Reading books and other New Year thoughts

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readDec 8, 2017


A new year is an amazing opportunity to reset your internal clock. Just the other day I was asking myself if I accomplished enough during the last 365 days. The answer was no. It seems always to be no.

More and more we become a complacent society. In New Mexico, my adopted home State, we tout that we live in the land of mañana. The slow way is the good way because it’s easier. We should enjoy life. It’s too short.

Sometimes we wake up from our enchanted slumber and realize that tomorrow might not come and life seems a little too short to get anything done.

Because a new calendar year is just around the corner, I think we should all make a goal to get something done. Not a little thing like cleaning the roof gutter, or finally changing your car oil. Something big.

How about dedicating time each month to charity? Maybe join a non-profit board. This may be the year for losing weight or lowering cholesterol. Not those pesky five pounds, but 20 or 30. Something that matters.

My goal is to read at least two new books each month. Easy? Not really. I started this goal already, and it’s a challenge. My phone goes off alerting me to something that doesn’t matter and suddenly reading is done.

I have so many books that I started reading at some point and never finished. Books about life in rural America. A book about African-Americans in New Mexico. Books on religion, and autobiographies. I even started a book on witches and tales in the Land of Enchantment.

All were great; none were finished. We have a reading crisis in America, maybe the world. We don’t read. We skim and take quick glances. Now and then we click and open, but after a few scrolls down our phone, we give up.

Are you still reading this commentary? People like you are a dying breed. The ramifications of our lack of reading as a society are staggering. We’re becoming a generation of people that don’t know our history and don’t care. We are unaware of new legislation, or voting referendums. How many of us can name our elected officials?

We are not decision makers with facts or knowledge. We are simply hoping that the right thing happens, and lately our hopes are not becoming reality.

Remember when you were kids and reading was a thing? Yes, a real thing you did with your parents and school teachers. Kids went to book fairs and entered reading competitions. The ones that read the most even participated in spelling bees.

Yes, a competition where its participants are excited about words, how they’re spelled, their usage, and where they originated.

From Bill Gates to Mark Cuban, some of the most wealthy business moguls will tell you that constant reading is central to their success.

So I’m determined to finish my books and start new ones. Who knows what I’ll learn but the journey will be exciting. From politics to folk stories, two books a month can’t be that difficult, and of all the challenges I could give myself, I think this one will change me in more ways than I can imagine.



Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.