The last two years I’ve had one goal at the start of the year: read an average of 6 books per month. I fell short by a mere half dozen in 2013, but 2014 saw my total hit 121, a number I never thought possible. I also try and read more new releases each year, but not without including plenty of older novels – the mix works for me. This year I’m going to try and set out a few simple goals, and at present I can’t see many reasons for not being able to meet them.
1. Read a total of 100 books this year.
A lower goal than what I read last year, but very doable. As long as I read at least 8 books per month I can hit this without breaking a sweat, and so far I’m on course to do so in January (currently at 6 finished, with two more 50% done).
2. Review more books.
This is a dangerous goal to have as last year my reading was so good because I put no pressure on myself to review anything. In the end I did end up reviewing 23 books on SFFWorld.com, one of which went up this month, and it was only just short of what I reviewed in 2013. I’m not going to put a number on this to avoid that pressure I hate so much, but I’m hoping my love for what I read will simply encourage me to write down more about the books.
3. Read at least one Stephen King book each month.
This one is more of a personal reading goal – I love King’s writing and I’m trying to catch all those books of his I’ve never read. There are a fair few too – 57! Mind you, those do include ones I want to re-read because it’s been so long.
4. Read what I want.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but when you review books it’s very easy to get caught up in the review copies and read something you’re not enjoying simply because of this implied requirement to read it. I’m not saying that I’ve ever been told I have to read a review copy I’m sent – far from it – it’s simply a courtesy that I felt I needed to adhere to. I’m requesting a lot less books now, and receiving barely a handful of unsolicited ones each month, but I’m going to be much more strict with myself if either a) a book turns up that I don’t like the sound of, or b) I start reading a book and it just doesn’t work for me – it’ll be put down.
There are many other reading goals I’ve seen discussed around the internet – read more diversely, read more genres, read more novels written by women – but I’m not going to promise myself any of those things. I’m pretty good with keeping up to date with almost all UK sci-fi releases, so not much will slip past me. I’ve even started my OCD-driven list of 2015 books I need to keep my eye out for.
At the end of the day reading must be for enjoyment – for me, at least – and that’s what I plan to stick to.