Let’s talk about setting a reading goal for the year!
In 2019 I set my original goal at 52 books – a book a week, seems doable, right? And then when I beat that goal in April I upped it to 100, then when I beat THAT I upped it to 150, then when I beat that one I upped it to 175… LOL. On Dec 31st I finished my 173rd book of the year and reset my goal back down to 150 so I could feel like I smashed it out of the park.
As you can probably tell, my reading goal setting method is to set a goal that’s achievable, so I feel good about being ahead of plan and making my goal – as opposed to living the year in dread because I’m behind on my challenge goal and then reading just feels like a chore. For me, that’s what leads to reading slumps, which is no good!
Here’s a snapshot of my year in reading for 2019. Maybe you can tell that I had readathons in January and May… One way I really boost my numbers every year is to have a couple of readathons where I get together with some of my booknerd friends (I’m looking at you, Ari and Annie!) for a day or a weekend and we sit in a room together, not talking and each reading our own thing. If you think that sounds amazing, then you are clearly my kind of people!
I also went through a pretty big reading slump in November and December. Maybe because I shifted my focus hard to planning a new campaign for a new D&D group, so spent a lot of my time writing up campaign stuff and reading D&D sourcebooks. (Okay, no maybe about it, that’s definitely it.)
Anyhoo! That’s enough about last year! I set my goal at 100 books for 2020, which is a little lower than the 150 I was going to shoot for and here’s why: in 2020 I want to read all of Austen’s novels as well as reread the Deathgate Cycle series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. That’s 13 books that will likely take me longer to read than my typical fare of romance and YA fantasy. I also want to allow myself space to read some other non-romance books, and for some reason I just can’t zip through books in other genres like I can romances. (Before you think besmirching thoughts about romance as a genre, it’s NOT because they’re easier reads, but more because I tend to power-read romances until a good hour or two past my bedtime, and other genres don’t tend to hook me as hard so I don’t one-more-chapter myself.)
I’m also utilizing readathons to help me meet my goals this year. One key to a successful readathon for me is getting OUT OF MY HOUSE, otherwise my kids (ages 3 and 5) distract me from reading. I’m lucky to have a BFF who has her own apartment, so we typtically crash there, or sometimes go to a cabin or hotel for a bit more of a vacation vibe. Some of the readathons I’m looking at doing this year are below.
January 18-19, 2020 | #24in48 Readathon (unofficial* – we’re cataloging my owned books this weekend as well, so not sure there will be much reading for this one)
February 21-23, 2020 | Weekend reading getaway with Ari in Duluth (we need a hashtag for this, babe)
April 25, 2020 | Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon
July 2020 | #24in48 Readathon (TBD*)
Summer 2020 | Dewey’s Reverse Readathon (typically in July/August)
October 2020 | Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon
*The #24in48 hosts have officially cancelled the January readathon, and are still undetermined if they’ll be doing their summer version.
Well, there you have it – that’s a bit about how I set (and work to achieve) my reading goal for the year. How do you set YOUR goal? Do you like to set the bar really high, or make a goal you know you’re going to smash through? And what do you do to ensure you meet it? Let me know in the comments!