4 Ways to Ensure You Meet Your Reading Goals This Year

When was the last time you made it through an entire book?

Reading is at an all-time low in America, creating a 3-decade slump as of 2015. Even by 2014, one study found that nearly 25 percent of Americans hadn’t read a single book throughout 2013.

In spite of this, many book-lovers are actively trying to rekindle their love for literature. But how do you battle the distractions of video games, movies, reality TV shows, and real-life responsibilities to meet your reading goals?  Here are a few tips to help you breeze through the infamous To-Be-Read List.

 1. Set a Realistic Goal

Reading is easy, but finding the time to read is often easier said than done. When setting a reading goal, many people forget this and become over-enthusiastic with their numbers. It’s important to take an honest look at your available free time, your reading speed, and the length of the books, before setting a goal.

A goal of 10 books in a year is a far cry from none, but some speed-readers can breeze through a book a day. Choose a pace that works for you. 

2. Create a Goodreads Account

How many books did you read last year? What about the year before? Whether you’re an avid reader, or only made it through a few, it can be difficult to keep track. Hailed as the social media platform for book lovers, Goodreads provides users with an easy way to:

  • Make a reading pledge for the year
  • Track the books you’ve read
  • Update your progress on current books you’re reading
  • Provide feedback or reviews on books you’ve read
  • See what your friends have been reading
  • Join virtual book clubs 

3. Add Shorter Books

While it’s commendable to go for long reads, not every book on your list needs to be the length of A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s important to throw in some shorter reads as well, to grow the number of completed books.

The more books you finish, the more encouraged you will feel to keep going. By continually adding new books, you also keep things interesting by introducing new stories, characters, and/or concepts. 

4. Take a Class

No one reads as much as a student, and not necessarily by choice. Most classes, especially in the liberal arts and social sciences, include required reading of one or more textbooks per course. For readers looking for more structured reading, with the opportunity to learn new skills or improve old ones, this is a great way to up your reading list.

Classes also teach students a more active kind of reading skill that requires more than recognizing words. It encourages critical analysis of anything from stem cell research to Shakespeare; provoking thought and curiosity, which pushes you to read even more books.

The best way to cure the reading slump in America is to become better readers ourselves. How many books will you read this year?

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