Reading Resolutions Revisited

Reading Resolutions Revisited - The Willoughby Book Club

Unbelievably we're already a quarter of the way through 2024! Where has the time gone? 

Each of us at the Willoughby Book Club team set reading resolutions back in January, so we thought it was about time for us to check back in and see how we're getting on with our different goals.

As with all resolutions and goals we're sure to go through ups and downs as the year progresses and none of us want to fall prey to reading feeling like another chore or additional pressure. As we're all keen readers here we can encourage each other and enthuse with each other when we read something really good.

Did you make any reading resolutions? How are you getting on with yours?

We're always keen to hear what you're enjoying too, comment or DM on social media.



My reading resolutions were: To make reading a daily habit, to aim for a book a week, and tentatively, to stop buying so many books.

Of course I have completely fallen down on the buying new books. I've bought far more than I could possibly read, but I have loved browsing intriguing bookshops and truffling for books I wasn't really looking for, so I think that particular resolution can be chalked down as only a partial failure.

I wanted to make reading a daily habit, and whilst it hasn't quite settled in as daily, I have been leaving books on the table to read with my morning coffee, inevitably dipping into books more frequently. I like having lots of books on the go at any one time so there's usually something I fancy reading lying about.

As for reading a book a week, well, I'm smashing that one out of the park and have already read 21 books. I'm sure I don't need to say it, but reading really isn't about numbers, this was to help me re-embed the habit of reading. I'm still quite a slow reader, so it has meant that I've hardly watched any telly this year. I'm sure there'll be weeks ahead of no books but lots of watching.

My favourites so far this year have been Hagstone by Sinead Gleeson, Kala by Colin Walsh, Prophet Song by Paul Lynch and Big Swiss by Jen Beagin. I also loved Bluets by Maggie Nelson, which I think I'll return to at some point.




My resolution was to finally read the Phillip Pullman Dark Materials trilogy after having them sat on my shelf for four years. Well, they are still on my shelf - as I knew they would be. I feel they’re more of a winter read now so I’m waiting now for some colder, darker weather where I can wrap up under a blanket in the afternoon and make a good start. Maybe I’m just making an excuse to justify putting them off?!

My other resolution was to alternate the genres of books that I read, and I’m still doing that and it’s working well. After reading a couple of psychological thrillers back to back, I’ve recently finished Maurice & Maralyn by Sophie Elmhirst. I picked this, for the usual reason of having a nice front cover. The fact it mentions a whale and a shipwreck really grabbed my attention too. Although it is non-fiction, which is not a genre I would normally choose, it reads more like a fictional story. Maurice & Maralyn, a bored married couple in the 1970s, decide to give up their jobs and house, build a boat and sail to New Zealand. Halfway across the Pacific ocean, a whale strikes their boat causing it to break in half and sink. The story follows them fighting to survive for the next 118 days on only a tiny inflatable raft with the few provisions they could quickly grab until they are rescued. I did enjoy this book. I found the first half a lot more interesting…of them sailing to different places on their journey, how they survived on very few rations on their raft, I loved the wildlife they encountered (although not the descriptions of them having to kill sea creatures for food) and then finally the rescue. The second half was more about their lives afterwards, their intentions and plans going forwards and then Maurice’s later life on his own when Maralyn had unfortunately died from illness.




At the start of year, I said my resolution was to read a book a week, so eventually I’d have read 52 books during the year, which is something I’ve haven’t been able to do before.

At the time of writing this, I’m currently on my 18th book and I’m 3 books ahead of my challenge! I’m hoping to keep the momentum going and stay ahead of the coming weeks. I’m really enjoying challenging myself in this way, it’s helping me to pick books off my shelves that have sat around for a little while and even relax more in the evenings, away from technology. With this challenge, I’ve also decided to try to read a book set in countries I haven’t read about before, e.g. Chile and Indonesia, so we’ll see how that goes!



Back in the slightly naive early days of 2024, I was eager in setting out my reading resolutions. I wanted to primarily focus on reading by whim, which has technically been achieved. However, the whim seems to have taken the form of reading several chapters of books and abandoning them in a reckless fashion! I think I've been the victim of a couple of book hangovers, after reading and loving both Big Swiss by Jen Beagin and Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa. I'm on the upswing however and my attempts to read more translated fiction have been quite positive. I've just finished Verdigris by Michele Mari, translated from the Italian by Brian Robert Moore, and it's one that I'll still be unravelling and dissecting for weeks to come. 

For the next few months, I will focus on reading even more translated novels, particularly from South America and the Middle East. Isabella Hammad's Enter Ghost and Julianne Pachico's Jungle House are ones I'm going to be shortly prioritising.



My two reading resolutions for the year were: to take my time with books this year rather than binging them in one or two sessions,  and to make reading more of a daily habit.

I have good and bad news about both of my reading resolutions. The first has been successful in that I’m not binge reading my books and I am taking my time with them. However, by taking my time, I actually mean that I have started and read half of several books and then proceeded to finish none of them! I am in a bit of a book slump at the moment so hopefully I’ll be able to get out of it soon and finish the twenty-odd books on my beside table before the next update.

As for my second resolution, I have definitely managed to incorporate reading into my daily habits. I may not be reading any of “my currently reading” books or the books on my TBR pile, but rather a wide array of Manga (Japanese), Manwha (Korean), and Manhua (Chinese) web comics with weekly instalments. While I would like to really reduce my screen time and also make my way through all my semi-completed books, I will take the wins where I can!

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