The New Year is almost upon us and research tells us that people who make resolutions on New Years’ as opposed to resolutions taken up throughout the year, succeed in keeping them. So let’s get this New Year started with some interesting choice of resolutions for bibliophiles:
1. The Books that Defined the Eras – Books that are legendary don’t only define people, they also revolutionize the time period and the thinking. The Beats in the USA and the Hungryalists in India defined literature and revolutionized it. They lived the words they wrote. My New Year resolution is to plunge myself into these literary movements and read all their work, the whys, the whats and the hows.
2. Cosplay – Cosplay is really cool in general. But in places like India, where cosplay doesn’t happen everywhere across the country and frequently, it would be so much fun to dress up as your favourite fictional character and be them for a day. It would certainly startle some people out, but it would also be so much fun! Imagine dressing up as Hermione Granger or Cho Chang from Harry Potter and screaming Expelliarmus with your wand!
3. The Forbidden – The forbidden is also the most tempting. This year could be the year for you to read all the banned books, books by exiled authors and controversial books. There is plenty of fish in the sea, for you to pick and choose the one you want to hook and read.
4. Popular Fiction – Lewis Carroll, in his book, ‘An Experiment in Criticism’, also muses about the blasphemy or the dark aura that literature-elitists have created around the books that constitute the genre of popular fiction. There is always ONE (or more than one) book that EVERY book-lover wants to read but is hesitant to, because the Literature Gods have declared them as blasphemy. But this New Year can be letting go of all the inhibitions and reading what we like and trying to understand the animosity displayed against popular fiction.
5. Audio books – This New Year could be about downloading the ‘discography’ of as many authors and poets as possible. To be able to listen to the works of artists in their voice is a completely different and new experience, everyone must be acquainted with. The way the tenor of the voice drops, picks up, trembles at different places, and completely changes one’s understanding of literary experience. So do not hesitate to listen to audiobooks by writers!
6. Clean the Clutter- Every book-lover has a messy book shelf, they always bookmark for cleaning later. But start this New Year by cleaning the clutter, arrange your books according to colour, or title or author. Or arrange them according to priority and need; place the books you don’t need in your life right now far behind, or in the corner, and keep the ones that cheer you up right in the middle where you can see them.
7. Collect Bookmarks – We might not have any friend writing to us and sending us postcards from exotic places, but books are our exotic places and bookmarks, our postcards. So, collect bookmarks like post cards to boast about the places you’ve been to in books.
8. Read a Book A Week – Reading a book a day is not only ambitious but also the whole exercise of reading is rendered futile because we’re hardly learning anything as we are more worried about sticking to our timeline. Reading a book a week is much more productive and relaxing – pick up any book of your choice and start reading it. Don’t stick to one genre. Explore more. Read stuff that you’ve avoided all these years, the books that make you cringe and the books that make you judge others. Read everything, read a book a week, read leisurely.
9. Join a Book Club – Join a book club! For what? Well, I don’t know. And that is exactly what we have to find out. What really happens in book clubs? Do people just sit around and discuss books? Just imagine coming up with insane new theories about books you’ve read, with people pitching in. Imagine arranging for cosplay events, poetry and other fun literary events, with these people. Book clubs can be your own literary haven, away from the overrated normal non-readers’ world.
10. Write – Almost every obsessive reader writes. Promise yourself this New Year, to write something new or old every day. Put up sticky notes everywhere to remind yourself, write everyday about everything; the bug bites and the cold. Accompany your writing with a lot of reading and before you know it, you might even end up compiling a book!
Happy 2014, readers! 🙂