At two weeks into 2018, you might think that the excitement of New Year’s resolutions would be slowly fading away, especially as our workday routines sink back in after Christmas. But through social media and on TV and radio, the chant of ‘new year, new me’ is still very much resonating with the general public, still a constant topic of conversation.
For me, any sort of New Year’s resolution resembles an attempt to not be too tired to settle down with a good ol’ page-turner before going to sleep. In fact, this resolution seems to come round more often than I’d like, but thankfully, that seems to happen for most other people too. The more people I speak to, and from what I hear on the radio as I drive to the office, the more I hear people say ‘to read more’ is their New Year’s resolution. From determined strugglers to passionate bookworms, there always seems to be the emphasis on reading more than they do already. But why?
Immediately, this tells us a huge amount about how society in general views reading: as an accomplishment; as an escape; as relaxation in a 9-5 world. But also, as all-too-easily sidelined. For that, I blame technology, both a blessing and curse these days. It feels like less effort to switch on the TV than it does to pick up a book, but, I’m sure you will agree, the reward is far less fulfilling.
For Ransom Publishing, the importance of reading is ever-present: it is our bread and butter, and we work hard to inspire children to read for pleasure. But, although avid readers ourselves, we perhaps don’t spend enough time inspiring ourselves to do the same, at least not to the extent we’d like.
So, if your resolution is the same as mine, here are my personal tips to get me sticking to it this time:
- Switch off. Resist technological temptation and put the screens away.
- Set yourself a goal. It’s very easy for me to blame technology for being a distraction, but I know my own lack of motivation is at fault as well. My mum read a stonking 41 books in 2017, aiming to read one a week. Although she didn’t quite get to her goal, I’ve never seen her so determined. She is the embodiment of a lasting New Year’s Resolution, and she’s going for the same challenge this year.
- It’s never too late to reinvigorate. If you find you’ve lost your momentum (it happens, life gets in the way sometimes), give yourself an immediate kick and get going again.
The more we read, the better role models we are for others who, as secretly we all do, wish we read more often. The more children see adults reading, and the more they can talk about it, the more likely they will be to put down the TV remote, and pick up a book.
Currently reading: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day