A fresh new year means it is time to set a fresh new reading goal. Whether you are hoping to finally break 100 books read in a year, or you are hoping to finish at least one book this year, here are a few ways you and I can reach our goals.
Listen to an Audiobook in the Car or Around the House
If you, like me, have quite a long commute into the city, might I suggest downloading an e-audiobook or two and listening as you drive into work. It immediately turns what could be a stressful part of your day into something that is productive and fun. Or if you're lucky enough to have a short drive to work, you can always listen to an audiobook while working around the house. I'm a big fan of listening to audiobooks where the author is narrating, because it adds so much more to the story when you can hear Trevor Noah imitating how his mother talks in Born a Crime or hear how the rhymes and lines are supposed to flow in Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.
Read an Ebook instead of Facebook
I'm so guilty of this. I'll sit down to read a book on my lunch break, pull out my phone to check my messages, and suddenly it's the end of lunch and I'm scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. And while social media is a great tool, I find that I spend way too much time on it. To combat this, I've started downloading ebooks onto my device and I'll scroll through a book while I'm on lunch or waiting somewhere instead of checking Instagram for the 800th time. I've found that I like to read series like The Great Library by Rachel Caine and nonfiction works like In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan this way. When you hit that first book cliffhanger and you absolutely need book two, Overdrive normally has what I need right there waiting for me. And with denser texts, my eyes tend to give out, so being able to play with text size is such a game changer for me.
Embrace the Quick Reads
After reading 2 or 3 longer novels, I find that I need to throw in a short, fun read to keep myself from getting bogged down. A small book of poems or a graphic novel allow me to feel like I've really accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. And personally, these are the books that stay with me for the longest amount of time or make me cry the hardest. A book is a book, whether it takes you 30 minutes to read or a whole month. I know when it comes to poetry, people are very particular about what they like best, but I think If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar is absolutely brilliant. As for graphic novels, I just finished Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu, and it was the perfect read for a chilly, January night.
Read What Excites You
It took me a few years to realize this but the only way I'm going to make my goal is by reading books that I want to read. Not by trudging through something because it's apparently renowned or because it makes me seem cool/hip/educated/etc. I'm going to hit my goal by reading books that I'm excited to read, and I highly recommend you do the same. I'm not saying you shouldn't try new things, but there should never be any pressure to read something that doesn't hold your interest. You are not obligated to finish a book you don't enjoy (unless you're an English major, in which case, I feel your pain #TheHistoryofRasselas). Because reading, aside from everything else, should be fun.
Happy reading to you!