If having a books resolution sounds a little insane, I feel you. But here you are, reading a book blog, so there’s that. And anyway, I like to think of resolutions as flexible guidelines, ideas that influence choices, rather than unbreakable rules. Perhaps the mere act of thinking about how you’d like to improve or change your reading life will help you think about it differently.
So, what if you resolved to contact authors and writers when you read something you love?
We all love getting fan mail. And I’m not talking about the fan mail where you have to have your burly Marine friend pay the sender a late-evening visit, but the good kind — the kind that makes you smile and renews your faith in people and burns 100 calories all at once.
I’ve been doing this for years. I remember the day I was so enthralled with Lauren Grodstein’s fantastic novel, The Monsters of Templeton, that I called in sick to a former job. When I finished the book, I immediately went online, figured out how to contact her, and sent her an email telling her just what I’d done with my day, and how much her book meant to me. She replied, and I smiled, my faith renewed in people, and burned 100 calories at once, because that’s good karma.
Since then, I do this as often as I can. It never “goes anywhere” — I haven’t been sent autographed first editions, or invited to any private launch parties, or recommended to anyone’s agent — but that’s not the point, is it? I don’t even use my blog email address, because it’s not about the blog, or even me.
It’s about telling someone they made a difference in my life. That’s all I want any resolution to be.
*I started this particular category of resolution last year. Inspired by a friend’s 100 Great Books project, I made my own list of 98 books I wanted to read. Why I couldn’t make it to 100 might have something to do with why I’ve only finished 9, but that’s another tale for another therapist’s couch. This time around, I’m resolving to read more of the books I own and fewer from the public library. As soon as I finish emitting a keening wail, I’ll figure out why the hell I chose to do this. So, you know, it’ll be awhile.