Unfinished reads: A New Year’s Resolution

It’s funny thinking about everything that did and did not happen in 2016. To be completely honest, I don’t actually remember what my 2016 Resolution was, besides “Learn all the lyrics to ‘Alexander Hamilton’ from Hamilton.” I completed that one in about two weeks, and then named that as one of my best qualities in a job interview.

I’m a great goal-setter.

Looking at the last year and the Goodreads account that taunts me with “See how many books you read in 2016!” and “You finished five books and averaged 200 pages!” and “Your goal was 12 books!” – something does not add up.

I have a really bad habit of starting books, telling people about a fascinating story…. and then never finishing the very subject of a 700 word blog post. I like jumping from story to story in an instant.

It’s a little embarrassing, though, when you’re a fast reader who takes months to finish a novel.

So here’s my list of the books I started in 2016 that I WILL finish in 2017.

  • Richard III  by William Shakespeare
  • Henry IV, Part 3 by William Shakespeare
  • Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  • Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • The Warrior’s Life by Alfred de Vigny

If that seems like a short list, that’s because I’m all about achievable goals.

I’ll finish those five books for sure. Let’s also add five more to my resolution list for good measure.

Part of the problem is that when I finish one book in a certain genre, I feel like I need to replace it in my list. I read Harry Potter et la chambre des secrets recently and now I feel like I need to start another French language book before I can finish anything vaguely Romantic.

The other problem comes when two or three of your books are too close to the same writing style or genre (remind me why I’m reading two Shakespearean histories at the same time?). Too many sad war stories in one book, and then you’re stuck in a sad war scene in another. Or your poet is getting a little too melodramatic.

I have a book in my car, one by my bed, one by my desk, another by my table, and another in the hall. The sixth read, the new French one, would probably also live in my car for the days when I don’t want to read English on my lunch break.

I’m going to actually finish these plays, novels, and memoirs before opening that really interesting French Sherlock Holmes book I picked up this week or the George Eliot novel that Poe Party inspired me to read.

My second resolution is to update my blog more. That takes scheduling and reading. Too little of either, and I find myself on Friday evening, too tired from work to put words into sentences.

2017 will be the year that I read more books and compose more words.

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