New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Want to Keep

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New year, new you? We like the old you just fine (we think you’re perfect, actually), but if you want to challenge yourself to be a bolder, happier, healthier book-lover in 2017, we’re down with that idea. Here are some resolutions for a year full of literary joy:

Trying to make new habits? We’ve got books for that.

Read outside your comfort zone. As you might recall, Ann Patchett got really into the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge last year. Now’s the perfect time to download the 2017 challenge list and start expanding your horizons. Get the list at our register or print it from here.

Get in good (reading) shape. You need a strong pulse if you’re going to survive all the heart-stopping fiction and nonfiction coming in 2017. So grab the heaviest book you can find and LIFT! LIFT! LIFT! Or prop a book on the treadmill and read as you sweat. (Note: Please be careful. No one wants a reading-related injury.)

Have a blog? Be a bookstore hero! Every time a blogger links to an indie bookstore instead of Amazon, a book gets its wings . . . or something. Instead of sending traffic from your blog to a mega-retailer that does nothing for your local economy, link to books on your local store’s website (like this, or this, or this) and use the power of your connections to help keep independent shops in business. Or link to IndieBound (like this), so your readers can find the books you recommend at their nearest bookstore.

IMG_0809.JPGFinally build (or organize) the bookshelves of your dreams. How will you arrange your books this year? Alphabetically? By genre? By color? By some other Pinterest-inspired criteria? Tip: Turn a few titles face-out. A gorgeous book jacket doubles as a piece of art. (Related: The 16 Most Beautiful Book Covers of 2016)

On that note: Start a collection. Join the Parnassus First Editions Club (or if you’re into YA, sign up for the ParnassusNext subscription box), and get a new book every month. Always a first-edition hardcover, always autographed — straight from the author’s hands to yours. By this time next year, your personal library will have a full shelf of signed, collectible classics-to-be.

Conquer your inbox, once and for all. Use a service such as to round up the clutter, and free up more space for things you’ll really enjoy. Consider subscribing to Lit Hub, BookPageShelf AwarenessThe Millions, Electric Literature, Chapter 16 (especially if you live in Tennessee) — and Musing, of course — and start your day with the latest book news, interviews, and reviews. Take it a step further: forward this post right now to a friend who loves books, and help spread literary love!

IMG_20161231_094847.jpgLet the dog sit in the nice chair. HEY, WHO PUT THIS ON THE LIST?

Finally write that novel / poem / memoir. No more putting it off. Pick up some new skills and get a confidence boost by signing up for a class led by experts. (Here in Nashville: look into the offerings from The Porch Writers’ Collective.)

Embrace your inner groupie and go see authors on book tour. When you attend readings by writers on the road, you get not only a signed book, but a memorable experience and a great story. If you’re in Nashville, you can get started on this right now. Check out the Parnassus Books events calendar (or the lineup at the bookstore where you live) and take your pick of fantastic live events unfolding in your backyard.

y450-293.pngJust a few upcoming highlights . . .  Did you love the exquisite short story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing by Lydia Peelle? Great news: Peelle’s back with her highly anticipated first novel, The Midnight Cool. Read an excerpt now, and join us here in the store this Friday, January 6, at 6:30 p.m. for a literary and musical revue featuring a reading by Peelle and live music by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. This event is open to the public and free to attend!

Get your tickets today for a couple of enormously popular authors coming to Nashville as the Salon@615 series kicks off 2017 in spectacular form: Zadie Smith, whose new novel Swing Girls is a favorite of our booksellers (not to mention readers and critics everywhere), will join Ann Patchett in conversation on Thursday, January 19, at 6:30 p.m., at Belmont University. Tickets are required for this event and include a copy of the bookVeronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, will discuss her new book Carve the Mark, with Sarah Enni from the First Draft podcast at the Nashville Children’s Theatre on Friday, January 20, at 6:15 p.m. Tickets come with a signed copy of the book!

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And don’t miss these other January events: YA novelist Adam Silvera joins local friends David Arnold and Jeff Zentner for kolaches at Yeast Nashville; bestselling author Chris Bohjalian stops by with his new book, The Sleepwalker; Kevin Wilson follows up The Family Fang with the charming new novel, Perfect Little World; and much more.

What’s YOUR bookish resolution for 2017? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!