Reading Tip of the Week: Planning Ahead for 2023

January 1, 2023, is only a mere 108 days away, and it got me thinking about my reading goals for the coming year. Is it too early to create a reading plan? Perhaps. But, with my current reading goal of 25 books almost completed – I’m at 22 read so far – I was starting to figure out my reading goal for next year.

And, planning ahead of time helps distance it from the stigma of being a New Year’s resolution.

So, let’s talk about it!

Why Have a Plan?

I used to read whatever I wanted and as many or as few books as I felt like each year. But when I started setting a yearly reading goal, it turned reading into a goal-oriented activity. It was a great way to turn off the TV and open a book since I had a set number of books I wanted to read in a year.

A reading plan can also help you stay focused and create a basic schedule to help you reach your chosen reading goal.

How Many Books?

If you’ve never set a reading goal, start with 12 books for the year. That’s one a month, which should be fairly manageable. If you’re an avid reader like myself, you can double that.  

I have seen several people posting their completed 2022 reading goals on social media. One woman has read 172 books and her goal was 80!

Start with a basic number, and if you find yourself burning through books faster than you anticipated, you can always change your goal. For example, I initially started 2022 wanting to read 20 books but realized I would hit that sooner than later, so I upped it to 25.

What Books?

Simple answer: read what you like.  

More complex answer: Vary what you read, so you don’t get into a monotonous cycle that makes you dread picking up a book.  

I like to alternate between fiction and non-fiction, and I also will pick a theme for my non-fiction and stick to it throughout the year. For example, in 2020, I read several non-fiction books about pandemics and plagues throughout history. In 2021, I read about world history. This year, I’ve been focused on biographies about actors and actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

And in between, I read fiction.

Now, you can spin the wheel and choose what books to read and in what order at random, or you can plan out what you’ll read and when you plan to read it.

What About Page Count?

After I read a 900-page biography, I’m not ready to dive into another entry in the Game of Thrones series. I’ll usually grab a shorter book from my shelf or on my Kindle and burn through that before I start another longer book.

Variety is a key factor in keeping the reading momentum going. If you read one of your kid’s books, count it. Reading is reading, and any book you read can count toward your goal total.

Where Can I Keep Track?

You can use several sites and apps to keep track and record your progress. I use Goodreads.com, but apps like StoryGraph or Bookly can work just as well.

Find a site or app that you like and stick with it. Then work toward your 2023 reading goal, knowing that you now have the power to track and complete your stated target.

Final Thoughts

I know it’s early for this post, but, like holiday shopping, sometimes it’s never too early to start thinking about what’s coming sooner than you think.  

By setting a target reading goal and mapping out what you want to read, you can set yourself up for reading success in 2023 and be even more prepared for 2024!

Happy Planning and Reading, and I’ll see you next time!

Reading Challenge: Trying Out a New Author or Genre

I’m a huge Stephen King fan and an avid reader of his novels.  This past month when I was on vacation, I went to Barnes & Noble and found a new author in the horror genre: Ronald Malfi.  I had never read any of his books before, so I took a gamble and bought one of his books.

I’ve found a new favorite author!

The next time you’re at the bookstore, on Amazon, or considering buying a book from an author you know, consider trying out a new author in the same genre.  You can also experiment and try a new genre outside your comfort zone.  If you love fantasy, try romance; if you love sci-fi, try historical fiction, etc.  

Or, if you are a hardcore fiction reader, try a non-fiction book on a topic that interests you.

It’s easy to get locked into reading patterns – I know I do – but every once in a while, give yourself the challenge of trying out a new genre or author.  You may not like it and run back to what’s familiar, but at least you know you tried.

Or you’ll be like me and find a new author to enjoy.

Happy Reading, and I’ll see you next time!

What authors or genres have you tried and found you enjoyed?  Leave a comment and let me know!