6 brilliant bookish New Year's Resolutions to try in 2023

Published on: 04 January 2023

If you're looking for ways to start a fresh chapter in 2023, check out our fun suggestions of book-themed New Year's resolutions to try...

An illustration of a pile of books

Pic: Fiona Lumbers

The celebrations are over and it's a new year. An opening page or a fresh chapter, if you will. But how to start as you mean to go on? How about these resolutions linked to books and reading?

1. Join your local library – or use it more often

Joseph Coelho, the Waterstones Children's Laureate, is aiming to join a library in every region of the UK – that's 209 in total! He's doing pretty well, but it's taking some time.

We suggest you focus on your local library, where there is a treasure trove of books to discover. Let the children wander and pick the books that appeal to them. Just make sure you can carry them all home!

And ask your local library if they're having any fun with BookTrust Storytime - you and your little ones can enjoy stories, have a say on which are your favourites, and try out super activities.

Families enjoying a BookTrust Storytime session

2. Read aloud to a child every day

Whether you're a teacher, librarian, parent, carer or all of the above, and no matter what age the children in your life are, they will love to have you read aloud to them every day. It's a special time for bonding, for discussing feelings and problems, and for simply having fun together.

Don't worry if you can't manage it every day, though, or if you don't have lots of time. Research has shown that just ten minutes a day can help your child grow into a confident learner.

3. Read a poem a day to a child

Similarly, regularly hearing poetry helps stimulate learning and language development, and the rhythms and rhymes are very appealing to young children.

There is so much accessible, fun poetry to be enjoyed - try our recommendations here. And if you're keen to compose your own poems, Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho has some brilliant Poetry Prompts to inspire teachers and families - join in the fun here.

But if poetry feels a bit too daunting, then songs and rhymes are just as fun, especially if the kids join in!

Joseph Coelho introducing a Poetry Prompts video, with an illustration of a rainbow and the words 'Poetry Rainbow'

4. Branch out from bedtime

Adults are often tired by the time the children are bouncing around after bathtime and, while settling down with a book is a great way of calming them before bed, there are other times and places to read together as well. Perhaps when they're eating or in the bath – and can't wander off?! Perhaps on a bus or train? Or simply any time you both fancy a cosy ten minutes enjoying a story or a fact book together.

5. Try a different genre

If your children invariably choose funny stories, why not try a magical tale instead? Or if they like animal books, try school stories. It's always exciting to discover a new genre, or a new author. And don't forget non-fiction for a change, too. Use our Bookfinder to explore the huge variety available.

But don't feel you have to leave behind the old beloveds entirely -  there's a lot of comfort to be had in rereading old favourites!

An illustration of a child looking excitedly at a display of planets in a museum

Pic: Fiona Lumbers

6. Give audiobooks a go

Some people prefer listening to books – that's how children start off engaging with stories, after all. Whether you have a subscription to an audiobook provider, or a device that plays CDs or audio cards, there is now a large range of stories available. If the child is in charge of the speed or pressing play, that gives them a satisfactory sense of agency too. What fun to listen together and discuss afterwards!

However you spend your year, we hope you enjoy sharing lots of books with the children in your life...


Books we love

Brilliant reads to try

Every month we pick out our favourite new books for babies, toddlers, children and teens - check out our latest recommendations!

Poetry Prompts

Get writing

Every week, Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho shares a fabulous new video to get you writing poetry!

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