This year my goal is to read 52 books. I nearly made it last year, ending the year with 49, which is good but I’m still disappointed even though it matters not at all. I can’t remember what my all-time reading high was but it was over 80. My life circumstances were very different then and I wouldn’t go back to that, but still it seems that a book a week isn’t so much to accomplish. I’m a fast reader and I love reading. So what stands in my way?
- Doing other things than reading. Well, duh! But this includes mindlessly looking at the internet, which I am trying to curb. It also includes anxiously fussing around the house when I could be resting and reading. I will try to amend this by physically bringing my book with me around the house, rather than leaving it by the bed all the time.
- Podcasts. I don’t actually listen to podcasts that often but I do when I’m driving long distances or doing something like painting a room, which I’ve been doing more often lately. I could just as easily be listening to a book. I think the problem there is that I may not have time to finish the book in the time allotted and it could be awhile before I get back to it. But I could probably find a way around that by listening while doing my cross-stitch or while making dinner or exercising. I’d probably enjoy that more than music, which is what I currently listen to while on my walks or on the elliptical.
- Being out of the habit. This is probably the biggest thing. I should have my book with me at all times, so I can read in line, while waiting at other times, or when the urge strikes me.
Right now my reading time is pretty much limited to bedtime, and frankly I am often too sleepy to read much before bed. Keith works different hours than I do and we don’t often eat dinner before at least 7 or 7:30, and while I am usually busy during that time doing house stuff or my own projects, I could sneak in a little reading or listening to an audiobook too. After dinner we sometimes watch an hour of a show but we’d both like to get out of that habit.
So there’s lots of opportunities. I think my goal is achievable. Monitoring my progress on Goodreads is helpful to keep me on track. I noticed I was falling behind toward the end of this last year and crammed in a few shorter books. That’s the other thing — I tend to choose long books so naturally I can’t read as many, so there’s that. I don’t want to read short books just to up my book count, but I could sneak in a few shorter ones here and there. I have been wanting to revisit some old YA favorites so maybe I’ll include this this year. My new book club wants to read higher-quality book this year, award-winners and such, so hopefully even if my pace remains the same, the quality of my books will be elevated.
Silly thing to focus on but reading is important to me, and these challenges keep me focused.