So, if you’ve been checking out reading blogs, booktube, or bookstagram you’ve probably heard of Goodreads, or even a reading challenge. It’s become the staple, or obsession of any book lover, the great way to read more books, or the scary way to question what you’re doing with your time. I’ve had great years, and I’ve had ‘slump’ years. With a good portion of the year gone, and most of the New Year’s Resolutions either worked out, or passed over I figured this was a good time to talk over one of my favorite beginnings to a year.
To begin I want to declare that I’m in no way the type to set a goal over 50 books. I can read a book in a day, but that is typically only on a weekend, and only if I’ve gotten through chores. I love books, but I don’t think I’m able to do more than 40 a year given my schedule, and the ever present threat of Netflix (I’m a year in and already questioning how I let myself get sucked in). One thing I think helped is setting a reasonable starting point. This year I set my goal at 30 books, which compared with other readers is puny in scale, but we aren’t all fast readers, and I honestly don’t know what size books I or they are reading. Last year was my slump year, so 2018 is going to be a year of getting myself back on the fast track.
Now, that being said, I will be honest that 30 is in no way what I really want to hit, so if everything is going better than I anticipated it will probably change by a good 10 books or so. Below, I’m putting some things I’ve learned about doing a reading challenge, let me know if you agree or not!
My Goodreads tips:
1-Set a reasonable starting point (aiming high is great but it’s all about psychology, see where you are halfway in the year, and most likely you’ll get to push it up and feel a lot better than if you missed the goal by a longshot or had to push it back).
2-Plan out your books (I work my way through my tbr shelf, and pump myself for the next books. Planning out keeps you clear on where you are and where you need to be month by month, but keep in mind it’s always great to be flexible and change up books).
3-Plan for New Releases or Book Buying (Nothing gets me more excited to read than a glorious new book, bonus points if it’s a new release you’ve been dying to get a hold of!)
4-Come up with yearly challenges (Mine this year is to review all the books I read, and add a few classics in)
5-Book Clubs or Booktube (Part of how I’ve gotten myself to read is through watching some of the videos on booktube, especially some of the bookshelf tours. There’s nothing like seeing other reader’s shelves and seeing books you own, or wish you owned).
6-Compete with Friends (So, I really only have one friend I compete with, and she may not even know it’s a competition, but when she’s ahead I’m coaxing myself into reading a lot more just to keep up. If it helps it works, and they never have to know the dark side of your competitiveness.)
7-Environment (Reading is one of those activities where yes you could do it anywhere, but we all know there is that one spot that we would rather be. Find that space, and hunker down)
8-Stand Alones vs Series (This one has been a debate for me in my own head. There are some really great stand alones out there, but these books always run a risk of being long, or slow in the beginning. Starting a series is about the same, since the first book in a Fantasy/Sci Fi series typically is the world builder, but you do have the potential for being sucked in after and having oh so many books to add to your challenge)
9-Know Yourself (Everyone has their different paces when it comes to reading. There are some people who fly through over 100 books in a year, and those of us who find 30 books to be more possible. Read what you want to read, don’t let the challenge become just a challenge. I read a lot of longer books, so I use that to justify my lower goals. Don’t let other goals get to you, it’s all supposed to be fun.)
10-READ (Read whenever is best for you, and enjoy what you’ve always loved; a good book!)