A Resolute Year

Elizabeth Bluemle -- January 2nd, 2014

As the globe spins into its bazillionth year (number approximate; adjust according to preferred calendar), some human New Year’s Resolutions seem eternal: eat healthier foods, exercise more, cut out X bad habit, improve self in various Y ways, face Z fear / try Z activity for the first time, blah-de-blah. Sincere efforts, each and every year. Some of these mountains will be scaled; others are destined to languish in the to-do pile of good intentions.

Indie bookstores have similar eternal resolutions, some of which I’ll bet are universal among at least our smaller, less numerously staffed branches: be better at tracking and collecting co-op*, plan events farther ahead, be quicker and more merciless about returns, better balance publisher and distributor orders, organize the back room, take advantage of publisher specials in a timely fashion, stay on top of ARCs, implement new programs/outreach/internal systems we’ve been considering. In other words, cut out X bad habit, improve self in various Y ways, try Z activity for the first time. Rinse and repeat.

*  For the unanointed: co-op is credit publishers extend for promoting certain titles at stores. Since we at the Flying Pig don’t choose our featured titles based on co-op, keeping track of the titles we love that are eligible for co-op requires an extra layer of effort.

I’ve got my own personal bookseller set of resolutions. This year marks the first I’ve really needed to set the goal of reading more. Booksellers read all the time, it seems, and yet, as I’ve blogged about before, we are also not immune to the sirens of competing media. I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but I do spend a little most days. I don’t have a television, but I do have screens and monitors, and lately have spent a lot of time baking while (don’t lose all respect) watching series marathons. Last year, I went through The West Wing, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and MI-5 (which is sort of like a British The Wire meets The West Wing meets James Bond meets something else current and espionage-y I can’t think of. It’s fabulous.). These are all shows I have seen before, and while I am attending to the excellent writing within, this is precious time I want to spend reading. So this year, now, and especially once I’m done with my Buffy marathon (ahem) I will be diving into books the way I used to, when they were cable and Netflix all in one. This year, NetGalley will be my Netflix, dagnabit!

I’ve already started; I’m reading Suzanne Young’s The Treatment, the follow-up to The Program. Nothing like a good dystopia to start out the new year! And I’ve got a stack of books compiled thanks to you wonderful people who responded to my vacation reading blog. I’ll let you know how those go.

What are YOUR reading resolutions, peeps? Anyone trying to branch out into new genres? Anyone deciding to broaden their international reading? Or delve into unread classics? Or read everything New Directions has ever published? Those are four reading groups right there waiting to happen for me.

What readerly changes will you wreak in 2014?

 

3 thoughts on “A Resolute Year

  1. JOHN T SHEA

    My New Year’s resolutions include:-
    1 Finish reading the dozen or so novels I’m currently reading.
    2 Finish writing the YA Dieselpunk trilogy I’m writing.
    3 Make no more New Year’s resolutions.

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