Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Steven's 2015 Reading Resolutions

Hello internet, this is Jessica's eye candy, Steven (Button). She's protesting that sentence right now, but it's staying. Anywho, in my classic way of handling responsibility, I decided that as we wrap up the first week of the new year I should probably make my resolutions. Apart from eating better (better pizza, that is), running again (as in running a Minecraft server), and forcing myself to stay optimistic about Star Wars Episode VII, I've worked up ten resolutions about reading and writing.

So here it is, 2015's reading/writing resolutions:

1) Read thirty-six books: Jessica read thirty-five books last year, and since we're in a healthy relationship I need to beat her. That came out wrong. I need to outdo her. Last year I think I read maybe four books, two of which are in the Song of Ice and Fire series, so I need to kick it into gear. Since I'm only taking four credits this semester and about twelve in the fall I have more time to read (provided I can find the strength to pry myself away from Skyrim).

2) Read a series: I've been blundering through A Song of Ice and Fire for the last two years, and one thing I love about reading a series is falling in love with the characters. I haven't really read a series since I finished Harry Potter, but what makes them so special is the utter sadness you feel when the saga comes to a close. That may sound weird, but when you fall in love with characters it's hard to leave them, even though the pain you feel when you say goodbye is part of life. As Kermit the Frog said in A Muppets Christmas Carol, "Life is made up of meetings and partings," and I really want to find a series that hurts to part with.

3) Find a new author: When people ask me who my favorite author is I always default to Stephen King for two reasons: A) He's a really great writer that I'd love to be like, and B) I don't read enough to know anyone else. I want to find an author that can make me forget the world while I read his/her story. With any luck it'll be a rather unknown author so I can be pretentious and brag about my obscure tastes while pushing my glasses up my nose.

4) Read an absolutely, amazingly, awe-inspiringly terrible book: Think about the worst book you ever tried to read. Now imagine if that book was written by that one punk in your middle school class that sat at the back of the room and flicked his boogers at people. Then imagine in addition to him being the author, it was edited by that one pretentious guy who sat in the front row of your college humanities course and argued with the professor every chance he got. And if that isn't all too much for you, throw in some of the worst stereotypes and cliches imaginable (half-naked jocks high-fiving, a loose cannon cop who doesn't play by the rules, anything involving guys in leather jackets, etc.). I want to read a book that's even worse than that. They say (whoever "they" are) that all writers should read a terrible book so they know what not to do, and I want to go all out.

5) Read a graphic novel: At first I wasn't going to include this on my list because I've read many graphic novels, but then I realized I've never read a graphic novel that didn't have A) Batman, B) Spiderman, or C) something so nerdy high school boys pretend they don't know what it is when girls are around. So, while I do love Peter Parker from the bottom of my heart, I figure I should branch out and check out a graphic novel that isn't about men in spandex superheroes.

6) Read some classics: There was a period of time when all I read were classics, and while the experience was enjoyable, it was also exhausting. I wasn't sure if I wanted to admit that on my book blog since I'm all about being condescending, but it's true. Reading too many classics all at once can be tiring if you aren't truly in love with older literature. Don't get me wrong, I really love my classics, but while some people enjoy nothing but books like Pride and Prejudice and Age of Innocence, I need a break every now and then. Still, if I'm going to write, I want to learn from writers much better than me.

7) Read a fan-fiction story: Brace yourself, kiddos, I've never read fan-fiction before. There's a really unfair stigma about fan-fiction that all of it is either written by people who can't write or who just really want to see Hermione and Luna get freaky while Moaning Myrtle cries in the corner. Personally, I think that's a stupid stereotype; fan-fiction is an awesome way for budding writers to branch out and practice their skills in the comfortable setting of a story they love. And I mean, let's be real, who hasn't thought about what Star Wars would be like if it was rated R?

8) Read A book Jessica recommends: Did you catch that, Jess? A book. A book. Not twenty, not fifteen, not even ten. Just A book. I write this because when I told her about this resolution she was munching on a cookie or something and held up ten fingers. No, Jess, not ten books. Still, I know what books she likes but the only ones I've read were The Fault in Our Stars and Delirium. So, being the star boyfriend I am, I've decided that I want to read ONE of her recommendations. Who knows, maybe I'll super-boyfriend after reading it and read another, but for now it's just the one.

9) Read a nonfiction book: I love stories. I love telling them, reading them, listening to people several beers under try to narrate them, they're something I'll never tire of. Therefore, I've always shied away from nonfiction as if it has super-cooties. When I think of nonfiction I think of a book heavier than most third-graders with a boring white cover and a picture of Abraham Lincoln looking at me condescendingly with big blue letters saying something like "DEFENDING THE NATION" or "THE MAN BEHIND THE BEARD." I know that isn't fair, and that I'm judging the nonfiction genre by its cover (pun-intended), so I want to give it a chance. I'd just rather not read about Abraham Lincoln. Not because I'm against him, heavens no, love the hat and all that jazz, but because I'm tired of the way he looks at me like he's disappointed I haven't filed my taxes yet or something.

10) Write a novel: Yep. Right now I have all these ideas in my head that I'd love to write about, but since I'm still so new to writing I'm afraid to put them onto paper. I keep thinking "Oooo! That idea will give me a million bucks! Better not write it until I don't suck!" But, to quote a redditor that called me out on this, I need to sacrifice my amazing ideas on the "alter of suckitude" before I can call myself a writer. I know he/she is right but it bugs me. I love my ideas, I love them so much I don't want to write them. Still, once they're written I'll probably realize that they weren't that great to begin with, and with some experience and a few more pizzas under my belt I can finally call myself an author once it's done. Also, if I write a book I can finally tell people at Thanksgiving that I actually did something with my life besides watching three seasons of Doctor Who in one day.

So internet, there it is. My ten reading/writing resolutions. Later in the week (if I can stop watching The Clone Wars on Netflix long enough) I'll post a TBR for this year.

That said, what are your reading/writing resolutions for this year?


  1. I am reading the book called "Martian" and it is totally different than any other book I have read. I am in chapter 4 and I love the book already. Enjoyed the post, thought it was funny. I hope you finish all ten resolutions, it will be a good read to see how it all goes!

    1. Is that book about an astronaut stranded on Mars? If so, I've added that to my TBR list.

  2. I just read Dreamwalker by Clare Broyles and her mother. An excellent children's book (and good for adults too)

    1. Hm, never heard of it. I'll have to check it out, thanks!

  3. I have a series suggestion-Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

    1. I've heard a lot about that series but have never read it. I'll have to check it out, thanks!