I have trouble with reading goals. If I set a number, I’ll find myself racing through books, sticking to shorter books, and ignoring the books I truly want to read. So, I have two plans for next year. Resolutions, I suppose.
The first one: read for joy.
You’d think it’s obvious, but nope. I find myself reading out of a sense of obligation all the time. I don’t reread X because I need to read A in time for the publication date. I don’t read Y because B has been on my list for longer. I don’t read Z because C is shorter, which means I can meet my reading goal faster. And though quite often I enjoy A, B and C, I wanted to read X, Y and Z more.
So my plan for this year is to read whatever brings me joy. I just have another rule — or, well, a game.
Yep. It goes like this: let’s say I normally read about 30 books a month when I’m trying to stick to a reading goal. So we’ll call that… 90 points, if each book is worth 3 points (see below). I want to earn 100 points a month. Each book gets points from a couple of different categories: Acquisition, Length and Joy Factor. I get more points for reading a book I bought back in 2013 than for a book bought in 2017, more points for a 500-pager than a 300-pager, and more points for reading something that felt in any way like a chore.
|1||2017, borrowed, current ARC, reread||Comic/under 300 pages||MUST READ NOW|
|2||2015-2016||400+ pages||It can wait|
|3||2013-2014||500+ pages||I'm not exactly pumped|
|4||2011-2012||600+ pages||Do I HAVE to?|
So say I read Owl and the Japanese Circus, which I got in 2015. I want to read it, but I’m not all grabby-grabby. I only have it as an ebook, so I’ll check the page count on Goodreads… 432. So that’s two points for Acquisition, two for Length, and two for Joy Factor. Six points for the book in total.
If I finally read Glyn Jones’ The Island of Apples, that’s from 2011 (4 points), it’s 256 pages long (1 point) and I’m not very enthused about it (3 points, possibly 4). So that’d get me 8-9 points. I’d only need to read 13 books in that month to hit my goal, but I’d have picked up something from way back in the TBR that I was interested in (because I’ve never bought a book I had no interest in) that I might not have picked otherwise.
The point is that little bit of extra motivation… or not, if all I want to do is devour 30ish books of under 300 pages in length each month.
Also, to give myself some wriggle room, while 100 is the monthly goal — which would mean a yearly goal of 1,200 points — I’m going to make my overall goal 1,000 points, to keep things a bit more relaxed.
Can I do this too?
Sure! Feel free to adapt it however you want, but I’d appreciate a link back here. I’ll be posting updates every month on how I’m doing, and I’ve made a spreadsheet with a template sheet you can copy, edit, whatever. You can find that here! And don’t forget to let me know how you’re doing if you do join in.
And if you can make better graphics, knock yourself out…