Reading Resolution

(For some reason, that title makes me think of Reading Rainbow…)

I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, and hardly ever on New Year’s Eve or Day.  But a few weeks into this new year, I have decided that I want to read more books.  One one level this is not a difficult resolution.  I typically only read a handful of books each year anyway, so if I were to read one book a month, I’d be reading more.  However, on another level, it is a difficult resolution, because of my propensity to prefer the enjoyment of movies, TV shows, and video games over reading a book.

A very good website I belong to called Goodreads has a 2011 Reading Challenge, where I have challenged myself to read 25 books.  It is a small number compared to the average of per person of 74 books.  But I set the bar low because of what I plan on reading.  I’m going to try to dive into some classics.  I’ve only read one book by Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea) and John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men).  I’ve never read anything by Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy.  I’ve never read William Faulkner or Alexander Dumas.  I want to get back into some classical writers like Homer and Ovid.  In addition to the classics, I also intend to read more of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, no small task.  Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series interests me too.  In addition to these books I’ll probably read one or two books through the course of my small group Bible study (I believe we are supposed to be tackling one of my favorite books, Mere Christianity, at some point this year).  I’d like to read Flannery O’Connor for the first time this year.  And Madeleine L’Engle is an author who somehow eluded me growing up.  I’d like to at least start her Wrinkle in Time series. 

I think I may also want to re-read a few books I fell in love with back in high school.  Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm captivated me like few books did in high school, and I’d like to revisit them at some point.  I also need to give The Catcher in the Rye a fair shake as I merely skimmed it back in high school.  Catch-22 is a book that I’m attempting to tackle at some point this year as well, but I am already a few chapters in and am not thrilled with it so far.  I’ve had other books recommended to me, like The Scarlet Letter, which I need to give another shot too, like Catcher

So the plan is that by announcing these intentions in a blog, some of my friends will be able to keep me to my task.  And that I will be able to keep myself to what I have charged myself to do.


3 thoughts on “Reading Resolution

  1. wwcutie says:

    Reading Rainbow reference: the UVa Art Museum has a collection of Warhol photographs on display right now. They’re mainly goofy polaroids – photo-booth style – and a bunch of black and white snapshots from parties. LeVar Burton was in one of them, and I shouted out, “The guy from that reading show! And Star Trek TNG!”

  2. Kelsey says:

    That is a good resolution Ken! I like the website that you referenced. I need to also do this because all I read is professional books and they are often horrible. I need to find books that inspire me to read again. I really want to read the Mark Twain Autobiography and I like revisiting the classics because I do feel they would be better read as an adult. Good luck!!

  3. fhelvie says:


    If you’re going after Faulkner, I HIGHLY recommend “Go Down, Moses.” I had to speed read it for my doctoral program and I’m probably going to reread it later as the more I mentally processed the book, the more I grew to appreciate it. The first 50 pages or so are a little difficult as Faulkner doesn’t really give context to the family history he launches the reader into, but once the story gets underway, it begins to click. I know, I know–The Sound and the Fury is supposed to be his masterpiece, but I honestly believe this one is some of the absolute finest American writing I’ve encountered.

    And if you haven’t tackled it yet… go for Moby Dick. There are some rough chapters–particular those documenting the *science* whales (centology, I believe it how he refers to it as being understood), but the book is epic in every sense of the word, and is arguably THE greatest American novel to date.

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