Bookworm And Reader New Year Resolution Ideas!

It’s that time of year where we almost can’t help ourselves and start making New Year goals and resolutions! I personally love it. But then I also like making lists and having things to tick off and achieve. So January? I am thriving with the goals.

Now as a bookworm, I naturally gravitate to making some of my goals very book-orientated. I’ll pick a amount of books to read in the year, set a Goodreads goal, and absolutely lie to my To-Be-Read pile’s face and say, “Yes! I’ll read you all this year instead of buying new books!” (Hilarious, truly.) But what if you want some different, but still reader centric, goals to set?!

You’re very very lucky. I am here.


  • Try picking an author and promising to read ALL their works! This is a great goal for those of us who say “Oh yes! I love Neil Gaiman” (or someone else) and then proceeding to read like 2 of their 39894 books available. Also it’s entirely fun to immerse yourself on a singular author’s style and see how they grow and change from book to book. Also saying, “Yeah I read 39894 books by Gaiman this year” is pretty hardcore. Look at you GO. (Note: the, um, numbers mentioned here may have been an exaggeration…)
  • Challenge yourself to read several books outside your comfort zone. I personally love comfort zones (I cling to them feverishly ok) but I still think it’s important to stretch yourself. I normally stare suspiciously at memoirs and sci-fi, but I’ve found favourites amongst them! So promising to read a few books a year that I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards is really invaluable.
  • Wage war on the backlist! I don’t know about you, but I’m insufferably addicted to new and shiny books. What’s coming out in 2019?! EVERYTHING AMAZING APPARENTLY. And I end up skipping over equally amazing books who have the misfortune to be published, ah, like 1 to 10 years ago. So! One of my goals for this year is to read more older books. Not necessarily classics. But just books I was excited for years ago but never got to.
  • Reread some childhood favourites. NEVER underestimate the value of the reread! Although sometimes it does lead you to question your childhood tastes…but pfft, that aside, it can be a comforting walk down memory lane, a cosy long-ago remembered dessert, and the reuniting of an old friend!
  • Swap recommendations with some bookworm friends! Have a friend pick some books for you to read, while you pick your favourites for them. Challenge each other and, coincidentally, infiltrate their lives with your favourite books. There is no downside! Unless they hate your favourites and then you must dispose of a body. (KIDDING…maybe.)
  • Set a consistent reading time. The cry of “I have no time to read” is very common for all of us. But it’s ok to make it somewhat of a priority. Obviously you have commitments you can’t ignore (work or family or necromancy practise…I don’t know…whatever people do), but even setting aside 20 minutes a day as sacred reading time can really help. Or prioritise it over watching a movie or scrolling twitter. Don’t turn reading into a chore! But there is such comfort in getting a few chapters done every day. 10/10 would recommend.

Review – WANTED! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar

Wanted Ralfy Rabbit It is wise to start a new year on a positive note. Many begin with a resolution. A new book excites me. But how do you choose the perfect title that will not only entertain and enthral but also convince you to pick up another, again and again? Best to begin with a tale of intrigue, mystery, and devil-may-care with a convincing love story involving passion and redemption. Happily, I found such a (picture book) tale so began the New Year with Ralfy the Rabbit!

Ralfy has a touch of OCD. He likes making lists and is a bit of an over-sharer all because he harbours a passion that runs deeper than a need for carrots. Ralfy loves books. In fact, he can’t get enough of them.

And, as some obsessions are wont to become, Ralfy’s soon evolves into one of criminal dimensions. Ralfy can’t stop taking other people’s books in order to satisfy his need to read.

It appears Ralfy’s bibliophilic book thief existence is unstoppable until he meets Arthur, who also loves books and becomes more than a little agitated by the loss of his favourite title. Unable to curb his lust for books, Ralfy is finally nabbed by PC Puddle. At first, Arthur rejoices but then sympathises with the bookworm in Ralfy.

Emily MacKenzieHow can Arthur save Ralfy from imprisonment and cure his burglary tendencies without curtailing his lifelong love? Tune into author illustrator, Emily MacKenzie’s Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar to find out.

MacKenzie’s bouncy picture book text and adorable crayon/watercolour illustrations give wonderful insight into the heart and soul of would-be criminal, Ralfy. Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, demonstrates to young readers how two very different people can find unity because of a shared common passion and, in this case, become best (book) buddies.

