Sarah Stultz: Time to make book-reading part of daily life

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

As the year comes to a close, I’ve started thinking about the goals I set for 2023 and how I did in trying to achieve them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people who sets goals all the time, not just at the beginning of the year, but I like to set a few New Year’s resolutions, too, that I can try to work on throughout the year.

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One of those goals I’d like to work on in the coming year is reading more.

According to the Pew Research Center, 23% of Americans said they hadn’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form.

Another survey said of the people surveyed, 39% read more than 20 books in 2022, while 18% read 11 to 20 books, 16% read six to 10 books and 25% read one to five books. That survey found only 5% read no books that year.

On several occasions as we’ve worked on Albert Lea Magazine, I’ve been inspired by the women we’ve featured in our book review section who read not just one book a month but sometimes two or three. Some had goals of reading as many as 50.

For years my excuse has been I don’t have time to read, and while it’s true that I am a busy person, I do know that there’s time I have wasted watching useless videos on Facebook or binge-watching a show on TV that could be spent more productively.

A part of me wants to be like those women who always have a book of some form going — some even have two or three at the same time and belong to multiple book clubs. While that my be a stretch for me, I think I could set a goal of one book a month and start with that.

I think maybe I’ll start working toward my goal by taking a trip to the library or looking back through the recommendations in our magazine to pick out some books that are sure to be a hit. There’s nothing that could spoil my drive more than to have a bad first book.

In the meantime, if you have any must-read books, please send me an email with your favories to

I leave you with some quotes about the value of reading books:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.