Every year I set (and try to reach) a new reading goal for myself. With the rising popularity of BookTok, more and more people are gaining or regaining an interest in reading, and the new year is the perfect time to start fresh with a new habit. Reading goals can vary, whether it be the number of books read, types of reading material, annotating more while reading, etc.; but no matter the goal, a clean slate in 2022 makes it really easy to track your progress. It’s important to remember that reading should be enjoyable and part of a balanced lifestyle, so don’t compare yourself to other readers or be hard on yourself if you don’t reach the goals you set out for. However, I always encourage practical and achievable reading goals, because we could all use a little more reading in our lives.
With that being said, here are my tips to help you tackle your reading list this year:
- Carry a book with you everywhere. Once you start doing this, you will find so many little moments throughout your day that you can squeeze in a few pages. Waiting for class to start, riding the bus, standing in line at Starbucks, etc.
- Read multiple books at once. This strategy is helpful in adding variety. If you find yourself getting worn out from one book, switch to the other for a fresh story. You can choose books that are similar to each other, or ones that are totally different to create more diversity.
- Keep an exciting TBR (To Be Read) list. TBR lists are just so motivating! Seeing all the books you are excited about and eager to start reading makes you want to finish your current read even faster.
- Read small amounts every day. Though I tend to like binge reading a book in long sittings, spacing your reading out into ~30 pages a day will get you through a pretty solid chunk of text by the end of the week. Forming this habit will guarantee that you maintain some consistency, even if your reading motivation starts to weaken. Sectioning books off can also help you keep to a schedule – if that’s your thing. Just divide the total number of pages by the number of days you’re trying to finish it in and read that amount each day.
- Take classes that require reading. If you struggle finding time to read because of your classes, try to incorporate a reading-based course (like a literature elective) into your schedule. You’re likely taking some sort of elective or gen-ed each semester, so choose one that will allow you to read during the time you’re already designating for schoolwork.
- Find book bloggers on social media. Not only will this give you recommendations for new books and a community to discuss works you’ve read, but it is also really motivating seeing other people read. Probably the best thing about this tip is the fact that seeing a book post come up helps you catch yourself endlessly scrolling when you could go read instead!
- Stray from novels when you need to. Novels are a relatively new form of literature – people have been reading and writing long before they were invented. There is a whole lot out there besides your typical “books”. Read short stories, poems, plays, even nonfiction. This is especially helpful if you struggle sticking with a full-length book.
I hope you find these tips helpful and that they inspire you to pick up that book gathering dust on your shelf. Happy reading!