18 Useful New Year’s Resolutions for Book Lovers in 2023

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Here are 18 bookish New Year’s Resolutions for book lovers everywhere. These book-related resolutions will bring more [good] books into your life, and make you a better reader with the best kind of bookish habits.

Woman journaling in front of a sunny window

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Bibliophiles

Beyond a general goal of “read more books,” what can we as bookworms do to improve our reading lives this year? Well, I’ve thought of a whole list of ideas!

I was waiting in a Pizza Hut last month. I’d placed an order en route, but then was way too early to collect it…and it was a busy night, so things were moving slowly. As a mother of small children, I snatch at any chance to get some reading time in. Yet there I was, waiting, with not a single book to fill the time! For shame!

Never leave the house without a book. No matter what. Even if you think you won’t have time to read it! Forgetting to do so that night was a painful reminder. I’ve been much better about it since then, I can assure you.

When I re-vowed never to leave a book behind, it made me ponder other bookish resolutions. These aren’t just goals for this one year, but ongoing practices every bookworm should embrace. Please add your own in the comments!

Also, let me add that most of the bookworm resolutions on this list can be aided and abetted with The Book Lover’s Companion, a customizable reading journal for people who are truly passionate about books!

Bookish New Year’s Resolutions for Book Lovers

1. Never be without a book

Yes, those downtime minutes happen more often than you think! You can sneak in a good bit of reading time if you’re always prepared. And every once in awhile, you’ll find yourself in extreme situations where you gain hours of reading time. What if your car breaks down and you’re stuck in some nowhere mechanic shop while you await a fix? It’s okay; you’ll be reading.

2. Stop racking up library fines

I’m not sure this is possible, but it’s a goal I’ll keep trying to hit(: I’m all for supporting local libraries, but getting your account frozen for unpaid fines is not cool. Set up phone reminders if you need to; just get those books read so you can get them returned on time. Because I personally found overdue fines to be a recurring struggle, I included a library due date calendar in The Book Lover’s Companion! It’s helping.

3. Join a book club

Books are a wonderful way to spark community. If you need friends–or more specifically, friends who actually read–Google for ways to find a book club in your area. Of course, you can also start one with people you already know! And don’t forget online book groups, too, like our Facebook group that you get access to when you join the Society!

2023 Classics Reading Challenge!

Take the Classics Reading Challenge with other Tea and Ink members! Read 12 classic books over the course of the year, themed around 12 different prompts. Get the details here.

4. Read out of doors

On a pleasant day, it’s positively dreamy to read in the open air. Read a nautical novel while you lie on the beach, or take a short, not-heavy-in-your-bag classic when you visit the park. Trees make good reading spots, too…if you’re up in the branches, you’ll be less likely to be seen and interrupted, right?

5. Learn your librarians’ names

You see these people often…right? Make a more personal connection with your local library by learning the names of the people who work there. Ask them for book recommendations!

6. Finish each book you start (unless you abandoned it on purpose)

I believe you can gain value from any reading experience. However, I think it’s also fine to quit a book if you don’t like it–especially if you find it distasteful, if it hits your triggers, or it’s boring and not a great fit. (For future reference, here’s a handy method to check books for trigger warnings.) So if you intentionally set a book aside, fine. But don’t leave books unfinished simply because you never got back to them or had to return them to the library. This can become a bad habit, and it will detract from your reading experience.

7. Explore more genres

Stretch yourself out of your reading comfort zones every now and then. You might be surprised to find new favourites, like this reader who discovered five wonderful authors she’d missed! (Check out the book lists on this site for inspiration!)

8. Read the book before you watch the movie

The book is almost always better, right? You can preserve your experience of the story by encountering it first in print. You’ll be allowed to form your own impressions and pictures of characters and settings…something you might not be able to do if the movie’s images are already in your mind.

