Friday, January 2, 2015

Reading Resolutions Start at the Library

It’s the last week of December so, like all die-hard idealists, I’m thinking about New Year’s resolutions. (I haven’t actually made any – I’m only thinking about them.)

I could lose weight… or I could start my taxes early… or I could clean out my sons’ closet…

One of the problems with resolutions is that, after you’ve made several years’ worth, you know that setting the bar too high pretty much guarantees failure. Which is no fun. Another problem is that most of us are even more serious and responsible with our resolutions than we are with our To-Do lists, and if we are conscientious, we end up having even less fun than we otherwise would. We watch our kids curl up with a book on a snow day, and wish we could do the same. We look at Ken Follett’s latest epic, and tell ourselves we’ll wait until he finishes the trilogy. [He’s finished.] We make lists of books to read ‘when we have time.’

Only we never have extra time.

So maybe we should flip New Year’s Resolutions around: make some willpower-required, socially approved resolutions – maybe two or three – and then focus the rest on fun.

The library can help.

For instance, if you have always wanted to learn more about music, we have lots of DVDs and CDs and books.
Watch Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary. Catch up on musicals you’ve missed. See the award winners before the awards ceremonies. Share your favorites with your kids.
Music CDs? We have Billie Holiday, and Elvis, and the Rolling Stones.

We have just as many materials related to art, or hobbies, or travel.

Make a reading resolution, for the fun of it. You can always set a goal you’re pretty much guaranteed to meet. Commit to half an hour a day, or fifteen minutes, or even five. Steal the time to read from chores, or television, or social media. We have lots of books to choose from: funny books and scary books, page-turners and classics, books about weighty, important topics, and guilty pleasures.

Check out this blog for new possibilities. Every week, three New Fiction titles will be featured.
This week’s titles are:

In the summer of 1964, Ibby’s mother sends her, and the urn containing her father’s ashes, to her grandmother’s New Orleans mansion, where she meets Queenie, the cook, and Queenie’s daughter Dollbaby.

The title says it all. Read the stories, then check out some of the movies they inspired: Captain Blood, The Mark of Zorro, or The Adventures of Robin Hood.

When a divorced London mother with three sons inherits a 300 year old mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast, she’s not sure she wants everything else that comes with it.

So come on in, and check out something just for you. Because that closet can always wait until the kid leaves for college. Or the kid can clean it. While you sit back with a cup of coffee and a good book. Because who wants to wait to have fun?