In 2014 I read a pitifully poor number of books – just nine. So, for 2015 I set myself the challenge of reading 12. One a month seemed like a good target. I did it. In fact, by the end of the year I’d read 15.
Always looking to make improvements, I set 15 as my target for 2016. By September I’d reached it and I embarked upon a new reading challenge.
Now we’ve hit 2017, where will my reading goals take me next?
Well, I ended up exceeding my 2016 target by nearly 10 books. For 2017 my goal is 25 – two years ago I could hardly manage one book a month and now I’m looking at trying to fit in two!
I’m pretty confident I can achieve this for a couple of reasons, both relating to how I’ve changed my daily routines to build in more time for reading. Firstly, my partner and I have, for the past few months, been setting our alarm a bit earlier. This allows us to take our time waking up and begin the day with 20-30 minutes of reading. Now that I work freelance for 50% of the week I’m also more flexible with how I spend my working hours. My aim this year is to build in 30-45 minutes of work-related reading into my two days working from home.
The extended reading challenge I set myself towards the end of last year expanded my reading horizons. I read books that I’d been putting off, or was determined I wouldn’t like. What I discovered is that there’s more to my reading interests than historical and crime fiction, and over the years I’ve been missing out by not reading more widely. As a result of this realisation, in 2017 I’m planning to choose my books based only on recommendations. Those recommendations could come from anywhere and will include the titles chosen by my book group, suggestions from any reviews/articles I read, and especially references in other books.