New Year’s Resolution #1: Read More for Pleasure

This is the last in my countdown of New Year’s resolutions.

Number 5: Learn Something New 

Number 4: It’s Ok to Say No

Number 3: Ask for Help

Number 2: Get Moving

I love to read. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. I consistently read above my grade level thanks to my parents encouragement of my love of books. 

Then grad school happened. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, academic reading and writing trumped reading for pleasure. Then my professional career. Then kids. Then… life. And, I kid you not, over the last 10 years, I’ve probably read two books a year that were totally and completely for my own pleasure. Half of those were probably audio books. I’ve read trade books, professional books, academic texts, too many blogs and articles to count… but reading for pleasure has definitely taken a backseat.

In the last five years, I’ve learned that I need input. In fact, it’s one of my top five strengths in the StrengthsFinder system. In crave input. I need it to feel strong and confident in my work. I’ve relied on the input from business, trade and academic press, but reading for fun is also part of that.

(You can learn more about how I feel about StrengthsFinder here. The short answer is that I love it.)

This quote from Stephen King, who often writes about writing, also resonates with me. I’m a writer. Strong writing is widely the number one skill required of a public relations professional.  I’m working on a book and I (quite literally) write sun up to sun down in my day-to-day work.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ― Stephen King

Stephen King Writing Quote

So, I miss reading. I miss losing myself in a book, staying up too late to read one more chapter, crying into the pages or laughing out loud at a great scene.

To incorporate any new anything into my routine, it has to be convenient. I love the printed page and a physical book, but I have no problem with e-books. I have both a dedicated e-reader and a tablet.

I thought about it a lot and realized that I nearly always have my tablet with me. So I needed to find a way to use my tablet. The options for reading on it are vast! Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks will let you buy nearly any book that’s available on the shelf for their respective platforms. In addition, the “Netflix” model of reading has resulted in a couple of apps that allow you to read an unlimited number of books for a monthly fee — Oyster ($9.99/mo) and Scribd ($8.99/mo).

I’ve subscribed to both to see which seems to be a better fit (I like the interface of Oyster better, so far). I also have books on my Kindle app that aren’t available via the subscription services.

Oyster Books Screenshot
My Oyster reading list: historical fiction, young adult, humor, essays.

My goal is to read a book a month. I’ve read one so far, a fun young adult fiction novel. Now to decide what’s next. Any recommendations? What do you read for fun?

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