Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Today is the last day of 2013 which means I’m supposed to get all sentimental and retrospective.  You know, look back at what this year has meant to me and plan how I’ll improve as a person in 2014. 

Frankly, I’m just not into resolutions.  There has only been one time in my life that I kept a resolution and it was to learn how to make a clicking noise with my tongue (I was in college and we were bored on New Year’s Eve).  Since it took me all of a couple weeks to master, I was able to keep that one (no long term commitment there).  Before and after that one I have tried many a year to make and keep a New Year’s Resolution with no success and here is the thing- Albert Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” and I think the resolution thing falls flat into that category.

Ask anyone who works in any kind of weight loss or exercise facility and they will tell you that January is always busy, but it dies back down by February.  So this falling down on resolutions is universal.  

So now that I’m off that soap-box… here’s what I am having fun doing this New Year’s Eve – I’m looking back at all the books I’ve read.  Looking back at my Amazon.com records I have bought 93 books in 2013.  I know that I have never bought a book without at least starting it, but if I guestimate that I did not finish 10% of those that leaves me having read about 83 full books (not including any I read twice).  Sounds like a good year to me. 

But here’s where I find it sad:  according to libraries.pewinternet.org
  • 7% of Americans ages 16 and older read one book in the previous 12 months
  • 14% had read 2-3 books in that time block
  • 12% had read 4-5 books in that time block
  • 15% had read 6-10 books in that time block
  • 13% had read 11-20 books in that time block
  • 14% had read 21 or more books in that time block
I find this sad for 2 reasons: #1 that is a ridiculous number of people to have read only 1 book in the past year and #2 they didn’t even ask if people had read more than 21 books.  How am I supposed to measure myself… I know there are others out there who have read as much as me, but how many?  Our public library did a “Read 2 Million” pages goal this summer to get people reading.  They asked people to log how many pages they had read.  Sadly our small town did not read 2 million, but I understand it was way over 1 mil.  In the spirit of fun they posted the 10 top readers on a board that was updated weekly.  I never made the top 10.  So where are these amazing people who read 2x-3x as much as I do?

I guess my point is this:  I don’t expect people to read as much as me (most people have other interests), but I do think it’s time that we stopped making excuses for not reading.  According to the research above 33% of Americans have read less than 6 books a year and 25% have read none!  That’s less than one book EVERY OTHER MONTH!!  We can do better than that!  I say our New Year’s Resolution should be to encourage reading… in everyone, but especially our children.  I want all our children to have the same response that my daughter just did when reading this over my shoulder:  “That’s SAD!”  They are missing out on so many other worlds and lives.  

SO GET READING!!!  I dare anyone to out-read me in 2014 (seriously I would LOVE to have someone comment on this or any other post that they have read more… that would be so cool!)


  1. This is a thought provoking post. I'm making a resolution to read more books this year and to read less online. Of course, I'll definitely keep reading your blog!

    1. Thank you for the continued reading of my blog. I'm glad I have inspired you to read more! That is my best hope for this blog... to inspire others to read books!