{Aside} 2017 Reading Goals

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? 

37 thoughts on “{Aside} 2017 Reading Goals

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  1. I loved this post. You’re doing a fantastic job balancing everything going on, and as your days change in the coming months, you’ll adapt again. Congrats on increasing the challenge from 30 to 100. You’ve found a great style and approach for keeping yourself on a productive path. You should feel great! And good luck with the next 70 books… by June, you’ll probably be even higher at this rate. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you James!! 🙂 I hope I can keep the momentum going, for sure! Book blogging has really helped re-invigorate my passion for reading too, so I owe debt of gratitude to all my new friends I’ve made this year too. This is as much a post for you all as it is for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with your goal Bentley!!! And good for you for making time for reading in between school work. That’s seriously awesome. I think my best year for reading when I was in college was 30 books and my worst year was about 3. It can be so difficult to juggle everything so I completely understand that struggle. It’s great that you’re able to make reading a priority while still balancing everything else. Good luck making it to 100!!

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  3. Good luck! You can do it!

    As for my challenge, I set it at 120 because I always feel anything over that tends to stress me out, for some reason. But I’m already at 87 so I may need to change it soon. It’s surprising how much you read when you stop watching Netflix. Or give up on sleep! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Netflix is so addicting! It’s easy to get lost in the binge. I’m totally obsessed with Grace and Frankie right now, so I’m really trying to drag the episodes out and not watch them all at once. I agree with you though that having a super high reading challenge probably would stress me out too!

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  4. Good luck on 100, love, and congrats on the 30 books already! Reading took such a backseat for me, too, when I was in college, especially my last two years. But I’m so happy you are overpowering it, and that you decided to make your blog, because you are one of my favorites on here and on Goodreads! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve recently hit my goal of reading 30 books this year as well so I set it to 50 for now! I’ll probably set it higher anyway around summer time!
    And it’s so great to hear that you’re doing what you love doing again (which is reading lol) and not holding yourself back 🙂 Oh and kudos for reading instead of binge-watching! I’ve stopped watching tv shows when I first started my blog but they’re slowly creeping their way back into my life so I’ll have to find a good balance 😂
    Good luck with your challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Best of luck on your reading goals! I also tend to adjust my workouts so I can read while exercising if I’m at the gym and then I always have an audiobook downloaded for walking at the park. My goal is 85 books and I might have to adjust it higher:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who makes sure reading gets incorporated into a workout! I envy people who can handle audiobooks though. I tend to realize I’ve been tuning them out and had to go back to listen to chapters over again so I kind of gave up on trying them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s happened to me many times and I kind of think it comes down to a good narrator. If you want to give one a try I highly recommend YOU by Caroline Kepnes and Santino Fontana is the narrator…it’s amazing and he’s by far the best narrator I’ve every heard:)

        Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s great! I feel you for reading. When I was in school, my reading dropped dramatically – I still read since I was in English Literature but personal reading became a challenge. This year I set it to 52 since I am starting a book blog which is more work than I thought haha. But I am hoping to read possibly 100. The only thing I dislike is I don’t want to be stressed due to feeling forced to read x number of books. Anyways, great post and awesome job on the books!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I did this last year, and it completely changed my life, too. I read 101 books, compared to the 30 the year prior.

    Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good luck with reaching your goal, but I’m sure you can do it! I have the same challenge every year, 60 books. It’s an entirely calculated goal ;-). One book each week and 2 in vacation mode ;-).It’s just that I don’t like stress or surprises :-).

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I always set my yearly goal at 100, just because that’s what usually seems to work for me. I’ve read less this year than I did the year I was working, though 😦 Yay, depression…I’m starting to catch up, though, because I’m listening to a whole series on audiobook. Now I’m only ten books behind, I was behind by 14 or 15 before.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Got six more to finish this month…in the next two weeks, actually…then I’ll finish the last three books in the series next month. The Hoopla app only lets me take out 8 items a month, and I hit my August limit already. I did get some cozy mystery books, though, and an ARC of A Whole New World when the local bookshop was giving away ARCs and books they couldn’t sell for full price if you bought any book in the shop last Thursday. Cozy mysteries are kinda my jam, so this’ll be fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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