IN THIS POST: Setting goals for your reading is a highly personal activity. There are dozens of ways to do it depending on what you are trying to achieve. Here are five ideas for setting your reading goals to get you started.
If 2022 is your first year setting reading goals, then it may be best to start with a more traditional approach such as counting the number of books or pages that you finish. I’ve done that for several years now and will continue to tally how many books I read.
But, I was getting tired of the same approach so I started brainstorming different types of goals to add. A little creativity and shuffling through my shelves added a couple new goals to my own reading aspirations in 2022. Maybe something in the five ideas below will help you create a more dynamic reading year! Good luck!
Setting Reading Goals: What to Consider First
But before the ideas, a reminder! When you set reading goals, remember that it’s not a competition (unless it is). Think about what you hope to accomplish with your reading this year. Here are a few questions to get you thinking in that direction.
- Do I want to learn something?
- Do I want to become comfortable with reading as a hobby?
- Is reading something I already like or will reading be a challenge?
- Do I have a favorite genre?
- Do I want to expand the type of reading that I do?
- When do I most enjoy reading?
- Do I want to read outside of my comfort zone? If yes, why?
- Do I want to challenge myself to use my time differently? For example, reading instead of watching TV?
Only when you have a sense of what you’re trying to achieve will you be able to pick goals that match your interests. For example, last year I added a goal to read books from my to-be-read pile. They were books I had accumulated over the years with the good intention of reading them, but I had nevertheless consistently ignored them. I started from the interest of wanting to make a dent in my pile of books that I already owned. From there, making a separate goal was easier. I needed the goal because I was obviously finding reasons to not read them right away without an intentional focus on them.
Five Ideas for Setting Reading Goals
The TBR Pile
I’m going to start with the one that I just mentioned. Pick books that have been on your “to-be-read,” or TBR, pile and make a goal to read a certain number of them. For me, I picked the ten books specifically that I wanted to read. You may have more discipline and say “read 7 books from my TBR,” but I picked titles specifically in advance and wrote them down.
If you’re interested in learning more about something in particular, focus your reading goals this year in that direction. I’m a mood reader so I can’t make this my only focus throughout the year, but I do notice themes emerge as I read. The options are endless here. You can do a period of history, a science theme, a trend in current events (can you tell I’m a fan of non-fiction?).
One theme that emerged from my reading one year was quite shocking: the great outdoors! Not my typical interest, but the books were good. (Since that list is all non-fiction, if you’re interested in a great fiction read with an “outdoorsy” theme, The River by Peter Heller was excellent.)
Travel by Book
Travel the world through a book. It’s not as good as actually traveling, but it’s the best second option. Pick a country or continent and immerse yourself in other places. This year I’ve made a goal to read three books from South America. Pick a country or continent and immerse yourself in other places. I’ve got a reading list for Asia started for you. I’m hoping to get one for Africa up this year (hhmm….maybe I should make that a goal).
Read books with titles that start with each letter of the alphabet. This is guaranteed to shake up your reading. I haven’t made an official goal to do it, but with an eye toward this blog, I’ve been compiling a recommended list of fiction/non-fiction titles. Guess what? There are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in a year. That means, if you’re an avid reader, you could read through the alphabet twice in one year! Go for it!
Whether you join or host, being part of a book club is great for accountability. One book per month, usually, and a meeting time to discuss. Maybe you set a goal just to find and join a book club. Maybe you set a goal to read 7/12 of the books for the club (or whatever number works for you). However it works, joining a book club takes the pressure off of choosing the book to read and encourages readers to make the effort to read the book that is selected. This can be a great option for hesitant readers or new-to-reading adults.
If you’re brave enough to host a book club, check out these suggestions for hosting a great book club!
Reading in 2022
Whatever your reading goals are for 2022, I hope you enjoy all the books. Get lost in stories, find your way through history, travel the world, meet new friends, think big thoughts, add some weird words to your vocabulary, and never be upset about waiting for a doctor’s appointment. Cheers to 2022!