Whether you are an avid bookworm or a reluctant reader, you probably have a list of books you want or need to read that is a mile long. It is easy to be overwhelmed when you look at the pile of books beside your bed or on your to-read list. Make this year the year you read more by setting realistic reading goals for yourself.
Determine Your Reasons for Reading
Knowing your reasons for reading will help you set an appropriate reading goals.
- If you are pre-reading books for the upcoming school year, you may choose to skim most of the books since you might not use them all.
- If you are reading for pleasure, your list might be a little longer since most fiction books are easier and faster to read and are commonly available as an audio book.
- If you are reading to learn something new, you will probably have a shorter list of books to read and read them in greater detail and narrate as you read.
Set Reading Goals for Yourself
A few years ago, I began making a list of books I want to read for the year. I found that this really helps me stay focused. Previously, I had shelves of books I wanted to read, but never seemed to make any progress toward reading them. Plus, I would find new books throughout the year I wanted to read. After I started making a list and working through it, I started reading more.
I keep two lists in Evernote and update them throughout the year. The first list is books I want to read. Because I have Evernote on my phone and computer, I can add books whenever I find them or hear about them. I refer back to this list for ideas as I make my list of books to read for the coming year.
The second list is books I plan to read for the year. I never read all of them. I’m still too ambitious in my goals and I find books throughout the year that I decide are more important to read at the moment and are added to the list mid-year. But having this list gives me a more focused goal.
This list includes seven categories which helps make sure I am reading about a variety of topics. My categories are:
- Parenting / Family
- Business / Personal Development
- Product / Book Research
- School Preview
Your categories will look different than mine and should reflect your interests and current life situation. I begin each year with two to four books in each category, except the School Preview category since this category is dictated by our lesson plans. The length and difficulty of the books in part determine how many books are included.
Finding time to read
We are all busy with many demands on our time. Even though I am an avid bookworm, I still find it difficult to make time to read. It is important to find a routine that works for you and take baby steps towards achieving it. I started by going to bed a few minutes early instead of finishing one more task and using that time to read. You can also sneak in a few pages while watching the kids play at the park or in the backyard.
I also enjoy listening to audio books. This frees up your reading time considerably since you can listen while exercising, driving in the car, or cooking dinner. You can find audio books on CD at your local library, subscribe to a service such as Audible, or listen to public domain books at Librivox.
I hope this year is filled with many great adventures and new knowledge as you tackle your reading list.
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