Do you keep count?
If you’re like me, you join Goodreads Reading challenges every year. You may or may not hit the total number you set, but you’re determined to try anyway. I’ve joined the Reading Challenge every year since I first discovered it in 2015. Since then, I have only reached my reading goal three times.
This might surprise you. After all, I’m a writer. That’s part of the problem, actually. For example, when I published The Moreau Witches, I read my novel thirteen times that year, looking for errors. How many other books could I have read in that time?
This year, I’ve been working on The Curse of Kalaga and have unwittingly fallen into a read-and-revise spiral that I am hopefully about to end. Even so, reading only six books last year feels absolutely terrible.
I’m committed to doing better this year, and so far, so good. It helped that I started the year with way more time on my hands than I ended it. Hilariously, I have already read four books.
What is my reading goal for 2023?
My goal for this year is the same as last year. On New Year’s, I signed up to read 12 books by the end of the year. At the time that I’m writing this, we are only 8 days into the year. So, to be a third of the way through my reading goals feels absolutely amazing. The one big downside, of course, is that I now have less time to obsess over my novel, but maybe that’s a good thing.
What kind of books do I read?
For years, fiction was my go-to reading area. If it had vampires and witches and magic, even better. That changed in 2018. Since then, I have gradually read more and more non-fiction books. It reached a height in 2019. This was when RVing, camping, and tiny living took over my life. I had no one to ask for help or who could answer my questions, so I turned to YouTube and books. Clearly, they helped because less than a year later, I was on the road, putting everything I had learned into action.
Why are so few people reading these days?
This might not come as a surprise, but people are reading less and less worldwide. The decline is especially noticeable among men. Men are inclined to read books that stroke their egos and tell them how to feel powerful and be charismatic, but they seem to read little else. What might surprise you is that even college graduates read less and less in America.
If you have also struggled with meeting your reading goals lately, what happened? I’ve shared my reasons. What’s yours?
What will you do about it this year?
There are a few big reasons I’ve been able to read more lately. The main one is that I have been spending more time on my own and truly alone. Often times, we are alone but talking on the phone or getting caught up in social media. I now take an hour or two every day to walk on the beach at sunset.
Sometimes, I bring a book, and sometimes I bring painting gear. Whether I read during my sunset stroll or not, it frees my brain so that I get work done more quickly and have an extra hour or two before bed to read.
Isn’t it crazy how dedicating an hour or two to self-care somehow buys me another extra hour or two in the evening? And all without sacrificing the amount of work I do? Madness!
How many books will you read this year? And what will you do to ensure you reach your reading goals?