Tag Archives: reading goals

The unexpected benefits of a reading goal


It appears there are unexpected benefits to having a reading goal. This is the first year I’ve actually set a “books read” goal (mine is 96 books) and while having the goal alone is quite motivating, there’ve been some interesting side effects.

I’m slower to DNF. Yes, it’s true. I used to be one of those “I’ll give you ten, okay, maybe 15 pages but that’s about it” readers. Now, though, if I’ve invested the half an hour or whatever it took for me to get through those first fifteen pages, I find I’m reluctant to put down a book unless I’m absolutely sure I’m holding a real stinker. Which doesn’t actually happen very often at all.

I’m still a moody reader, but now my moods are “stickier”. So yes, I still have to be in a a certain type of mood to read a certain type of book. Which means I still get into a mood for mystery, or fantasy, or science fiction or non-fiction or memoir or whatever—but I find myself staying in that mood for longer. Often for long enough to finish whatever book I happen to be reading. And if not (I like to have three or four books on the go at any given time) then it seems like I switch to a mood that’s right for another one of the books I have on the go. Quite handy.

As for that “not in the mood for reading” mood. And so far this year (knock wood) I haven’t encountered the “not in the mood for reading” mood. Which has been very nice indeed (although I’m not so sure I can credit this to my having a reading goal this year. But maybe I can.)

I have a lot more “Incoming!” books. Once upon a time I would semi-regularly post an “Incoming!” post, where I’d list the latest books that crossed the MsBookish threshold. It’s hard to write those posts, though, when you’re only seeing a trickle of new titles every now and then. But now that I’m reading regularly and consistently, I find I’m constantly on the lookout for more books. And when that happens, more books arrive. (Perhaps this is the Avalanche Theory of Reading More?)

I have a lot more to blog about. Reading more books means I have a lot of bookish stuff on my mind, which means I have a lot more bookish ideas for posts. Which is a good thing, since I’m also committing this year to 365 days of blogging.

Have you encountered any of these benefits of having a reading goal?

{2015 Goals} Bookish goals for the new year

I’ve been thinking about this post for a few weeks now. In the past, I’ve always said things like, “I want to read more”, but this year, I’m heading into the new year with SMART reading goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Photo 2014-12-31, 4 05 21 PM

So here are my bookish/reading goals for 2015, in no particular order:

1. Read these five and these five books from my TBR stash.

I’ll only be reducing my stash by ten books, but I wanted to make this a goal I’d have a chance of meeting (especially since I didn’t even touch my TBR stash in 2014), so I chose books I really really really want to read. Setting myself up for success is a good thing!

2. Read 96 books.

I’ve never set a quantifiable “number of books I’m going to read” goal before. I thought about making it 52 books – one per week – but I wanted to challenge myself a bit more. Especially since, if I get on a reading streak, I have no problems reading a book every day or two. It’s just that I don’t give myself the time for reading streaks all that often.

So I decided on 96. My first pick was 80, but 12 doesn’t divide evenly into that, and I wanted a monthly target. So then I thought, okay, 84. That would require seven books a month. But I’d like to challenge myself a little more. So I decided in the end on eight books a month, or 96 books in total.

3. Visit at least four of Toronto’s second hand bookstores.

I’m going to work off BlogTO’s list here. Ideally I’d love to visit all twenty stores on the list, but that’s not realistic. I decided on four, one per season, but I may end up visiting more. I’m not sure which ones I’ll visit, other than The Monkey’s Paw, because I really want to try out the Biblio-Mat book vending machine there. Plus they stock mostly odd, obscure and forgotten titles – which sounds absolutely delightful to me!

4. Listen to at least three audiobooks each month, or 36 audiobooks in total.

I’d like to get in the habit of listening to an audiobook every night before bed, both to give my eyes a rest and also because I’ve noticed my mind’s tendency to wander unless the book is absolutely riveting, and one of my other goals is to practice the no-thought of stillness so I figure listening intently to an audiobook would be a good way to at least practice keeping distracting thoughts at bay.

I go through periods where I listen to more audiobooks than I read in ebook or print format, but I’m not at all consistent. Overall, I think I’m probably already listening to one or two audiobooks a month, so I figure three will be a challenge that’s neither too easy nor too hard.

5. Read two nonfiction titles each month.

This goal is linked with the audiobook goal, as I intend to listen to at least one non-fiction title per month, and maybe more. I love fiction, but I also like the learning that happens when I read a good nonfiction book. Also, I intend to keep myself motivated this year by reading productivity and creativity books, so I might as well make it into a goal, right?

6. Learn to read, understand (and hopefully love) poetry.

This is a skill (or taste?) I never really acquired in school, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve come across poems that I love, but on the whole, I certainly don’t go out of my way to read poetry. And I’ve never studied the mechanics of either understanding or writing poetry. I’d like to change that in the new year. Last year I bought Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook so I’ll start my “studies” with this book. Other books which I’ll probably turn to are Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry and Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters.

7. Read more books from the library.

I can’t really quantify this particular goal, since I’m never too sure what holds I’ll receive from the library each week. And it’s not that I don’t borrow a lot of library books, because I do. My problem is that most of the time I return too many of them unread. I’d like to change that in the new year, which means that library books will automatically move to the top of the to-read list when I pick them up.

8. Read a short story a day.

I can’t believe I forgot to include this in the first draft of my post! Hope it won’t jinx my intention to read a short story a day.

And not really a goal, but just for fun: 52 Bookish Things to Do in 2015

I’m not signing on for any reading challenges in 2015, but Popsugar has come out with this Ultimate Reading Challenge and I’m going to use it as my list of 52 bookish things to do in the new year. I’m printing out this PDF and using it to check-off books as I read them. I’m also not going to try to read books that match the items on the list. Instead, I’m going to check the list after I finish a book, to see if I can check anything off. I think it will be fun to see how many items I have checked off by the end of 2015!

popsugar reading challenge


So these are my bookish/reading challenges for 2015. What are your bookish/reading challenges for the new year?