It’s the start of a new year and a popular time to evaluate routines and set new goals. If your reading practice is ready for a reboot, we’ve got you covered with nine suggested “reading resolutions” to expand your mind (and your library) in 2020.
1. Try a genre you don’t often read
It's common to fall prey to habit, and we all have our go-to book genres, but why not shake up your reading by trying something new? You don't have to venture far, for example, if you usually lean towards speculative fiction, consider a science non-fiction title. Are you a historical fiction fan? Try fulfilling your desire to enter another time and place through fantasy. We have the perfect book to get you started: The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter.
2. Read Canadian
Reading about a place we know can be exciting, but there's also much about the land and the people who live on it that can reveal perspectives different from our own. With so many Canadian authors on bookshelves today, there's no shortage of stories from diverse formats and perspectives. Within our own borders, you can find fascinating and unexpected stories, such as immigrant experiences expressed though poetry, Indigenous folklore in graphic novels, collections of queer essays and much more. A great start to celebrate #CanLit is with Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline, which was named Indigo's Best Book of 2019.
3. Learn something new
Non-fiction is an excellent way to learn something new and there's a plethora of forms in which to enjoy it. There's journalism, memoirs, biographies, essays and more - including a 500 page exploration of the mosquito! It's fun to learn about the real world and the lives of the people with whom we share it. Dirty Work: My Gruelling, Glorious, Life-Changing Summer In The Wilderness by Anna Maxymiw can get you started on your non-fiction adventure.
4. Try a new format
Poetry, short story collections, anthologies, plays and so on. There are so many different ways to enjoy a great story, whether it's a three-lined poem or a 300-page novel! We suggest Souvankham Thammavongsa's Cluster, a poetry collection that explores meaning. What better way to try a "meaningful" new experience?
5. Relive your childhood
The genres of kidlit, children's fiction and young adult (aka YA) are experiencing a heyday in publishing. Although intended for young audiences, readers of all ages can enjoy these stories. Share the reading experience with the little ones in your life, or read with the freedom of knowing that it's okay to hoard books like The Hunger Games all to yourself. Just don't be fooled by their packaging! The themes and subjects explored in these books can often pack a punch. For example, SK Ali's Love From A to Z follows two Muslim teens as they navigate the adult world of Islamophobia, illness and love.
6. Dive into visual storytelling
A picture is worth a thousand... you know what we're getting at. Comics and graphic novels are as interesting, moving and diverse as prose, with a variety of genres to choose from. If reading has become difficult to get into, or you need to switch things up between novels, comics can help you flex a different reading muscle. Author Vivek Shraya wrote her first graphic novel with artist Ness Lee, called Death Threat.
7. Pledge to read a page a day
Whether it's on the transit, before bed, during your lunch break, or during another block of stolen time, we challenge you to make reading a daily habit this year. Sometimes all it takes to form a routine is to take it little by little. You can do this!
8. Share your thoughts
Reading is usually viewed as a solitary experience, but it doesn't have to be. Whether by expressing how much you loved the writing, or diving deep into the topics it raised, or even by criticizing its merits, books get us talking. This year, resolve to expand your network of bibliophiles (and bookshelf) by joining a book club or engaging with online communities. You may find reading to be even more enjoyable with company!
9. Meet an author
Take it from us, there's nothing like getting your book signed or being in a room with fellow readers to hear an author discuss their process live and in person. Give it a try, by attending a book event, such as an interview, panel discussion, reading or book signing, in your local community. There are many opportunities to meet writers here at TIFA and at other events across the country.