How To Meet Your 2020 Reading Goal

Posted January 1, 2020 by Nicky in General / 13 Comments

Because I read a lot (once upon a time I managed 500 books in a year; now it’s more like 200), I frequently get asked what the trick is. People seem to think I have a lifehack or something that I can share with other people. I’ll break that down a bit more below, but here’s what I think (looking back) is the biggest driver for me meeting my reading goals…

I do best when I don’t care about the goals at all.

My reading has slowed down more and more with every goal I add, every challenge I decide I have to meet. It’s also slowed down because I’m an adult working 30 hours a week and studying and trying to be a healthy person with a tidy house — there’s no denying that. And the increased amount of non-fiction I read now is a factor as well. But there’s a fairly large correlation between when I started really worrying about meeting reading goals and when my reading speed abruptly dropped.

Now, I do have some habits which I think help me read a lot, so I’ll summarise them below:

  1. Always have a book with you. You never know when you’re going to have a tedious hour stuck by the side of the road waiting for a bus or a towtruck. Or a 30-minute wait at an appointment. Even a five-minute wait for the train gives me time to fit in a chapter.
  2. Pick up the book, not your phone (unless the book is on your phone). It goes without saying, really.
  3. Give yourself at least a little room to read based on whims. Reading isn’t meant to be a chore. You don’t need a pre-planned TBR. If you’re really excited to read a book, you’ll remember it. You won’t be able to keep your hands off it.
  4. Buy books you’re excited about. If it’s just a case of “I feel like I should read this”, that book is destined to moulder on the TBR pile forever. And my TBR pile is daunting as heck now because of exactly the wrong kinds of purchasing decisions.
  5. Make the time. It’s been a shit day, but you can still turn some pages. And if you like reading and you’re reading a book you’re excited about, that’s only gonna make your day better.

That’s it. That’s my magic bullet. Everything else comes and goes, but these things are constant and always help toward meeting my goals.

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13 responses to “How To Meet Your 2020 Reading Goal

    • There’s a lot of emotional stuff that impacts both my reading and my buying (reading down, buying up, when something bad happens! not a good combo for my TBR!)… but mostly, yeah, it’s embarrassingly simple.

      …I’m really not making the time myself right now. 🙁

  1. Happy new year! And your line about doing best when you don’t care about the goals really resonated because I think in some ways I am the same! It’s hard to enjoy something when I’m forcing myself or monitoring it constantly, and often I find that I am better at achieving my goals when I don’t think about them at all, lol!

    • Yep! I did ponder completely ditching tracking my books this year, but I think I’m going to keep at it but hide all the numbers from myself!

  2. I don’t think I could read 500 books in a year unless I read day and night which I can’t do! This year I need to balance my reading with catching up with films and dvd boxset series as well. I’m determined this year to be better with blogging and book reviews AND catch up with some of the time consuming stuff I need to get to on the computer-rearranging Goodreads shelves, writing old book reviews, helpful notes on the books I have on ereaders to make it easier to choose my next reads and so on!

    • I haven’t done it in a long time, and honestly I don’t know how I did it back then! I’m much more restrained these days. Good luck with this year’s goals!

  3. The, uh, correlation between amount of hours spent on my phone and books read is uncanny. Like, it’s a one to one relationship (not sure what the graph would look like here? but it’s pretty bad :/. The kindle app has helped a lot, but carrying around my physical kindle has helped even more. This year I want to read books I want to read, and not just books that I feel like I need to read for sure. I’m still feeling out the line between those two, but I know that it’ll help a lot with my reading!

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