It’s almost the end of November and I’ve hit a realization that’s pretty much astounded me: Not only have I surpassed my Goodreads goal, but I am on track to read more books than I EVER had in a calendar year (well, since I’ve been tracking the amount of books I’ve read via Goodreads, which I started doing back in 2011). My most ambitious Goodreads challenge was back in 2015 when I planned to read 70 books, and I barely surpassed it by reading 72. This year my goal was 60 books and as of today I’ve already read 70…and am on track to finish 80 by the end of the year.
While I know 80 books in a year isn’t a lot for many bloggers, it’s a large number for me. I work full time (and by full time I mean 45 hours in a week is SLOW and 50+ is more the norm) and I get zero reading done wen commuting or traveling because of motion sickness, and I can’t stand audio books. So my reading is really limited to a very narrow window of weekends and an hour or so before bed during weeknights. So hitting 80 books is a BIG DEAL for someone like me.
I’ve decided due to A) My own curiosity and B) The hope of helping others, to examine and share how I was able to read so many books and what I found to be successful in keeping myself out of slumps and constantly with a book in my hands.
How I Increased My Reading in 2017 (Intentional)
- 2017 was the year I made a promise to myself to read what I WANTED to read. Review copies aside, I didn’t want to feel pressured to constantly try to keep up with reading new releases (especially because a LOT of the new releases I was highly coveting this year turned out to be really disappointing). I’ve read a LOT of back list this year and also reread quite a few books so far this year. (I’ve actually ready MORE back list books then 2017 releases this year, with 63.8% of the books I’ve read this year being published prior to 2017).
- Speaking of rereading, it DEFINITELY helped boost my numbers. I reread faster because I’m already familiar with the story, but it’s also faster because if I’m rereading it’s obviously because I WANT to be reading this particular story again, so there’s no unknown or lulls or debating on if I want to pick up a book or not.
- Binge reading series also increased my reading pace. There’s nothing like a good binge read and I did several, including the Black Dog Bay series and the Shades of London series. It eliminates the time spent debating what book to read next (that can take several days for me!) and for series I’ve started to do series review round ups rather than publishing an individual review for each book. These review round ups make me feel like there’s less pressure when writing my reviews (which can be a turn off to reading a new book if I’m already behind on reviews!) and I can just go back to my post draft and update my thoughts on the last book in the series I’ve read in a few paragraphs before diving right into the next one. Less time writing = more time reading.
How I Increased My Read in 2017 (Unintentional)
- I’m blessed with the ability to work remotely several days a week for my job, so the first thing I usually do upon logging off my computer is curling up with a good book on my couch. As much as I’d love to work on my blog after work, I usually don’t since my eyes really need a break from the screen at that point and my mind really needs a break from the constant flow of emails and notifications. I’ve found getting in some reading in the early evening before dinner has been really helpful.
- I started the year with a birthday vacation to Hawaii, and that gave me a really good jump start on reading for the year (I read a total of 8 books in January and at least 5 or so of those were during the week I was on vacation). Literally all I did in Hawaii was pretty much lie on the beach and read and it was 1000% what I was there for.
- I trained for a 5K earlier this year (for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend) and have just been trying to increase the amount of running I do in general. I typically run indoor on a treadmill, and prior to my runs I usually walk at least .5-1 mile to warm up. While I’m walking on the treadmill, I always have an e-book going on my phone (usually through the Kindle app) and if I’m exercising about 3 days a week that adds up to a significant amount of reading.
- Last year for Christmas I got a Kindle from my Dad, and I’ve realized that I just read E-Books way faster than traditional print books. I’m going to be doing a post later this year about how I’ve leveraged my Kindle in my first year of having it, however I’ve read a significant amount of books on it and given I read e-books faster, it’s probably also contributed to me reading more books this year overall.
Basically this year my reading went up because I decided to #dowhatIwant when it came to choosing what books to read and also some unintentional life events/changes that have led to squeezing in some more reading time. I’m curious to know how you’ve managed to up your reading time this year too! Share your tips with me in the comments! Also, let me know if you think you’ll be increasing your Goodreads goal in 2018! I’m considering bumping mine higher than I ever have before…