A new year means new books to find, new genres to explore and lots of books to add to your favorites shelf. The possibilities are endless, and that’s the kind of great feeling we could all use right about now. Before you head for Barnes and Noble to redeem your gift cards and stock up for the next twelve months, take a look at these ideas to make 2017 the year of the bookworm.

  1. Read. Don’t feel guilty about it. Trying to hide your book on the subway or under the table during lunch breaks? Sneaking looks at your Kindle in the waiting room? Take a good look around at all the people who aren’t even looking up from their phone screen and let your bibliophile flag fly. Kick off your shoes at the end of the day and give yourself permission to read instead of catching up on TV in your free time.
  2.  Read outside of the box. Just one book, something your friends or family have been recommending to you or you’ve seen all over your Facebook feed and just keep ignoring. Get it from your local library, or download some sample chapters for free. You may find out you like at least one author in that genre. You might not be able to finish even that one book and that’s OK too, now you can say with authority that you don’t like that genre and exactly why.
  3.  Read inside of the box. Go stand in front of your favorites shelf and grab that comfort read that only comes out when you’re in the mood for the best. Even if you’re the type of bookworm who never re-reads a book, grab it anyway. It’s your favorite for a reason. Bonus points if you can arrange to read it in a comfy spot with a mug of hot beverage or a glass of wine, and snow falling outside.
  4. Find and follow your favorite author online. It’s pretty much compulsory now to have an author website, twitter feed, Facebook, Instagram, blog and probably a Tumblr all devoted to their books. Odds are your favorite author has succumbed to the pressure and has at least one of these. This can be a good thing for you, since it’s all aimed at fans. Release dates, signings, tour information, freebies like novellas in between books and chapters that got edited out, all sitting there waiting for you to find them! If you already do this, thank you.
  5. Read the book before you go see the movie adaptation. We all know the book is better anyway, so make a firm effort to turn those pages before you shell out for a ticket and popcorn. Here is a list of books that were adapted coming out in 2017. http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Books-Being-Made-Movies-2017-42214379?stream_view=1. We can just agree to pretend that the second Shades of Grey isn’t really happening, and get on with our lives.
  6. Try out a reading challenge. I’ll be the first to admit that I fizzle out around book three, but that doesn’t mean challenges don’t work for everyone. At the very least, you’ll find some great ideas for new books. A Google search for reading challenges turns up hundreds of ideas, but here is one just to get you started. http://blog.betterworldbooks.com/2016/12/29/2017-reading-challenge-recommendations/. You can even make up your own, and reward yourself with a treat when you finish.
  7. Shop at a local independent bookstore. Amazon is amazing, I admit it. Next day shipping and thousands upon thousands of options at the touch of a button. I’m not saying to boycott online buying. Just to spend a pleasant afternoon or two supporting a local store and browsing through their selection. These people work hard for not much money because they love books as much as you do. Help them out.
  8. Lure a friend to the dark side. Use cookies, wine, or a sedative and audio book combo (please don’t actually do that) to seduce a friend into reading. In a dream world, you would have a friend who “hates reading” to amaze with J.K. Rowling who will then come to you with tears in their eyes, ready to be sorted into their house on Pottermore. In the real world, it will more likely be a friend who already loves reading who you can introduce to a new author. Whoever it is, ambush them with the fantastic read that you think they deserve. If a friend does this to you take it with a graceful “thank you” and re-read number 2, above.
  9. Go to a book signing or lecture. If you live somewhere that this would be possible, try to go in 2017. There’s something about being in a space filled with nothing but other bookworms who are just as excited as you are to see this author and get their autograph, or hear them speak. It’s something everyone should get to experience at least once. Google your favorite author (or follow their website for dates, just saying) or try this website http://booksigningevent.com/.
  10. Perform an act of literary kindness. Donate a book to one of the various charities that give books to people who need them. Someone out there is ready to become just as much of a bookworm as you are, give them that chance. The warm and fuzzies for you, a future book-lover for the rest of the world. It’s win-win. Here are 10 ideas from the Huffington Post to inspire you.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/11/book-charities-that-help-kids_n_6817484.html.

Happy Reading in 2017!

List inspired by posts on https://randomhouseindia.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/10-new-years-resolutions-for-all-book-lovers/ and http://www.novelicious.com/2014/01/ten-new-years-resolutions-for-book-lovers.html.



featured image via stocksnap.io and Maria Shanina