A new year is always a good time to try introducing new habits- especially when you’re trying to shake off the post-Christmas blues.
I’m not always the best person at starting that new healthy eating plan or exercise routine, mainly because I sort of forget to actually start them (there’s a dusty yoga mat in my room that can testify to that) but I take my reading seriously and in 2017 I want to try and do things a little differently, so these are the 5 reading goals I’m setting myself for this new year:
Read a book I wouldn’t normally read
We all have our favorite genres even if we don’t always like to admit it. Some of us are crime fanatics, some of us can’t wait to get our hands on the next spy thriller, others prefer fantasy or horror. There are some who would rather settle down with a non-fiction book over a fiction novel. We all know what we like and that’s good, but it can stop us from discovering something new. I’ve never read a Stephen King novel, or a true crime book because I’ve never considered them something I would like, but I might be wrong. My new favorite author might be waiting in a corner of the bookshop I never visit. This year I’m going try broadening my literary horizons by picking up a book I normally wouldn’t.
Use 1 hour a week I would normally use to watch TV to read
I am, I confess, a massive binge-watcher. I have been known to sit on the sofa and watch hours of a show at a time. I watched the first Season of Teen Wolf in one afternoon. I watched every episode of Parks & Recreation in six weeks. Days can get eaten up pretty fast if you have a DVD box set or a Netflix account. The problem is once I find a show I love I find it very hard to tear myself away, and when I’ve finished I have to find a new one to fill the hole the old one left. I am an enthusiastic viewer but I’m also a passionate reader, and in between work and university assignments it’s hard to find the time to be both. It’s about time I broke out of my binge-watching habit. So, one hour a week that I would normally use to watch an episode I’m going to dedicate to reading instead.
Read 50 books
In 2016 I set myself the goal of reading 40 books as part of the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I managed to read 45. I’m setting the bar a little higher for 2017 and aiming to read 50 books. I am extremely competitive with myself so the real goal is trying to enjoy the challenge.
Read more recent releases
I am rubbish at reading recent releases. I have a to-be-read tower of doom that could crush me any day now. I buy books quicker than I can read them which means I’m always playing catch up. Of the 45 books I read in 2016 only 2 were published that year. The problem when you read a book a few years after its published is you miss out on the discussions that happen after its release and the ‘did you get to page 208 where the thing happens?’ moments. I’m going to try balancing the old with the new in 2017, and that means supporting more talented, debut authors too!
Write out favorite quotes as I read
You know when you read a line in a book and it’s perfect? It’s the exact mix of profound, witty and insightful and you make a note to remember it. You even look at the page number and think ‘right I’ll come back to that later’, but then life happens and two weeks later you’re trying to remember the line, only you can’t remember what page it was on anymore so you skim the entire book just to find it but you can’t and then you wonder if it even exists. No? Just me? This year I will be keeping a quote journal to keep track of my favorite lines so I never have to endure the stress of re-finding them ever again!