Surprisingly, for people who spend a minimum of 40 hours a week up-close and personal with books, a lot of us aren't totally comfortable with the status of our relationships. Are we giving our books the care and attention they deserve? Are we reading the books that are right for us, and not just the ones that are convenient, or comforting? When is it okay to say goodbye, and which books are worth pulling through the difficult patches for?
Whether we've decided to deafen our ears to the censure of Book Twitter, or ignore all new releases until we've read through the book tower threatening the order and safety of our bedrooms, the Powell's staff is taking a long, hard look at how to love the books we're with, while getting the ones we want.
My resolutions are threefold: One, to only read books by woman, trans, and nonbinary people, prioritizing books by trans and nonbinary people of color. Two, I am going to focus (as much as possible) on reading books I already own. Three, I am going to allow myself grace if I'm not enjoying a book, and release myself from guilt if I decide not to finish it. — Azalea M.
To read up on Irish mythology, connect to my culture, and learn as much as I can about the magical and mystical; and to read with the purpose of educating myself. — Arianna F.
My resolution is pretty simple — I’m going to challenge myself to read at least 75 pages every single day. I’d like to expand my horizons on a variety of subjects, and to do that, I need to READ MORE! — Adam P.
My goal is always the same, and I always miss it by a few: 40 books outside of those required for classes. This will be the first year I have no classes, so this will be the first year I succeed!
— Tyler D.
My resolution for 2020 is to read all the books I got in 2019. This may take a while as I haven't quite finished the ones I got in 2018... — Fletcher O'H.
My reading life had been taken over by The Tournament of Books and The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award Committee for the last four years. So, now that I have some free time, I'm just going to read whatever the heck I want. I'm not making any plans or resolutions — I'm just grabbing the thing that looks the most interesting. Yay! — Dianah H.
My resolution for 2020 is to read at least one book I already own for every two new (to me) books, with a focus on queer authors and authors of color. If I keep up with this year's pace, that should be about 75 books. — Alice G.
My reading resolution for 2020 is to read more books by newer, post-2000s fantasy authors. The genre has diversified tremendously in the last decade and I'd like to expose myself to voices that are distinct from those of the established greats.
— Thomas B.
This year I'd like to go one for one: for every book I read by a white author, I'm going to read one by an author of color. (Bonus points if the author of color is a woman!) — Carrie K.
My reading resolution for 2020 is to read the Harry Potter
series, again, in its entirety. I've been saying for years I'd like to revisit them since I haven't read the full series since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
was released. In addition to that nostalgic resolution, I'm hoping to read a title from Toni Morrison
, Octavia Butler
, and Roxane Gay
to set the tone for what is sure to be a contentious political year. — Alex Y.
Master of the Senate
by Robert A. Caro. The Passage of Power
as well if I’m feeling ambitious. — Jeff J.
I started out with some very grand and sweeping resolutions, but in the interest of setting realistic goals, I’m getting very specific: I will finally read The Master and Margarita
. I’m also aiming to break my bad habit of “saving” literary journals I subscribe to, and make space for the non-book and non-blog-based reading in my life (starting with McSweeney’s Issue 58: 2040 A.D.
). — Michelle C.
This year I plan to prioritize books of this current moment, of my immediate here and now, so books by PNW-based authors that have been released within the last year or so. — Ariel K.
My reading resolution this year is to be more deliberate about the books I read, making sure that books that catch my attention stay on my list, and that I take the time to enjoy them. The thing I love about our work is that I receive what feels like hundreds of book recommendations from coworkers (in person or through online staff picks
and Top 5s
!) each year that aren't already on my radar, but the downside is that I get easily distracted and forget to circle back to the books I intended to read in the first place. — Kim S.
In the old days, I used to be a monogamous reader and I almost always finished the books I started. These things have flown out the window now that I'm a new book buyer. I constantly find myself reading bits and pieces of many titles all at once and never have the time to finish anything. So my resolution for the New Year is to try to get back to my roots — focus on one title at a time, actually finish all those books I've been meaning to finish, and MAYBE even read some backlist! — Leah C.
As a young reader, I would always dog-ear my books (only paperbacks, though). However, once I became equipped with a Twitter account, I saw the public shaming of dog-ear fans and grew too ashamed to create even the tiniest crease at the top corner of the page. In 2020, bookmark die-hards beware, I will no longer accept this shame and will be living my life wholly, dog-ears and all. — Rachel M.
Some of the best fiction I read in 2019 was by women in translation, so in 2020: more. More literature from a wider array countries and from a greater variety of original languages.
— Keith M.
One of my resolutions for 2020 is to put all my books on shelves. Some of them are in bags, piles, boxes, the backseat of the car... they deserve better! Or to go to a better home where someone will love them properly. — McKenzie M.
I linger in books too long, wanting to prolong a story that I’m enjoying. In 2020 I’d like to read a little faster. My reluctance has been that I won’t find another book that I enjoy as much, but reading ahead into 2020, I already have seven favorite books, so my fears are unfounded. — Aubrey W.
I'd like to read more science and nature writing this year. Every time I settle down with something mind-opening like Braiding Sweetgrass
or this year's Something Deeply Hidden
, I'm surprised by how satisfying it is to join a writer's exploration of the extraordinary world around us, even when the content is challenging. The sense of wonder and possibility these books evoke is a powerful antidote to the despair it's so easy to fall into these days. — Rhianna W.
In 2019 I got so swept up in the vortex of the omnipresent news cycle that political and historical nonfiction dominated my reading life. In 2020 my goal is to balance the polemics with the literary fiction I love, but have been neglecting. — Emily B.