It’s that time of year: reading goals!

goalsOnce the calendar turns over to December, the natural tendency is to start reflecting on the year that was, and for the year that is to come. Some people make resolutions, some people don’t. But there is a vast majority of book nerds who will definitely be making a reading goal.

Truthfully, I never really did until a few years ago. A friend of mine asked me how many books I read in a year, and I honestly didn’t know. I was like “I dunno….12…15?” She seemed to have strong opinions that I read more than that. So I started tracking – thank goodness for Goodreads. I read 45 books that year. WHAT?!?! I was actually surprised. (And had to admit to my friend she was right.)

One of the cool things, at least I think, about Goodreads is the annual reading challenge. If you aren’t familiar with this, you can set the number of books you think you are going to read during the year and the widget tracks your progress against that goal. There is something very satisfying watching the progress bar and seeing that you are on track to meet your goal (or panic because you are behind).

You might ask, who cares about a reading goal? Truthfully no one, really. Lives are not lost and it doesn’t make you a better or worse person if you meet the goal, or whether you read 1 book or 50. (I mean, look, I do think you are a better person if you read, but if you can manage 1 book in a year, I give you props!)

So how do you pick a goal? For me, with my schedule, working etc. I figure easily I can read 2 books a month. That puts me at 24. I like to stretch it a bit – so I usually set it at around 30. I tend to read shorter, lighter books so it’s not too difficult to get there. If I was reading biographies and historical non-fiction – I might not get through that many.

Should you make a goal? Sure! I think it’s fun. Ok, maybe not like FUN fun. But it definitely does help to keep my on track with reading. If I see that I am falling behind my goal, I might start to give up a half hour playing Animal Crossing and read instead.

Here is what I believe at the end of the day, reading is good for you and it should be fun and pleasurable. I think if you choose to spend some of your spare time reading, that is a win. So if you read 0 books this year, set a goal for 1. Trust me, you will thank me later.

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