2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?

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At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.

Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.

For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.

Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post. Continue reading

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Mid Year Reading Goals Update: How Am I Doing?

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Does anyone else LOVE reading about other people’s reading goals? It’s just so fascinating to me.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about my (somewhat unconventional) reading goals for 2018. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d update you on every single goal to see how I’m doing. I thought I was doing pretty well, but I’m not so sure now..

Goal 1: Stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. I’m really trying to let this go, but it’s hard. I set my GoodReads goal for 52 books at the beginning of the year, with the idea that this was a ”loose” goal. But now if I look at it and I see I’m ‘only’ two or three books ahead of schedule, I want to read more because I don’t want to fall behind! This is stupid, because I should be proud I already read 29 books this year. In short, this is something I’m still working on.

Goal 2: Read more classic novels
This goal is going pretty well! So far, this year I read the following books that could be considered classics:
– 1984 by George Orwell
– Animal Farm by George Orwell
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
– Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I’m quite happy with this list, and for the second half of 2018 I want to try to expand this to at least 10 books. I’ve found it very valuable to (re)read these classics now that I’m a bit older, as I feel like I can grasp the symbolism and meaning of the story much better. Continue reading

How to Handle The Dreaded Reading Slump: 7 Tips

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Reading slumps suck. I should know, because I’ve been in plenty of them. When I’m in a reading slump, nothing captures my attention. I can’t get more than 50 pages into a book without tossing it aside. My TBR grows and grows, while all I do is rewatch Lost and Supernatural. 

It’s normal that your brain needs to take a break from reading every once in a while, Reading requires concentration, it’s an active experience rather than a passive one. So don’t feel bad for taking some time away from reading if you need to. But if that doesn’t help to get out of your reading slump, here are some of my all-time favourite tips!

Surround yourself with books
One thing I love to do when I’m in a reading slump: reorganize my bookshelves! I love going through the books that I love, seeing them usually reminds me of a certain time in my life when I was reading that particular book. Going to a bookstore or the library can also help. Sometimes, surrounding myself with books is all I need to get excited about reading again.

Take some time away from the internet
I’m currently reading a book called The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing To Our Brains, and it talks about how the internet has affected our attention span. According to the author of the book, the typical electronic screen is an “ecosystem of interruption technologies”. If you find that you keep checking your phone and you can’t get into your book, maybe it’s a good idea to take a bit of an internet break or leave your phone in another room.

Make better use of your Goodreads
If you love reading as much as I do, there’s a big chance you have a Goodreads account. If you update it regularly, there are all kinds of cool features you can check out. I love the yearly progress stats, where you can see how much you’ve read. There is an extensive giveaway page and tons of interesting lists, like the Best Biographies of English Royalty list, not to mention this amazing cult classics list. And it’s so much fun to add a bunch of interesting books to your TBR!  Continue reading

My (Somewhat Unconventional) Reading Goals for 2018

I wanted to write a post talking about which books – and how many – I’m planning to read in 2018. Maybe I’ll make it to 52, or even 60, I thought to myself, feeling excited. Until I started to really think about that goal. We’re talking about reading books, immersing ourselves in stories and reflecting on them afterwards. Books are (in my opinion) meant to teach you something, meant to leave a mark on you one way or another. Meant to make you feel something. Then why would I make it a goal to read as many books as possible?

To quote this very profound piece published in The Guardian, ”literature is one of the few areas of modern life where it’s not all about the numbers. Of course figures matter to bookshops, publishers, writers and even libraries, but if we enjoy reading – if reading is in some sense good – it doesn’t make any sense for the reader to say that if you double the number of books you manage to get through in a year, it will be worth twice as much.”

Stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read

If a ”read x amount of books a year” challenge works for you, then more power to you! but I’ve noticed that around the internet – on YouTube, blogs, Goodreads, etc – it has somewhat become a competition to read more. I often see people read novella’s or graphic novels (that you can read quickly) just so they can finish their reading challenge. Personally, that competitive mindset isn’t for me, not when we’re talking about books. So one of my goals for next year is to completely stop worrying about how much I’ve read, and especially haven’t read.

I’m still going to set myself a ”loose” goal of reading at least one book every week which will land me somewhere between 25 and 52 books at the end of the year. But that goal is meant to keep myself in check and practice my reading habit. The most important part for me is to not beat myself up if the one-book-a-week doesn’t work out, as long as I’m enjoying my book. Continue reading