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.
So here are my bookish/reading goals for 2015, in no particular order:
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!
So these are my bookish/reading challenges for 2015. What are your bookish/reading challenges for the new year?