My 2019 Reading Goals
I started the year with a pretty crazy goal. To read 75 books before the next January rolled around.
No, I wasn’t completely drunk at a New Year’s Eve party, I was just far, far, too optimistic. Seeing as it’s almost the middle of February and I’ve managed to read exactly three and a half books… I have a feeling this is one goal I am sadly not at greats odd to achieve.
I blame Good Reads and all the Instagrammers who have their book counts proudly displayed in their bio. 100 books in a year?
Maybe in 2020!
For now though, I’ve refined my reading goals and decided to go for something a little more achievable; I’m not a natural reader, I’m not a fast reader, but it’s something I really want to grow in myself, and so I will do whatever I have to to get there.
And I’ll ignore the numbers whilst I’m at it.
I created my reading goals this year to tick off three major requirements: bringing happiness and joy into my day, learning/expanding my mind, and furthering/aiding my work goals.
I have never broken down and analyzed what reading means to me or what place I want it to have in my life, but there you go, on reflection, those are the roles that books serve, when I sit myself down and get off my phone long enough to enjoy them!
So here you are- my reading goals for the year. It’s my first year formally doing this so I expect to be quite the literary genius when I’m done.
READ TO BRING JOY INTO MY LIFE
There is so much out there that I consume on the daily that actually, seriously makes me super happy. I’m not hard to please, I don’t need nights out or trendy new dining spots, massive social events of fancy weekend breaks, to feel really relaxed, happy, and engaged.
I need a Premium YouTube subscription but on the whole I would say that’s pretty low maintenance right?
As a blogger and therefore a huge consumer of online content, I can wipe away hours, days, I’m too embarrassed to go on, happily amused by the myriad personalities I follow online, lapping up their new content, without ever lifting my face from my phone.
It’s terrible I know. That’s why we have a Netflix subscription and a really big TV.
I kid, but the truth is with all that entertainment coming at me, and a huge penchant for reading magazines (both the supermarket bought variety and the online ilk), I can quite happily coast along for a very long time indeed without turning to a book for its entertainment value.
But I’m missing out on so much!
Books can provide a unique kind of happiness and a unique insight into other people’s live, even if those are fictitious people, that almost nothing else can quite emulate. And that’s worth sitting down and turning your phone off for!
This year I want to be honest in the kind of books that make me happy.
I’m not going to attempt to read high brow fiction that doesn’t really make me happy or that feels like a chore to get through. Sure, a book may have got a lot of critical acclaim, but that doesn’t mean I am necessarily going to enjoy reading it.
Books I enjoy definitely fall into the realm of the highly contested genre, chick lit. I love chick lit, and I don’t care to deny it or skirt around it! And sometimes, the sillier it is the better! I love heartfelt women’s contemporary literature and I also love tongue in cheek, hilarious, series of mess ups, women’s contemporary literature. I can’t get enough of the genre and luckily, with so many fabulous women’s authors out there, I don’t have to!
I also want to fully indulge my love of reading historical sagas, especially romantic ones. What can I say? I’m sucker for them! Give me a good war time story any day.
Confession: I’ve definitely been finding myself reaching for lots of books lately about new moms or moms who are losing their mind with the craziness of their lives, and I find the experience I get from these characters is proving invaluable, so I’ll go ahead and pick those books up even if I’m not a mom myself yet! Really makes my daily struggle seem a little less strugglish I can tell you that.
I also want to allow myself to reignite my lost love for young adult fiction.
Don’t tell anyone.
Okay fine, let’s come to terms with who we really are then?
’ll be honest, I sometimes find YA hard to get through as an adult, just finding the style or language a little too young, but there are some real gems there, and I don’t want to hold myself back from enjoying them anymore just because I’m embarrassed to walk into the young adult section of the bookstore!
Currently on my list:
I Owe you One by Sophia Kinsella / With or Without You by Shari Law / Written From the Heart by Trisha Ashley / The Tea Planter’s Wife and The Missing Sister by Dinah Jeffries
READ TO LEARN
Reading has always been a really invaluable way for me to learn stuff.
You know, intellectual stuff.
I haven’t been doing a great job hey?
Jokes aside, I’ve definitely gone through times in my life where I was convinced I preferred non-fiction to fiction. The madness. To be honest, I can’t say that that’s actually true, or ever has been actually true…. but sometimes it felt that way.
I’ve come across non-fiction books that have so captured my attention, I’ve pretty much not been able to put them down for a week on end (like I said, I’m a slow reader).
This year I am really keen to make a super concentrated effort to seek out and find books such books rather than just happily chance upon them and then disappear into a reading hole, to emerge a week later ranting about something no one has heard of, fully forgetting to eat my avocado toast and brush my knotted hair.
Non fiction isn’t always promoted or highlighted as fiercely as big fiction releases, and so many gems can really go unnoticed, at least for me. Not this year. This year, I fully intend to spend as much time in the non-fiction aisles, both IRL and online, and find the books that, for their more serious covers, and often lack of good cover art, would otherwise have been totally ignored by my chick lit hungry self.
There’s so much out there that I really want to learn about, and I think for me, at this point in my life, reading will be the way to go. I could go down the podcast route but let’s be honest there are too many lovely chatty podcasts that are going to win over instead.
I’m hoping that by giving the ‘learning’ aspect of reading more attention this year, I’ll come away more knowledge, more patent in my reading habits, more able to hold my own in a conversation, and maybe with a whole host of new interests in areas I never thought I would have.
And also I won’t spend as much time on the Daily Mail, and that’s always, always a good thing.
Currently on my list:
Just Eat It by Laura Thomas / The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin / Calm by Fearne Cotton
Aiding My Work Goals
I can’t tell you how much time I spend learning bout blogging and the online world.
It’s getting a little ridiculous.
Waking up and popping on a podcast on the blogging world before I even make it to brush my teeth is possibly a little obsessive and definitely a little unhealthy. But these resources are truly invaluable. I have learnt so much about operating online, online. Between bloggers who’ve been there and done it all, to women who share their strategies in honest conversations, there’s so much to learn for free online.
Add to that my other unhealthy obsession, purchasing online courses and e-books from said bloggers (they’re also invaluable but I do have a bit of a problem not gonna lie).
But in all of this, I do tend to forget to see what’s out there in the physical book world, that can help me learn and grow. And I feel like I may be missing out on some real gems. So this year I want to rectify that and actually order myself some books I can get stuck into, and pick up a wealth (more) of information I can use in my own day to day blogging and work life.
Currently on my list:
Styling for Instagram by Leela Cyd / Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker
And there you have it, my reading goals for the year.
I’ve already started on them where I can and honestly, I’m loving it so far.
75 titles or not.