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“I dwell in Possibility”

I’ve always loved this time of year, the string of days that dawdle between and an overindulgent Christmas and a well-intentioned New Year, the time of year when some of us begin contemplating the changes we’d like to make to kick off the calendar year.

There’s an excitement that comes with a fresh slate, an opportunity to create something, and an invitation to embrace the words of Emily Dickinson as your very own: “I dwell in Possibility.” I’m a big fan of stylistic choices like this. In Emily Dickinson’s poem we see the word “Possibility” with a capital P. Emphasis of singular or select words was a technique that was scarcely used in prose or poetry in the 1800s, making it even more interesting. It could be argued that the capital P in Dickinson’s “Possibility” is a method of personification; the word is no longer a mere noun meaning “a thing that may happen or be the case,” but rather a proper noun asserting its power and influence. At the end of a year and the beginning of another, we are invited to consider the big picture, to conjure the best version of ourselves and dwell in the things that are Possible. We might ask ourselves what people, places, or things we want to capitalize in the new year.

If you’re considering a reading goal as part of your 2023 resolutions, here are a few ideas to ponder:

  • Consider reading one author all year long; choose a different book each month so that you can really get to know their body of work.

  • Read books that are intentionally diverse. Whatever your identity, read books from authors of another. If you’re white, read authors who are Black. If you’re a man, read authors who are women.

  • Pick a subject and read all about it, all year long, from various points of view.

  • Set a book goal for the year. For example, “I’d like to read 12 books this year.”

  • Read for 30 minutes each day. This is an arbitrary number; you could start by reading for 10 minutes a day and build up from there.

In 2019 Jake Daghe, writer and online content creator, read 100 books as part of his New Year’s resolution. He reflected on this accomplishment with the following:

We read because the act of getting lost in another’s world is, in some way, the process of discovering our own. Because the front cover of a book is really a doorway through which we find an expansion of our souls we always knew existed but never knew how to explain. We read because we do not yet understand ourselves perfectly and because we can always do with the benefit of having a few guiding voices.” We read because a world of Possibility awaits.

Whether you’re considering traditional resolutions or reading-centric ones, we hope your New Year is off to a great start.

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