Good morning and cheers readers! Welcome to a brand new year. It still has that new car smell. A year full of promise, of new goals, and most of all, a teetering TBR pile just waiting to be tackled. However, some of you, and by you, I include myself here, felt a little crispy fried by the end of 2023. Looking back on my actual reading count and not the forgotten Goodreads challenge I failed to update past February, I really...didn't read a lot this past year.
And, if you are in a similar boat, there are a lot of good reasons for that. Life being balls to the wall chaotic, work, family, needing other activities to unwind and vent the days frustrations and stressors. It might be a case of genre fatigue or just being unable to focus and vibe with whatever book you've picked up. I found myself starting many, MANY, books but being unable to cross that cover to cover finish line, through no fault of the story itself. As we edge up to our first full week into the new year, you may be trying to recapture that love of reading too.
Restart, Refresh, Reading Fun
Big Reads Come in Small Packages
If time commitment and attention were your major foil for reading in 2023, consider adding some novellas and anthologies to your TBR pile for 2024. The art of short stories and novellas is cramming a full arc of story telling into a bite sized reading time, and those shorter works might be just what you need to get your reading groove back into gear. Reading a short story a day or a novella in a week not only gives your brain that much needed boost of serotonin, but is a great way to find new to you authors. And if short stories or novellas is still too much, engage in another way. Graphic novels, manga, daily web comics, webtoons, and even novel games are all ways to read. There are no rules about what does and what doesn't counts. Reading in every and any form is reading.
New Horizons, New Genres
Losing interest in books halfway through, even though its a favorite genre? This sort of story normally has you in a chokehold from beginning to end, but for some reason, you're just feeling meh about the whole thing. Welcome to genre fatigue. No matter how much you love romantasy or dark romance, sometimes we hit that saturation point. So why not try a new to you genre this year? It could be a genre adjacent like cozy fantasy, or something completely different like historical fiction or crime thrillers. Maybe you find a new genre or author to love, maybe you don't but the break from the genre you love for a few reads might help you fall in love all over again when you do come back to it. And shorter reads are a great way genre taste test to see if you might enjoy something a bit different.
Personalized Reading Challenges
Nothing wrong with a digital declaration to read 50 books this year on sites like Goodreads or a pages challenge of Storygraph, but sometimes, those commitments put an odd sort of mental pressure on us as readers that suck all the fun out of something that should only be beneficial to us. There is also nothing wrong with keeping your reading a private experience, and setting flexible goals and challenges with zero stakes so that reading remains the cathartic space it needs to be.