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January 1, 2017 The Reading Life: The New Year Resolutions, Part I

The year 2016 went out with a bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. There was a lot of pyrotechnic activity in our area, most was at the distance. There was some firework activity over on nearby Ridge Runner Circle, which is about a mile away. The distant and not so distant noise did not seem to affect the horses. Hard to say, Icelandics are very stoic and so sometimes it’s hard to know if noise and the like bothers them.

I have now rolled over and moved into the New Year. I have in my head been preparing for this momentous day by working on my 2017 resolutions. We’ll see how I do in keeping them. The more

concrete a resolution is, the better one does at keeping it. Time and distance tends to break down resolve.

Part I is going to be easier to carry out, which is why I’m expressing and elaborating on it today. I’ll save Part II for tomorrow. (Drumroll please.) I have decided that I’m not going to buy any more new or used books this year. None at all, not a one. I’m going to stay away from bookstores; they seem to be my downfall. The analogy of an alcoholic wandering into a liquor store is most apt. Now, I can go into a bookstore when I’m taking books in for a buy back. And it’s permissible to use credit in getting another book. But I might just let my credit accrue, and then in 2018 I’ll go on a binge.

I ordered two books a few days ago, well knowing that I was going to put this resolution into words. It was like having a pack with two smokes left – no more, just these two, I promise, this is it.

Libraries – going into libraries and checking out books is acceptable and commendable. I’ll continue to do this, but at the same time I’ll veer away from the sale/discard book area. There is always the likelihood that I’ll see a “must have” and purchase it. My immediately reading it means that I will create a home reading backlog.

Ordering books to read on a Kindle or I-pad is not going to be problematic because I prefer print copies. I am enamored with print books, their heft, their feel, their smell. I also like having a sense of how many pages I have left to read.

If someone offers me a book I’ll take it, that is if I think it’s going to be interesting. If it isn’t something I want to read, I’ll say so.

I’m also parting with books that I know (in the interest of time) that I’ll never read, or have read but don’t feel attached to. I am thinking – but might not stick to this part of my resolution – of parting with five books for every one that I acquire. I have, downstairs, sitting on the kitchen addition window ledge, two piles of books. One is going to the thrift store and the other is going to the local bookstore. This week, off they go, fingers are crossed that they’ll go to good homes, a good home being one in which their new owner pays attention to/reads said book.

I have, up here in my cabin work space, two more piles of books. The general reading/narrative stack is on the windowsill. These are mainly narratives, and about a variety of subjects. And the how to/expositional stack is on the table next to my dresser. These books are primarily riding instruction/horse training books. I have yet another stack, downstairs, in the new living room bookcase. I am going to read these books while downstairs, before doing my body awareness work.

I also have a LOT of horse magazines, here and in my writing cabin. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them.

A friend is coming over shortly. She left her canvas bag here when she came over for the solstice bonfire. I know that she’s a reader. I’m going to put some books in her bag and wish her a Happy New Year.

This is going to be a challenging resolution. But it is one that I think that I’ll be able to keep.

Next: 2. 1/2/17 The Writing Life: Publish or Perish

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