1 January 2019 Susannah

A New Year’s Resolution

New Year's Day postcard mailed in 1909.

According to Wikipedia, the ancient Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions, promising their gods that they would pay their debts and return objects they had borrowed. So … we are following a time-honoured practice when we form a list on the 1st of January that will / might / should modify our behaviour for the rest of the year. Wikipedia also helpfully provides a list of the most commonly made resolutions, but I was extremely shocked to see that the most important one of all was not on there – where, Mr Wikipedia, is the resolution to READ MORE BOOKS??

I have two standard resolutions every year – lose weight and read more. My problem is that they are not especially compatible, though I would get through more audio books if I did more walking in 2019. The other problem is that books, food and wine all combine so beautifully. It is so truly and utterly wonderful to curl up with a crisp dry white wine, a selection of cheeses and a really good book.

Another website suggests that your reading goal for 2019 should be to read a book every month. If that was all I could achieve, I think I’d be badly in need of far more alcohol than is good for me to calm my frazzled nerves. A book a day would be a far healthier resolution for me! The site goes on to say why you should read more – good for the brain, reduces stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, improves your capacity for empathy, gives you a better social life, teaches you so many new things, it can even lower your heart rate and it just makes you a more interesting, intelligent and nicer person. Throw away those video games and gadgets, don’t even think about cleaning the house, pick up a book and get started!

Charles Lamb, the essayist, once said that “New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday”. I hope this one is a good ‘birthday’ for you and that your year is full of books. I’m now off for a long walk to start putting my two resolutions into practice.

Have you made a New Year’s Resolution this year? Have you kept past ones? What’s your favourite reading accompanyment – do you like wine and cheese also? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

  Wikipedia: New Year’s resolution
  Poetry Foundation: Charles Lamb

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Featured image credit- New Year’s Day postcard mailed in 1909. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8887065

Comments (5)

  1. Helen

    Since starting 5:2 (read Eat, Fast and Live Longer, Michael Moseley) 6 years ago, and losing LOTS of weight, I find I read a lot more as disappearing into books is a marvellous distraction from the kitchen and eating when I fast twice a week.
    Happy New Year Susannah, Cheryl and all avid booklovers.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I should get back on to the 5:2 and hope that I’ll also manage more reading. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Malvina Yock

    I love sitting with a nice frothy coffee and a book, to me that is the best accompaniment. Trouble is, coffee and cake often go together, ahem…! But I always resolve to read more each year. I map my books via the website Goodreads, and find this an excellent way to keep track and also discover more statistics about how I’m reading (eg. publication dates, favourite authors, even how many pages read, etc). I have also been entering the ‘Goodreads Reading Challenge’ each year, setting a goal for books read. Each year I’ve made it, yay! This year I set an even number of 100 books to read, 2 a week sounded achievable to me, and I ended up reading 136. The shortest was under 50 pages, the longest was over 1,200 pages. Anyway, this year I want to include War & Peace in my reading, so that’s the most hopeful reading resolution for me for 2019. Happy new year!

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