversation, no matter how enthusiastic, indignant or intoxicated I am

I will not be a book snob: I won’t put down someone because I think their taste in books is trashier than mine (guilty as charged, but I am working on it.)

I will return any book I borrow in perfect condition. If I dropped it in the bath or spilt coffee or wine on it, I will buy a new copy to replace it.

I will not crack the spines of books unless they belong to me (Sorry, but I  like that sound, it’s like the noise of the book surrendering itself)

I will not show up to reading group without having read the book for three months in a row ( a personal bugbear and a complaint I hear from reading group members all the time)

I will not give up on a book because I don’t like/can’t identify with the central character. What kind of a pathetic excuse is that? (Do you have to like Raskolnikov to appreciate Crime and Punishment? Unpleasant characters are all too human and so much more interesting in their complexity)

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I will give away books I don’t intend to reread once I have read them to my local library or to a community book drive or charity

I will reread something I loved as a child /adolescent so that I can enjoy it all over again and rediscover my original joy at discovering it

I will leave a book in a public place for someone to find as a surprise ( to find out more about this, go to

If I never read fiction, I will give it a go (yes, I am talking to you guys : I keep hearing men say they don’t read novels.

If I only read fiction, I’ll try some non-fiction for a change (now this is one one I often hear from women)

I will read something written by an Australian author (no sense of duty there, but because there’s such great local talent to discover. 2012 saw a bumper crop.)

I won’t get hung up on technology (really, it does not matter what the delivery system is, whether it’s a tablet or on paper, it’s the writing that counts.)

What are your Reading Resolutions for 2013?

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  • Walter Renfrey

    January 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Came across your blog today. Loved the words “I will read something written by an Australian author”. As a debut Australian author, I would love to send you a paperback copy of my new children’s fantasy adventure. Interested?

  • January 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I love this blog. My resolution this year is:

    I will read mostly in English because I want my English to be more fluent. I read too much Swedish crime right now.

    I will read something written by an Australian author because I want to open up my mind and read something different.

    I will read a book from every continent.

    I will read one poem every month and I am going to try Tomas Tranströmer. If he got the Nobel Prize he should bee good, or?

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