The New Year is here, which means people are making tons of resolutions, including choosing how many books they want to read for their 2016 reading goals.
I adore reading challenges, yet lately I’ve realized that I’ve been failing at many. I almost failed my Goodreads challenge of 50 books this year, and that really bummed me out. Reading fifty books wasn’t even a challenge for me a few years ago, but due to more responsibility now, it’s a struggle.
And I’m not the only one facing this. I’ve noticed several people stating that they’ve failed their challenges, and in the end, lost the desire to read at all. A challenge should, obviously, challenge you, but it should also be fun. People are losing the joy of reading because they’re too busy competing with themselves or others, and that’s tragic.
As Ray Bradbury says, “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
I started thinking about the New Year and what my reading goal would be and I decided to set a very loose goal and ditch counting how many books I’ve read.
I decided my primary target for my 2016 reading goals would be to read larger tomes I’ve ditched in order to meet my challenges the last few years. I wanted to write predominately on that but then realized that my goal isn’t necessarily one that sounds appealing to others.
Instead, I’ve created a quick list to help you choose easier 2016 reading goals, and help keep reading fun and not a chore.
5 Ways to Set Easy-to-Manage 2016 Reading Goals
1. Read Larger Tomes You’ve Avoided in Order to Meet Your Previous Goals
As I’ve said, this is my primary goal for the upcoming year. About 5+ years ago, I could easily reach my goal and quickly read several larger books. However, that just isn’t the case anymore. Part of that is being busy and part of that is due to depression (read my post on that here).
This led me to the decision not to set an arbitrary number or follow a premade guide. Instead, I resolved to read several larger tomes that I’ve put off for XYZ reasons. Some aren’t necessarily gigantic, but they are rather hefty reads.
I desperately want to set a number goal for this, but I need to stay strong – that’s what I’m trying to avoid this year.
2. Read the Books You Should’ve Read but Never Did in High School
Whether you were homeschooled, went to a school that didn’t follow typical school reading outlines, or ignored certain books, this is for you. High school reading lists vary so there is always something awesome to choose from whether it is 1984, The Crucible, a Shakespeare play, or Lord of the Flies – try it!
In fact, Common Room’s wonderful founder Hadas is planning to do a “Books I Should’ve Read in School” challenge.
3. Read a Book or Two Out of Your Comfort Zone
We all have a reading comfort zone. Mine is fantasy or fantasy/sci-fi. I adore those books and tend to reread a lot of them. Lately, however, I’ve been attempting to read outside my comfort zone and I’ve found a few really great reads.
For instance, I never used to be big into mysteries and then one day I decided to try Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and I fell in love. I also picked up a few Chuck Palahniuk books and found I really enjoy his writing style.
You never know what you’ll discover when you step out of your comfort zone so try to at least once this year.
4. Ask a Friend for a Recommendation
This can be an easy way to step out of your reading comfort zone or it might help you find another favorite in your preferred genre. If you’re at an impasse on what to read next, text your friend and get a suggestion.
If you happen to ask someone like me, get ready to have a huge list. In fact, if you ask someone like me, (my book rec lists are usually gigantic), ask for 5 books at most.
5. Follow Book Blogs and Book Bloggers
If you’re looking for specific books to meet something special you’re wanting, make sure to follow a few book blogs. We review a lot of books here at Common Room, so keep an eye out for our reviews!
Book blogs can also give you wonderful suggestions for a reading challenge if you want to branch out. See Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge. Book Riot is an awesome book blog site that can help introduce you to quite the range of different books to read.
Are you ready to read for fun this year? I know I sure am!
Do YOU have any reading challenge plans?