New heights last year!
So last year, something pretty absurd and absurdly unintentional happened: I read over a hundred books.
For some people, this is peanuts. I’ve seen Goodreads goals of 150 with a comment “I’m lowering my goal this year…. I guess I’m just not a fast reader anymore. 😥” And once again, I’m responding with WHAT???
For me, and I think for most people, a hundred books in a year is nigh unfathomable. Even more so since I wasn’t trying to do that, at all. I just got sucked into a lot of really good books.
So, since I smashed my goal of 52 last year, what should I aim for this year? 100? 150?!
My goal will stay firmly at 52, and if I surpass that, great! And if I don’t make it, whatever! There’s a lot of discussion in the book world around reading goals, and questions of quantity versus quality. For example, is it really a good goal if you find yourself stressed at the end of the year and cramming poetry and graphic novels into your brain mindlessly just to meet a number?
Answer: NO! That’s a terrible goal!
Let’s refocus on the word ‘goal’
The goal part of this goal has gotten laid to the wayside. Here are some alternative reading goals that you could add to your “number of books read” goal to ensure your reading still has depth, and importance, and is something you enjoy!
- Read # of books by authors of color
- Read # of books set in another country
- Read # of nonfiction books
- Read # of books that are outside my top 3 genres
- Write a blog post for # or % of books that I read
- Read # of books that were recommended to me (and follow up with the person who recommended it!)
- Create a dope bookstagram photo for # or % of books that I read
- Ask someone I respect what their favorite book is, and read it (parent, mentor, coworker, author, professor…)
- Participate in a buddy read
And so on. The best thing here is to customize the list to what YOU want to focus on. For example, I’m going to start a new shelf on Goodreads for “books that made me laugh enough to make people ask me if I was okay.” Enjoyment is really important to me, and one of my favorite ways to spend my time is curled over in laughter! I want to bring that more into my reading – so here’s a goal for myself, in addition to reading 52 books.
The world outside of books
Even though I forget about the world when I’m inside a book, I do return to it. Reading is a wonderful past time, and for people who have managed to find a way to make money from it, I salute you.
But I also have goals outside of reading. And if I have a goal of reading 150 books, I’m going to be abandoning a lot of my other goals in life.
Goals I don’t want to abandon:
- Maintaining friendships
- having date nights
- traveling to new countries
- developing a voice in my writing
- going to a summit or conference relating to my job
- volunteering in ESL classes and other parts of the community
All of these things are important to me, and none of them are worth ignoring for a book. I’m confident I can find way to work my love of reading into these goals as well, but I need the balance of real world interaction and progress in my life.
Hence the blog post title: I want to keep my reading goal the same so that I DON’T keep my life the same!
Ways I can work reading into the other goals I don’t want to abandon:
- Maintaining friendships – buddy reads and book recos!
- having date nights – watch a tv show or movie based on a book I’m reading *cough* THE WITCHER *cough*
- traveling to new countries – read on the plane, and in parks, and on trains!
- developing a voice in my writing – read others’ blogs to get a sense of how they cultivate their voice
- going to a summit or conference relating to my job – reading training guides and books relating to my role to prep
- volunteering in ESL classes and other parts of the community – find usable books to use in class and recommend to students