It’s the end of 2018 and nobody is more surprised than I am that I’ve been able to do so much reading.
At the beginning of every year, I set a reading goal. I’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s something that Goodreads prompts all of their users to do and I enjoy anything that lets me feel like I’m working towards a goal and making progress. (If you’ve read this blog before this comes as no surprise.)
Last year, I thought it might be fun to push myself and set a goal to read 100 books in one year. A few months into the goal I wasn’t at all on track and reading was starting to feel like a chore. I quickly decided I didn’t want to ruin reading for myself and I changed my goal to 30 books. (I wound up at 29.)
So what’s different this year?
In previous years you would have seen my book list peppered with self-improvement, business, and best sellers. I was reading books because they were popular because I thought I should be reading them, not always because I wanted to be reading them.
Earlier this year, I came to the realization that the kinds of books I want to read aren’t always self-improvement (let’s be honest, too much of that leaves you feeling like you aren’t doing enough.)
At heart, I’ve always been a lover of fiction, fantasy, and YA. Growing up, a trip to the bookstore was the best way to spend time and it was always a negotiation process with my parents as to how many books I’d be allowed to leave with. I’d then sit in my room all weekend reading these new finds like it was my job and leaving my mom concerned that I wasn’t spending enough time outside.
It’s hard to tell when I decided that I didn’t want to read what I wanted anymore and only wanted to read what others would approve of. I discussed this Habbi on a recent MakeWorkWork episode and one of the sentiments we both expressed is “How does it even make sense to not read the things you want to read because you’re concerned about what other people think?”
Whatever it was that stopped me from reading the kinds of books I really wanted to (and it may have just been myself) has clearly been holding me back a major passion for reading good stories. The truth is, as soon as I released my love of fiction, fantasy, and YA again – the number of books I was reading started to skyrocket.
Now, my reading list is full of magic, sorcerers, assassins, dragons, and adventure. As it should be.
My reading routine
To have made space for this much additional reading in my life, it means that I’ve changed my routines in a few ways. Here are the two biggest ways:
I read before bed
This is the easiest time of the day to make time for something new. After work, and after jiu-jitsu, I would come home and spend my time reading instead of watching TV. I still watch TV occasionally, but the trick for me has been finding books that I love so much that I’d rather read than watch TV even with the choice.
I listen to audiobooks at every opportunity
A big shift for me this year was getting into audiobooks. Whenever I’m in a situation where I can listen to something, say I’m driving alone, cooking alone, or walking somewhere, I’ll be listening to an audiobook. Audible has made this super easy. I recommend signing up for their daily deals emails to see the books they have on sale each day as well.
What I’m reading
I don’t think it would fair to say I’ve found all of these books I’m devouring without sharing the series that I’m currently in love with. Here are a few of them I can highly recommend if magic and dragons sound appealing to you:
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix
Healer Series by Maria V. Snyder
Dragon Kings Series by Kimberly Loth
Stella and Sol Series by Kimberly Loth
To see everything I’ve read in 2018 (there has been a little bit of self-improvement but only because I’ve really wanted to read it this time) check out my Goodreads profile. Add me as a friend on Goodreads if you want to keep closer tabs on the books I’m reading. 📚
You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter to learn what I’m reading, recording, and writing.