My most obvious (and least important) reading goal is the numeric goal set at Goodreads. I set that at 120 again this year because 10 books a month is a minimum that encourages me to read daily but is not such a big number that I feel like I’m falling behind all year. I usually end up reading somewhere between 150 and 200 books a year, but the number hasn’t really mattered to me since my childhood days in the summer book club at my local library many years ago.
A number that matters to me a little more, especially in recent years, is the percentage of my overall reading that is nonfiction. A horrible graduate school experience sent me running from nonfiction for a few years, but after setting a goal (and achieving it) to read one nonfiction book every month in 2015, I’ve read more nonfiction each year. Last year, I read 46 nonfiction books, which was about a quarter of my reading, and it’s the nonfiction that seems more likely to stick with me and engage my mind well past the time it takes to read the book. For that reason, my major reading goal this year is to read 50 nonfiction books. In my mind, I’m thinking of it as one a week, but a goal of 50 gives me a little more wiggle room and just seems like a nice number for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2019 from Doing Dewey.
Instead of slotting my nonfiction around my fiction, I’m prioritizing the nonfiction and then fitting in fiction as I have the time. I think this will decrease the overall amount I read because reading nonfiction is usually a slower process for me. I’m perfectly fine with that possibility because I want to focus on each book and be more intentional with my reading choices even though I continue to be happy with being a mood reader for the most part.
A related goal is that I want to be more intentional about all my reading selections rather than simply going from one new shiny object to the next. I’ve written fiction and nonfiction priority lists for the first half of 2019, and I’ll revisit those at the end of June to see how I’ve progressed. This will have me reading more of the books on my shelves so that I can then decide if I’ll keep them or pass them along to someone else. I’m not making myself stick to just those lists, but they are a good reminder of the books I’ve saved in part because I assume I will really enjoy them and want to savor them.
My final goal for 2019 is not a numerical one. I simply want to include room for rereading in my reading life. I thought about saying I wanted to reread at least one book a month or coming up with a list of classics that I haven’t read since my teens, but I want more flexibility than that. If I think to myself at any point this year that I’d love to read a particular book again, then I want to actually do that instead of pushing the thought aside.
Here’s to a 2019 filled with daily reading and learning!