It’s January, which means it is time to set our yearly reading goals. Last year, I arbitrarily set one goal: read 100 books. I read 139. I celebrated achieving this goal briefly but because my goal was arbitrary it was not as satisfying. I had not given much thought to why I choose the number 100, which is very antithetical to how I typically operate. When I sat down to plan my 2021 reading goals I thought about why I was reading. This guided the goals I set- spoiler alert, there is not a number in sight.
Why do we read. I read for a number of reasons: to learn and grow as a person, to understand different perspectives, as well as to relax and have fun! It is fun to see the numbers go up- don’t get me wrong- but for me the number tracking added an extra layer of pressure. I felt that is I did not read X-number of books, I was not a good enough reader- taking the fun out of reading. To my first goal, numbers alone cannot tell me how much I have grown or what I have gotten from a book. To my second goal, I can read 200 books but if they are all from my perspective , I have not gained any insight to another point of view. And to my third goal, stress reading a ton of books just to check a box is not fun.
With all of this in mind, I set four reading goals:
- Continue to read diversely and from different perspectives
- Read more nonfiction
- Try Sci-fi, Horror, and Urban Fantasy
- Read translated works
Because these goals are not number based, I am still figuring out how to measure and track them. I invite you to follow on my reading journey this year. Honestly, I am not sure where we will end up, but I figure that is half the fun. If you have any recommendations for me, I would love them. Happy Reading!