9. Always be ready with the next read

Get books in your queue so when you finish one you can jump into the next. This will keep your reading momentum going so you don’t fall into one of those dry spells (which tend to extend alarmingly if you’re not careful).

10. Declutter your bookshelves

Do this at least once a year! It may be painful the first time, but it’s a healthy practice for bookworms. Here’s how to declutter books.

Cozy window seat reading nook with books, cushion, candle, and hot cocoa

11. Write to authors you appreciate (and if they’re still alive, actually send your letter)

I doubt authors ever get tired of hearing thoughtful thank yous from their fans. Hunt down contact info for an author you love, and drop them a note! Handwritten letters are more rare these days, so if you can find an address, go that route. You never know when an author might write back! Also: what would you say to an author who’s passed away? Pretend they haven’t and write them a letter in your journal. It will help you feel connected to their work and give you new insights as you sort through what you loved about the book.

12. Save favourite quotes and passages in your commonplace book or reading journal

When you’re reading, take those phrases and quotes that resonate with you and write them down! I explain commonplace books in #4 in this post on improving your reading life.

13. Patronize local bookshops

I appreciate the ease and options of ordering books from Amazon, but it can’t beat the experience of wandering through a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I also love to visit bookstores when I’m traveling. The book I purchase reminds me of the trip!

14. Keep a record of all the books you finish

When you finish a book, make a note of the author, title, and month/year in your reading record. I keep a list of titles in a Google doc, and then keep more detailed entries with thoughts, start ratings, etc. in my reading journal binder. If you do this, you’ll discover that you refer to your list many times for personal use or to recommend books to a friend.

15. Give more books as gifts

A well-chosen book is a very personal gift. It will keep giving as the owner reads or shares it for years to come. Book gifts needn’t be only for birthdays or holidays; surprise a friend with a “just because” book to brighten any ordinary week. For something extra special, perhaps your bookish friend would enjoy a Seasonal Reading Box.

16. Visit all the libraries in your county or library system

Take a bookish field trip to explore the other libraries in your area. Get lost browsing the stacks and finding a new book (or five) to take home.

17. Don’t look ahead!

Do you ever stop reading for the night, but then absently flip through the coming pages? Suddenly you’re sucked back into the story…but two chapters ahead…and you’re learning secrets of Things To Come that you really shouldn’t know yet! Don’t do it. Don’t read ahead, don’t skim, don’t flip. Keep the chronological experience in tact and let the author guide your journey the way they intended the story to unfold.

18. Read with others

Reading doesn’t always have to be a solo activity, does it? Take turns reading aloud with your significant other…read books to your children or the elderly…have a reading party with friends and take parts in a play or dialogue-heavy short story. It’s a good way to spark conversations and see how others react to a book.

Organize Your Reading Life

Printable Reading Journal in a 3-ring binder Printable reading journal pages

You can keep track of ALL the bookish parts of your life with The Book Lover’s Companion. It includes detailed reading log pages, “To Be Read” lists, a “Books Read to My Kids” reading log, and tons of fun extras like yearly summary pages, checklists, and space to record the book-to-movie adaptations you watch.

Get it Here

What are your book-related resolutions this year?

18 Useful New Year\'s Resolutions for Book Lovers in 2023
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4 Comments

  1. This is a very helpful and informative post. I can see there are a few of resolutions that I want to take up this year myself. Thanks for this list 🙂

  2. This is such a great list! I have a “sort of” goal to visit libraries in all of the places that I travel to, or visit. My problem is that my husband, who is my travel companion, is not a reader or lover of books. I also love the “get to know your library staff.” I’ve worked in a library for 4yrs as a part-time associate and I love all of the patrons that come in and know my name. I love that I can ask them about their latest reads, or their vacation, grandchildren, etc.

    1. Thank you! Thankfully my husband and I are both eager to check out the local bookshops and libraries! Although, we do compromise on other things. He likes to also stop at local game stores when we’re traveling so I let him do that, and then in return he lets me check out the local bakery!

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