Reading Is My New Year’s Resolution

by Serina Gousby


After a year of buying books from nearly every local bookstore and online, and establishing a book list that I can be consistent with, I’m finally ready to focus on reading for 2018. I’m tired of letting my books collect dust and I want that moment every reader eventually has: to have a book that will change my life. It’s only been nine days into the new year, and I’m already occupied with six books that I’m working on, two of which will be read throughout the year.

The two books that I’m reading from January to December are Talk to Me, Jesus: Daily Meditations From The Heart of God by Marie Chapian, and Poem-a-day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion by the Academy of American Poets. I chose these books particularly because one of them will introduce me to different poetry styles and authors, and the other will push me to study the bible a lot more as I work on my relationship with God. Collectively, books that are made to read daily keeps me in order, and I always have something new to read each day. Along with these books, I decided to read a biography, a book on a particular subject, and a poetry book that will change over the course of the months depending on the length. My goal is to finish the books within each month, but it would be fine if a book rolls over into the next.

One of my poetry writing goals is to write more on Black men, their experiences, and to provide a positive message to them. In my previous poems, I’ve focused on uplifting Black women since I am one, and Black men deserve that same energy. With that said, the first biography that I’m reading is Black Privilege by Charlamagne Tha God. I heard so many good reviews on this book in terms of his principles, his upbringing in South Carolina, and his rise to popularity in the Hip Hop community. In addition, I listen to The Breakfast Club radio show nearly everyday, so I’m excited for this read.

The subject book that I’m reading this month is Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery by bell hooks. It wasn’t until last year that I heard of this author and discovered that she wrote so many books on examining the qualities, struggles, and ideologies of Black people. However, I found this book online when I was searching for books on self-help and depression among Black Women. I enjoy books that are with the intent to help others with lessons and historical context to better understand themselves, and I really yearn for that in 2018.

As for the poetry books, I recently finished Once by Alice Walker, and the next one I will be reading this week will be Nikki Giovanni’s new book, A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter. One thing that I learned about myself when it comes to reading poetry, is that I have to read poetry books multiple times in order to fully understand the messages and visions that the authors may have had while writing. I’m excited to dig deep into both of these texts, and hope that it encourages me to write even more.

I feel incredibly proud of myself because for a moment I didn’t like reading at all. I don’t think I can recall the last time I read a book I genuinely wanted to read from beginning to end. Embarrassingly enough, the last book that I read completely in one day was Fifty Shades of Grey (which arguably is the most hilarious book ever existed). The only time I ever really focused on books was my 16 years of schooling. With school you only have so little time to finish a book, and it was overwhelming at times because I would lose sight of the story or the meaning of a poem, and focus more on the number of pages I could get through before the next class. Because of this, I had to work extremely hard to get through school, but those experiences left me uninterested with books overall.

Now, I can finally take my time and really study the prose and poetry at my own pace. Additionally, spending less time on social media and more on my books is the best decision I made so far this year. I notice how my mood and views on life changes when I read; I began to see traces of myself that I felt was lost last year. Social media isn’t all bad, but I do have to be aware of what I watch and listen to sometimes because it definitely has the power to control your every thought or decision the more time you spend on it.

So, what are your reading goals for the new year? I definitely recommend for everyone to read at least one book that aligns with your interests or hobbies, just to get away from the world for a moment. If you have any books you would recommend, let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!

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