I meant to write this post earlier this week after I finished and reviewed Knights of the Borrowed Dark, but this weekend was the first true opportunity I had to sit down with my computer and really out my thoughts to the page – so to speak – for this blog post.
I wanted to talk about reading goals today. Specifically, I wanted to ruminate on the way that my personal reading goals have evolved and changed over the last couple of years, and how I chalk it all up to changing the way I used to think about reading.
Now that I’m at the end of my college career, I feel like I’m at a place in my life where I can speak a bit more objectively on the way that my thought processes towards school and reading have changed over the last 4 years. When I started school, I willingly laid aside a lot of the stuff that I have consistently thought of as making me the person that I am; and while I don’t regret the decision to complete my degree, I do kind of regret believing that in order to succeed as a college student I needed to sacrifice my own passions during those years.
Whereas I’ve always been a voracious reader, my reading dipped drastically in favor of school. I didn’t think I could do both at the same time, so I saved reading for those spring-breaks and summer vacations when I knew I would have more personal time. My focus went into school completely – which of course isn’t a bad thing – but since starting this blogging journey in January, I’ve begun to realize that I didn’t have to make it an all or nothing type of situation for myself.
I read 30 books in 2016 during all those in-between moments. Which isn’t bad at all, but it’s definitely lower than I wanted that number to me. My reading rate for the years before that were even lower.
When setting a challenge for 2017 – before I made the decision to start blogging – I set my goal for 30 books again. As of Monday of this week when I finished my last read, I’ve read 30 books so far this year, and all it took was changing the way I thought about reading. To move reading out of being that thing I only did every few months when I was free from school, and into a personal reward system for myself.
- This year I read instead of binge watching TV.
- This year I read a chapter – or five – of my current book when I finished a homework assignment for school.
- This year I carried 2 books with me at all times: a paperback and my kindle.
- This year I shifted out of strength training 24/7 at the gym and worked in more cardio just so I had time to read.
And what happened?
I found myself flying through the books I was reading. I was finishing 2-3 books each week, instead of a few books every 3 months or so. Reading is one of those habits that society at large seems to treat like some impossible thing to find the time for, when in actuality, (like any hobby) you must make the time for it. I’ve learned not to let that societal myth that treats finding the time to read like some unicorn hobby from days of old hold me back, and it’s been so freeing creatively for me.
So I’ve upped my goal for 2017.
I’m moving from a goal of 30 books read, to a goal of 100. It’ll be three times as many books as I’ve read in the last 4 years, but even the hope of reaching that point has me really excited. This week’s been a bit of a struggle just because I’m going into finals at school, but I’m still managing to chip away at the few books I’m reading in tandem and I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Wish me luck!
Hows your reading challenge for 2017 going? How do you make time for reading? How have your reading habits changed over the years since you started blogging?