"Read more" is a common New Year's resolution — and some of us even take on reading challenges, with a number of books, or to read more of a specific author or genre.
For our first #FridayReads post of the new year, we asked some local experts — South Florida librarians — about reading goals.
Charles Allen, Librarian, Miami-Dade County Library
This year, I want to read more about how capitalism intersects with and exacerbates things like sexism and racism. I also want to read more about the politics of the modern Middle East.
I'm looking forward to reading titles from publishers like Verso Books, Haymarket and AK Press. I want to make more use of my commute to accomplish by listening to audiobooks and e-books available for free through the library via the Overdrive and Hoopla apps.
Stephen Grubb, librarian and manager of e-services and marketing, Broward County Library
Five tips to get you started:
- Pick a number. Maybe you want to read 50 books this year, books with over 400 pages or books with one-word titles. Find a number that works for you and go for it.
- Check out a banned or challenged book. The American Library Association celebrates Banned Book Week in September, but why wait? Get started by visiting their website for lists of frequently banned and challenged books.
- Read a book by a local author. Get a sense of place by checking out something penned by a South Florida scribe. Ask your librarian for a recommendation or check out the South Florida Book Festival in July (at Broward County’s African-American Research Library and Cultural Center) or the Miami Book Fair, held each November in downtown Miami, for ideas on great books by hometown writers.
- A book you “should” have read in high school or college but haven’t. Be it Shakespeare or Sarte or Steinbeck, relieve your youth with a title that’s a shoulda/woulda from your school days.
- Go places and read books that take place in other countries – an easy way to travel the globe by just turning a page. The 2018 Big Read community-wide reading project is a great place to start: this year’s selection is In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, which is set in the Dominican Republic.
Michael Nelson, senior circulation librarian, Monroe County Public Library
I read a little over 40 books last year according my Goodreads account, though it's probably a few more than that because there's usually a couple I'm not willing to admit I've read and I know I read one unpublished novel by an accomplished writer I know.
At any rate, I'm aiming at 45 this year comprised of a mix of nonfiction and fiction, and hopefully, five or more of those will be out of my general area of interest (like YA or something popular). I've already read it, but Denis Johnson's new collection comes out this month and it's spectacular. Also, I'm reading Amy Bloom's March release, White Houses, a novel about Eleanor Roosevelt and her girlfriend, and it's charming.