6 brilliant bookish New Year's Resolutions to try in 2024

Published on: 01 January 2024

If you're looking for ways to start a fresh chapter in 2024, check out our fun suggestions of book-themed New Year's resolutions to try...

An illustration of a pile of books

Pic: Fiona Lumbers

It's a shiny new year, full of possibilities. If you have children in your life, or work with children, how about making some resolutions linked to books and reading? Research shows that the benefits of reading together can be lifelong.

1. 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 regularly. 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, as every few minutes does make a difference. And if you don't have children, see if you can volunteer to read with children in your local primary school. If you're a teacher, can you read aloud to your class before the end of the day?

2. 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, Joseph Coelho has some brilliant Poetry Prompts to inspire teachers and families.

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

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho presenting Poetry Prompts

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

Joseph Coelho, the Waterstones Children's Laureate, has joined a library in every region of the UK – that's 209 in total! 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. And don't worry about talking or making some noise in the library. The librarians will be delighted to recommend some books. If you have pre-schoolers, check out the BookTrust Storytime Prize shortlist for inspiration.

4. Share books at times other than 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.

A photo of a boy holding a book in each hand

5. Try a different genre

If the children invariably choose funny stories, why not try a magical story 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. On the other hand, don't feel you have to leave behind the old beloveds. There's a lot of comfort to be had in rereading old favourites.

6. Try audiobooks

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. Some books come with QR codes for a free audiobook experience. 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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