As a child, I loved reading. In the following years I never completely stopped reading, but I struggled to finish the books I started. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with putting a book down when it really doesn’t tickle your fancy, but I was at a point where I couldn’t finish any book even though it was super interesting and engaging. I would drop almost every book I started because I didn’t dedicate myself, got bored and moved on to something different. Last year I finally made the resolution to finish every book I started reading. In 2022 I read 42 books. That’s the most I ever read in one year. It made me (re)discover so many of my favourite books. Nevertheless, not every book I read was fun to read, but I finished every book I started.
Surely new Year’s resolutions can be double-edged swords. On the one hand, it can be motivating to set new goals for the upcoming year. On the other hand, nothing changes if you don’t make the change. Consequently, it can be frustrating to many people because they don’t meet their goals. In the past, I never really set a new year’s resolution for myself because I didn’t believe that the changing of the year would make a difference. If I wanted to change, it could happen all year round. Last year was the first time I took a resolution seriously and it motivated me to read more and return to a hobby I love. I’m happy I chose to go in this direction at the start of the year. I missed the gratifying feeling of finishing something, to be glad that I went through with it to move on.
Why reading is important
The percentage of people who read for fun is at an all-time low. Reading is great for our brains. Research shows a correlation between reading regularly and a lower risk of dementia. Reading can help with your memory and relieve stress. Overall, it can be a slow and analogue form of entertainment in contrast to fast-paced social media. What helped me to read more is to build a habit and to start small. In the beginning, reading 10 pages a day tricked my brain into reading more and more every day. Whenever I didn’t feel like reading, but still wanted to follow a story I listened to audiobooks. I want to share my top 5 books of 2022 and give you inspiration if you are thinking of picking up a book this upcoming year.
Top 5 books of 2022
My brilliant friend – Elena Ferrante
My brilliant friend is a kindhearted tale about two friends, Elena and Lila in Italy. A thorough portrayal of these two girls that doubles as the history of a country and a moving reflection on the nature of friendship. Ferrante narrates the tale of a neighbourhood, a city, and a nation as they undergo changes that also affect the connection between her two characters.
Swimming in the dark – Tomasz Jedrowski
Swimming in the dark is a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who ultimately find themselves on opposing sides of the political spectrum. The story plays in early 1980s Poland against the violent fall of communism.
I’m glad my mom died – Jeanette McCurdy
I’m glad my mom died is the memoir of iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy. It comically and painfully depicts the hardships of a former child actor, including eating disorders, addiction, and a difficult relationship with her controlling mother, and how she regained control of her life.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – Cho Nam -Joo
The novel Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 tells the life story of a young lady born at the end of the 20th century in South Korea and poses universal questions about institutionalised oppression and pervasive misogyny.
Humankind: A hopeful history – Rutger Bregman
In this nonfiction book, historian and journalist Rutger Bregman examines the nature of human beings. Contrary to what is often assumed, humankind is not evil according to his theories, but on the contrary: fundamentally good. Bregman starts from this premise and thinks of the world and the human being in a completely new and fundamentally optimistic way.