I always start out each year with the same, good intentions. I dream about reading the books I hear people raving about, that I meant to read, but didn’t get around to. Though, I find my list of books to read growing exponentially larger than my list of books I have read. If you’re anything like me, you may be looking for an answer to this discouraging cycle. There is the hope of a new year’s resolution to set yourself straight, but it takes a little planning and thought. Here are a few suggestions of how you can read as much as you can.
Pick the books you’d like to read.
For some of you (*ahem* me), it may be hard to make a definitive list of books to read in a single year. In 2019, there were over 4 million books published in the U.S. It is physically impossible for one person to read all the books. Devastating, I know. That’s why it is so important to make a list of what books you want to get to this year. This list can be whatever you want it to be. If you’re a person who needs structure, give yourself a definitive collection of must-reads. If you need more flexibility, work around the genres you enjoy.
The most important thing when making your list is to understand your “why’s” for reading. Are you reading for pure entertainment? Are you reading to learn about a specific subject? Are you looking for an escape from a plague-ridden world? (Sorry, was that too close to home?) Paying attention to your motivation will guide you to create a comprehensive, attainable list of books you are genuinely interested in.
Make a plan.
This is a common principle for any type of goal you set: give yourself a timeframe. The best way to kill a goal is to not hold yourself to it. So start by writing down an obtainable goal that best suits you and your lifestyle. You could have an allotted amount of books to read for the year, month, or week. Or you could make a goal of how many minutes you will read every day or week.
Another method to make sure you are reading everything you hope to read is to make a goal for each genre your wish to read. I like this flexibility because when it’s time for me to move to a new book, I can look at my list and decide if I’m more in the mood for a biography or young adult fantasy.
Don’t be afraid to skim some books. You don’t have to put your heart and soul into everything you read. Remind yourself that it is alright if you find a book that’s not worth the investment of your time. Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Make the hard decision of which books you would like to feast on.
Fit in reading where you can
My last and certainly not least tip is to fit in reading where you can. If you have a busy schedule, be reading different books in different formats. That way you can read when you have a spare minute, whether that’s while you’re commuting or waiting in line. Have a physical book you can read while at home, an eBook you can read while out running errands, and an audiobook for when you’re on the move. With all these tips implemented in your life this year, you can seep reading into the cracks of time during your day and read as much as you possible can.