a simpler reading year


“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

I recently took an online quiz that calculates your reading speed and then estimates the number of books you could read if you did so for just 30 minutes per day. My number was 83 books.

This revelation triggered simultaneous feelings of excitement (I can easily enjoy every book on my to-read list in just a few years!) intimidation (but what if I read for 30 minutes every day and I don’t come close to that number?) and disappointed (I’ve clearly been aiming too low + not reading enough).

My reading goal for this year is 35 books, a number that ticks up a few from the quantity read in 2018 but is also realistic for me. I feel good about that number. Well, felt good, until some algorithm informed me of how much potential I’m wasting. So, I visited Goodreads and changed my number to 50, which felt a bit more respectable based on this new information but also manageable.

A few minutes later I changed it back to 35.

Sure, I could probably read 15 more books this year without much additional effort. And, with a bit more focus, I could hit that magical 83 number. I also have many additional goals for the year though, all of which take their own dedicated time and effort. Maybe some year I’ll go gun-ho and knock out two books a week or some similar number (take that, 83!). And, maybe I won’t. Either way is okay. I want reading to continue to be an activity I enjoy. I want to look forward to it, not feel pressured or disappointed by goals not met.

Along those same lines, I’ve simplified my reading goals from past years:

  • read a total of 35 books
  • read all book club books (~10)
  • read 10 unread books I own
  • re-read one of my favorite books
  • complete all quarters of Bookbar readolution challenge
  • attend two Bookbar readolution happy hours




4 comments on “a simpler reading year”

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