I know that you all probably make some New Year's resolutions every year only to forget about them a couple of weeks later. I do the same. But maybe it would be easier to stick to those related to something that you’re passionate about – books? Just don't be too demanding on yourself and be realistic with your resolutions.
1. I will read ... books
This is the most obvious thing you may want to do in 2016: read more. Set a goal that’s both ambitious and possible to achieve; take into consideration how much time you have for reading and what kind of books you’ll choose – the actual number of books you’ll read obviously needs to be lower if you mostly read thick academic volumes, but may be higher if you read crime stories. You may also want to focus not on the number of books, but on reading a different genre than usual.
In 2013 I decided to read 52 books, one per week. It wasn't easy but I did it, and the resolution kept me motivated throughout the year. If you use Goodreads, you can set your reading challenge, track your progress and let your friends know how you’re doing.
2. I will read books in the foreign language I'm learning
This one may sound too obvious to be mentioned, but as a foreign language teacher, I've seen more people than I can count who were learning English or German only from textbooks and exercises, and for some reason didn't have much contact with books (or other authentic materials) in these languages. And it really works miracles, at least if you have some patience and persistence. If you’re afraid that the "normal" books might be too difficult for you, try children's books, short stories or simplified versions of classical works. Check out this for German or this for Spanish.
3. I will discover more less-known, independent authors
I love coming back to Sarah Waters's, Ursula le Guin's or Stieg Larsson's prose and I understand if your preferred reading is something written by the authors you already know. But, every now and then, give a chance to the (yet) unknown, independent authors out there! When I started reading books from OpenBooks.com, I didn't expect such good quality from the people I'd never heard about before, but I’ve not been disappointed even once. I especially recommend Stanley Laine and Julie Roberts Tove.
4. I will leave comments and reviews
This is very important for the authors and for other readers. If you loved a book, why not tell the world about it? And if you didn't like it so much, write it too, but remember to give constructive criticism and to be respectful. You can use Goodreads or Booklikes for sharing your thoughts with other readers.
5. I will pay what I want for books on OpenBooks.com
Last but not least, don't forget to reward your favorite independent authors who share their work on a Pay What You Want basis. It's all about trust and love for books!
Happy New Year!