I love how Wanted!… ultimately celebrates books and unashamedly encourages reading at every level, on almost every page. One can’t help but giggle at Ralfy’s’ expansive To Read, Read and Favourites Lists which include some time honoured literary masterpieces such as: A Hutch with a View, Warren Peas and The Hoppit.

the children who loved booksThe Bush Book ClubLike several other picture books before it, namely: The Children Who Loved Books, It’s a Book, Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books, I Love You Book, and Bush Book Club, Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar embraces the literal physicality of books and re-establishes the importance of the havens that show case them (libraries for instance) by subtly emphasising their significance in our world. Ultimately, a book about loving words and libraries and treasuring the worlds they harbour.

This one is definitely going on my Favourites List. Fantastic reading for 5 – 8 year olds and five out of five carrots from me!

Bloomsbury Publishing January 2015


New Year’s Reading Resolutions

Love & Terror on the Howling Plains to NowhereI’m pretty dismissive of new year-related resolutions—they’re too superficial and too fleetingly discarded. I’m more of the mind that you should set your goals and refresh yourself on them daily. That’s what I do. And yes, I understand if you want to slap me. What a prattish, self-congratulatory thing to say.

But I will admit I am using the impending new year to add a two-part goal to the list—one I’m a bit annoyed and ashamed I even have to add.

And no, it’s not lose a bajillion kilograms and get fit and toned. That’s a perennial. It’s that I need to make time to read (see below for the books I’m thinking I should start with and please feel free to suggest any).

I’ve read very few books for pleasure this past 18 months, which is entirely out of character for me—I’ll hands down always choose a night in with a book over any party.

I’ve been excusing away the not reading by saying I’m swamped with reading for study. That’s partly true. And yet it’s not. These days I spend an inordinate time reading, perusing, generally going into the black hole that is the internet and social media.

The Paying GuestsEven that is for work and study—when I’m not trying to eke out a living as a writer, I work as a social media strategist.

Meanwhile my thesis is exploring how author–activists may use tools such as social media to better tell such issues as climate change. So yes, I need to spend time wading through the quagmire of hyperlinked-to-the-hilt social media.

But I spend too much time doing so. I’m on there even when there’s nothing to read. I’m reading things I really, really don’t need to.

And my attention span has been whittled to a time so short I’m guess it’s around the minute mark, if that. This from someone who used to lose herself to reading without raising her eyes or shifting about for what was probably hours.

I can’t even count how many times I scurried off to check social media in the time it’s taken me to write this article. It was—no exaggeration—probably each time I finished writing a sentence. And that isn’t counting the times I hit the Facebook icon to refresh the feed even when there wasn’t anything to refresh.

I’m not going to say the internet and social media are ruining the world—quite the contrary if they’re used well. I’m just saying I’m not using them well and have instead allowed them to overtake and eat away at me.

I’m particularly worried about what this means for my concentration span in the short term (Think how much of my silly thesis I could have written by now if my attention span wasn’t these days my enemy!), but also my reading long term.

Animal LiberationI used to read at every available opportunity: in a quiet moment, on public transport, and to send myself to sleep—although when it was a particularly gripping book, it often did the opposite of helping me drift off.

But I digress.

Now, I not only don’t carry books with me—not physical ones and not even electronic ones on an iPad, despite the fact that both are readily available—I rarely read them at home. Every ‘spare’ moment is possessed with using social media. I even, I’m ashamed to admit, Pinterest myself to sleep.

While I’m a huge advocate for social media—it offers author–activists, in particular, some fantastic boons in terms of connecting with audiences and getting our socially and environmentally minded messages out—I’m also aware I’m these days not using social media to best effect.

So, my resolution is to spend less—a lot less—time on social media specifically and the internet more broadly this coming year. I don’t mean go away from it altogether. I simply mean being savvy about my usage.

This Changes EverythingWhether that means limiting it to a couple of times a day or only on my phone or using block-out tools such as Freedom or removing the social media apps from my phone or simply turning off the internet at the wall in my home…I don’t yet know.

Either way, I’m putting it in writing so I can be called on it this time next year: I through that in 2015 aim both read more books and to wrestle my attention span back.

Books I’m thinking I should start with including (any suggestions welcome):