Books are great. If you’re like me, you like to read them for informational purposes but also for enjoyment. Both fiction and non-fiction offer us knowledge in a way that a television show or movie cannot accomplish; but, no matter how many times we set a goal to read more books, we quickly find ourselves sinking in our own promises. Despite this, I’m proposing that there is a way we can break out of our old habits of broken goals and actually find the time to read all the books we want to this year. Though there are many ways you can accomplish this, the following tips might help you stick to your book reading goal and enjoy doing it.
1) Set Your Goal
Without a goal in mind, you do not have an ending point in your journey. When you set a goal, you are fixated on that direction and set up blinders all around you in order to limit distractions. With this in mind, it is important for you to set a realistic goal for yourself. If you’re not accustomed to reading many books, it’s not realistic for you to set your goal at 100 books for the year. It would be a complete shock to me if a person who read only 10 books in the previous year, all of a sudden jumps up to 100. Rather, it is better for you to set a goal for yourself that is challenging, but doable. For example, last year my goal was 75 books; this year, I increased that to 85. A realistic goal can keep your on track and keep you focused on what you need to do.
2) Set Some Books Aside
Having books that you actually want to read is very important. If you can, get the books you want to read ahead of time so that you can have a visual reminder in your room; this will reaffirm and remind you of your goal while giving you easy access when it is time for you to begin reading. This worked well for me weeks ago when New Jersey had some big snowstorms which left me with a lot of time on my hands; I already had a list of books on my desk that I wanted to read, so I was able to pick them up and start reading them. I didn’t have to get stuck reading books I didn’t really want to because I already had the ones I wanted in my possession.
3) Join or Start a Book Club
A book club can be a great place to share ideas and learn more about a particular book that you are reading. This not only multiplies your knowledge of the book, but it will keep you on track in your reading since you will have some incentive to continue reading your book(s) in a timely manner. If you are expected to meet at a book club to talk about it, chances are you will want to be prepared and thus make sure you have the book read. Essentially, the book club offers an accountability system that keeps your goal at the forefront of your mind.
4) Make a Habitual Time
If you are not intentional about reading more books, it will never get done. Make sure that you set aside a somewhat regular time in which you can read. Depending on your goal, the length of reading time will be different, but it’s still very important to have a specific time where you know you can read without distraction. For myself, I typically read a book for at least 30 minutes in the morning and then at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep. Although that doesn’t sound like much, it is the minimum time I give myself each day; I can go over if I so choose. The point of this, however, is to get into a habit of reading consistently. Otherwise, you are doomed to fail in your goal.
If you truly want to read a lot of books this year, or even if you only want to read a few, these tips will help you stay on track and accomplish your reading goal. Chances are, since you are reading this, you believe that books have something to offer us; whether it’s enjoyment or information, you see the value in reading. As such, it makes sense that you would set yourself up for success and be diligent to reach your goal. Good luck and happy reading!