New year, new reading goals, amiright?!?!? For the past five years, I have accepted the yearly reading challenge through Goodreads and strived to read the number of books I said I was going to read. In some years I have far exceeded my goal (what's up 2018?) and others I either met the goal, and some sad few I did not. But I do love setting a reading goal because I feel like it keeps me motivated to read more instead of waste time on my gosh-darn phone (am I alone in this?). In 2019, I took on the challenge of reading the most books I ever have (or can at least remember) in a year, which was 40 books. This year I am upping the anti and going to challenge myself to read a whopping 45 books! Can I do it? Let's see!
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Since reading is one of my favorite past-times, it is something that is easy for me to remember to do. I also carry at least my Kindle with me everywhere I go by making sure most of the time my purse can at least fit the Kindle. But it is not unusual for me to carry a massive purse with me to fit both the Kindle and a regular book, or at least stuff the regular book into my diaper bag for Lydia. The reason being? You never know when you might get stuck somewhere for three hours.
On multiple occasions, someone will take my purse for me or hold it in the car and jokingly ask if I am carrying a brick in my bag, which then leads me to explain that, no, I'm just a crazy person who carries a Kindle and book in their purse on a regular basis. Don't worry, I will bring it up in therapy eventually, but for right now let me have some fun.
Another thing I do more frequently than I really should is go to bookstores. I love them. I could chill in a bookstore all day and be perfectly content with that. The problem with that is that I usually feel compelled to buy a book when I go to a bookstore, which then leads to me having an overabundance of books that I haven't read, while still going out and buying books like they are going out of style.
This is something Aaron noticed right away when I moved in with him. Jury is still out if he finds it endearing. Just kidding! It drives him nuts :D.
Admittedly, I do have too many books that I have not read despite getting rid of about 50 books in the early Fall (see post here). And even though I got rid of a lot of books, I have acquired more since then. My goal for 2020 is to read a bunch of the books that I have and have not yet read so that the books I have are books I have read or have an actual plan for reading.
So far I have 29 books on my to-be-read (TBR) list, which you can view on my Pinterest page here. Throughout the year, as I have books that I plan on reading this year, I will add them to this board to have a visual representation of the books I am reading and have read!
A few of the books on this list that I am especially excited for are the following:
1. Bibliophile by Jane Mount
2. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
3. The Curse of Oak Island by Randall Sullivan (currently reading!)
4. When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley (reading with my Bible study group)
5. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
6. Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
Many of the books on this list are books that I have, like I stated before, but others I have on the waitlist or plan on borrowing from the library.
How do I plan on actually reading all these books, you ask? I am curious about this, too, since quite a few of these books are thicker. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I want to share that help me accomplish my reading goals.
Read Every Day
Simple enough, right? But this principle of reading every day is actually extremely important for me in accomplishing my reading goal. Usually I try to read for at least 20 minute a day, which would be before bed if I am not able to read at all during the day. Truthfully, it is very rare for me to not read at all in a day because it is something that it almost like a necessity for me. Setting aside time every day to read is also a nice way to do a bit of self care and do a little something for yourself by reading a book you are enjoying!
Read Before Bed
Recently, I read a study saying that reading before bed actually calms the mind and has many other benefits to your well-being (see Real Simple article here). Most every night, I have to read something before bed. This is especially where having a Kindle is helpful, since I can read in bed and not disturb Aaron with a nightlight. I do feel myself relaxing in bed when I read before getting some shut eye. It does not strain my eyes like a phone would, and it also keeps me away from bright screens (since you can adjust the brightness on the Kindle) right before going to bed.
Be the Person Who Brings a Book With Them
Ever heard the little joke about going to a party and bringing a book? I literally do that. As I stated earlier, I usually have at least my Kindle on me so that in a pinch I can read. Friend late to meeting up for coffee? Read a book! Stuck in a line at the Starbucks drive through? Read a book! Waiting in the doctor's office about your weird toe pain? Read a book! Sitting awkwardly in the lunch room at work and trying to avoid starting a conversation with the IT guy about his Dungeons & Dragons group? READ A BOOK!
When you bring a book, you can do something productive with your boredom. I find this habit to be way better for me than just bonking around on my phone looking at what Martha's kids ate for lunch and the fact that Bernadette finally got engaged! (These are fictional people, if you couldn't tell, I don't have any friends with those names.)
If you are setting a reading goal this year, let's be friends on Goodreads! What books are on your TBR list this year and are any of them the same as mine? What is your favorite book that you read in 2019 that others should read in 2020? Comment below and happy reading!