Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! Did you make sure to jot down a bunch of reading resolutions for 2008? (much, much easier to keep than losing weight or saving money). When one's a book rep, it's never about trying to read more (trust me, there's always more to read), but trying to find a balance between work and pleasure reading, not that the former can't be wonderful in its own way. It's an aesthethic quibble; a pile of manuscript pages still needing a final copy-edit never feels as luxurious as an actual book, with creamy paper, a soothing type and a binding that holds all the pages in (elastics are so unreliable!) As Eleanor says, her resolution is, "to finally stop reading a book with the express purpose of booktalking it, and to savour the read more." Saffron just wants to finish the Sunday New York Times before the next one shows up. Susan resolves to buy a restaurant guide and discover some interesting new places to eat and also to haul out some of her cookbooks and host a dinner party. Me, I'm awfully tempted by the Slow Reading Movement, but it just doesn't fit into my professional reading workouts. The only way I can force myself to read slowly is to read in French with the aid of a dictionary. Since I am by no means bilingual, I have to read a sentence slowly and often to get its full meaning. So I'm going to try for three novels completely in French this year. (I'm also learning German, but I'm such a beginner that if I can read a newspaper article with a dictionary by year's end, I'll be ecstatic!).
A lot of my friends now keep reading journals which is a great way to record reading resolutions and fun to look back on at year's end to see where your reading adventures have taken you. A couple of years ago, I assembled a list of tips for beginning one. You can read them here.

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