One Year Later: My Resolution to Read More

At the beginning of 2019, I made a resolution to read more. I wrote about it here.

My original goal was to read 3 books a month, or 36 books for the year. I quickly revised that to 24-30 books, and I ended the year up with 25 books read.

About halfway through the year, I thought I was going to reach my original goal, but toward the end of summer, my reading dropped way off for no real reason that I can identify. But 25 books in a year is more than I’ve read in a long time – maybe ever – so I’m so glad I set the goal.

I kept track of the books that I read on this Pinterest board. The visual element of Pinterest works for me; I love being able to see the cover of every book I’ve read in a year in one place.

Here are some of the books I read in 2019 that especially stood out to me.

I re-read one of my childhood favorites, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler in anticipation of my trip to New York and a visit to The Met. It was just as fun as I remembered.

I recently finished Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow. Initially, I wasn’t interested in reading an entire book about Harvey Weinstein and his ilk but I kept hearing such amazing things about the book (and I’m a big Ronan Farrow fan) so I ended up picking it up. Catch and Kill is less about the abusers (although that’s in there obviously) and more about what Ronan went through to get the stories and his fight to be able to tell them (spoiler alert: NBC doesn’t come off looking good).

Lilac Girls was difficult reading due to the subject matter (women in a WW2 concentration camp) but had the biggest impact on me of any book I read this year. I found myself thinking about the (real-life) characters long after I was done with the book, and spent time looking up more information on them, especially Caroline Ferriday. I also appreciated reading about the Polish experience in WW2, something I didn’t know a lot about.

Since having a “read more” goal was so rewarding for me in 2019, I’m keeping it in place for 2020. I’m keeping my goal at 24-30 books, but pushing for the upper end of the range this year.

I’ve got my new Pinterest board set up and I’ll report back here from time to time about what I’m reading.

Are you making any resolutions for 2020? Reading anything good? I’d love to hear about it.

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  1. Great job Julie! I wanted to finish as many as I had in 2018 (31), but I came in at 30. A few years ago I began allowing myself to not finish books, and I had 5 DNFs this year.

    My lag was in the fall, I started watching Marvelous Mrs Maisel on Amazon and Outlander on Netflix and that chewed into my reading time, but I’ve paused that and got to reading again. This week I’ll finish The Lager Queen of Minnesota and I’m really enjoying it!

    My book club meets next week and it’s David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers. I think I might just skip it! That’s unheard of for me, but I’m just not up for that book right now. I’ll go to be with my book club friends, but I don’t think I’ll read the book! We’ll see how I feel after I finish this book.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Eileen, there are so many good things to binge on TV and that can definitely eat into reading time! And tackling a David McCullough when you’ don’t feel up to it is a big ask. His books are excellent but take some commitment! Enjoy your book club either way.

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