Reaching your Reading Goals

A few months back, I wrote about making a reading challenge for myself. I set a goal to read 40 books in 2013. That’s 28 more books than I read in 2012. I’ve completed 25 books so far this year and I’m right on track.

Here are my tips so far for setting and sticking to your reading goals:

IMG_0450Make your goal a reasonable one

I knew I wanted to read more books this year when I realized I had only read 12 books last year. I have been astounded by readers who set goals of 100 or more books in a year. Kudos to them, but I knew that wouldn’t be a realistic goal for me! I settled on 40 books, because that’s a little bit more than 3 books a month which seemed reasonable for me and my schedule. For some people, it may be 12 books in a year, or 20. Setting an unrealistic goal for yourself can lead to frustration and disappointment. It’s not about picking a huge number, for me, it’s about making more time to read and paying more attention to my reading habits.

Keep track of what you’ve read

As previously mentioned, I’m using Goodreads to keep track of what I’ve read, rate books, and add books to my To-Read list. Goodreads helps me stay on top of whether or not I’m on track for my goal and – if not – how far behind I am.

I would love to connect with other readers and bloggers on Goodreads! If you’re on Goodreads, please feel free to connect with me here.

You can also simply keep a hand-written list and cross books out as you go. Use the notepad app on your phone or even Evernote to log what you’ve read.

Make time to read

The greatest part about setting a reading goal for myself has been that I consciously make the time in my day to read by watching less T.V. and reading in small batches. I listen to audiobooks during my commute, I bring my Kindle to work so I can read on my lunch break. I read before bed, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, under the hair dryer at the hair salon. Spending those extra ten minutes reading, rather than checking my Facebook feed again has made all the difference.

Enjoy it!

A reading goal should be fun, not something to stress over! If you find you’re reading too fast and rushing to finish one book in order to start the next,  you may  be missing out.

What tips can you share about meeting reading goals?

How are you doing on your own reading challenge?

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Setting Reading Goals

Sometime last year, I became curious about how many books I read in a year. I have never kept track and only had a vague reference of how long ago I’d read a particular book – last year? two years ago?

So I began keeping a list of books I read in 2012 and was shocked at how short the list was. Twelve. Twelve months, twelve books. Was that all, really? Take a look at my 2012 list.

Admittedly, 2012 was a bad reading year and I blamed it on the fact that I spent the majority of that year planning my wedding. But I knew, wedding or not, I simply wasn’t making enough time to read.

Jennifer Kierecki Blog Reading GoalsSo I decided to make a reading goal this year. My goal for 2013 is to read 40 books. It’s not a terribly ambitious goal compared to some, but I chose 40 because that’s a little bit more than 3 books a month which seemed reasonable for me.

I’ll admit I was late to the Goodreads party, but it is a great way to make a keep track of reading goals. It will tell me if I’m behind or on track, and right now, at 18 books under my belt, I’m right on track!

If you like to set reading goals, I recently learned about a blog called A Novel Challenge which is a great place to find all the latest reading challenges. I love the idea of challenging myself to read books by a particular author whose work I am interested in, or books related to a certain topic or genre. Maybe it’s not too late to set a summer reading challenge (or maybe I should stick to one challenge at a time!)

With my reading challenge for 2013 well under way, this may not have been the best time to read Stephen King’s 800+ page  11/22/63. Considering I could read two or three books in the time it will take me to read this one, it may set me back, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

I recently wrote about how good readers make good writers. And now that I’m really making time to read as much as possible, I’m finding that it is making a huge impact in my writing. Not only am I writing more, I want to write every chance I get.

I’m a believer now that it isn’t enough for a writer to simply read a book or two here and there. Reading is part of the creative process.

How many books do you read in a year? Do you have a reading goal? Please share your goals in the comments below!