Whether you’re a self-proclaimed non-reader or you devour whole books in one sitting, meeting your yearly reading goal can be daunting. Instead of feeling optimistic about what is on your TBR, you might already be looking for excuses to back out. If you are determined to read more and post less this year, there are tons of ways to ensure your success.
#1: Set Your Goal
The obvious first step to reaching your reading potential is to set a concrete goal. If you tracked your books last year, take a look at what you accomplished in 2021 and add three to five more to your list. Be as ambitious as you want! A book a month is a great moderate pace for those who feel up to the commitment.
If you haven’t picked up a book since high school, not to worry — start with whatever feels manageable while still pushing yourself. Settle on a number that feels right to you. Don’t compare your plan to anyone else’s. This year is all about improving your reading stamina.
#2: Track Your Goal
Goals are most effective when you write them down. If you’re serious about following through this year, consider downloading an app that helps you track your yearly reads. One of the most popular platforms in the reading world is Goodreads. It allows you to set your yearly reading goal, track your status on individual books, rate them and compile a TBR (to be read) list. You can also connect with your friends and see what they are reading and adding to their page.
At the end of the year, Goodreads offers you some stats about your reading habits: total pages read, shortest and longest book and how popular the books you read were that year.
While Goodreads is definitely a favorite among readers, some dislike its user interface and affiliation with large corporations. As an alternative, The Storygraph offers an easy-to-navigate, minimalist home page and added features. The system allows you to give half-star and quarter-star ratings, add tags related to genre, pace, characters, and moods and mark books as abandoned. If you are a Goodreads user and want to switch, The Storygraph provides the option to easily import your existing library.
#3: Try A Subscription
Half the battle of reading consistently is knowing what to choose. Moods fluctuate, so it’s important to have a list of options ready to pull from whenever the right moment strikes. Book subscription boxes can be an affordable option that helps build excitement to meet your reading goal.
Book of the Month has a huge selection to choose from. They sort through the newest, most anticipated books so that you get to choose from the best of the best each month. If you decide not to order a new book that month — maybe you’re behind on your reading list or found something else that caught your eye — you can skip and save your book credits for a later time. Overall, you’re investing less than $16 a month!
For those who like to stay sharp and highly caffeinated, the Coffee and a Classic subscription is perfect. Each month you’ll receive a classic book, a hot beverage of your choice (coffee, tea or hot chocolate) and a few surprise bonus items depending on the subscription level you choose. This option is a little pricier with boxes starting in the $40 range for a monthly subscription.
#4: Keep it Fun!
Remember, this isn’t your high school lit class. Becoming a regular reader doesn’t mean you can only read the classics. If you love rom-coms, try contemporary romance authors like Emily Henry. Fantasy lovers, discover new worlds in a series like “A Court of Thorns and Roses” or a stand-alone that makes you excited to keep reading.
Meeting your reading goals should not be something you dread. Read what you like, read in comfortable, motivating places and count everything — school books, picture books, articles. Find a new spot around your house or around campus that inspires you to finish the next chapter.
Keep your goals in mind and your motivation clear. Above all, commit to meeting your yearly goal for you.
Share your 2022 reading goals with us on Instagram @VALLEYmag!