Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Reading Habit

Four years ago, I started keeping a reading journal. It lists every book I’ve read in four years, when I read it and has a one page review, with basic plot information and my opinion of the book overall. These journals (I started my second in early 2012) have been an undeniable resource in tracking my reading. Recently, I saw it fit to enter every book into Goodreads. I am happy to note that in the past 4 years, I’ve read over 200 books.

Then I stumbled upon this lovely chart that tells how many books I read each year since I started tracking:

(A note on 2008: I didn’t begin my journal until 2009, however
I do know that I read some series (namely Twilight) at the end of 2008,
so this is a rough estimate of my reading beginning August 2008.)
Turns out I’m all over the place with my reading. I had known that some years I read more and some years I struggled to get books read. But whoa. Turns out I had never known the exact numbers.

Reviewing this chart I noticed that:

1)     I can tell a lot about each year of my life from how much I read. There is a correlation in my job/personal situation and how much I read. I won’t go into the unappealing details, but factors in my life dictated how much I read. This is unfortunate but inescapable.

2)     I need to balance out how much I read. I need to set a doable reading goal, and make sure that my life doesn't revolve around reading (e.g. 2010) but I don’t want it to fall by the wayside either (e.g. 2011).
I first read about Goodreads Reading Challenge on Heather Marie's blog, and I loved the idea. After some thought, I decided a good reading year for me would be 30-40 books (more than 2012, but less than 2009). So I decided to set my goal for 2013 right in the middle with 35 books. It’s pretty much 3 books a month and one book every 10 days (with a little leeway). It’s an achievable goal. Reading won’t take over my life, but I won’t allow myself to forget about it either.

So here it is:

Right now, I’m on track. I read three awesome books in January, and I’m nearly done with my fourth, the newest from Ally Carter. It will be a challenge (hence the title) to stay on top of this, but it’s one that I readily accept. Who knows where 2013 will take me and if I will have time for 31 more books, but I hope I will. Because sometimes the fantasy worlds of teen books can take me farther than I have the means to travel in real life.
Happy reading!


  1. What a great tool for goal tracking! I think it'd be neat to set a goal for *pages* read, just because some of the books I'd like to read (or finish...I think it's been a year since I picked up Anna Karenina, but I'd really like to start it up again) are really long. I think I'd feel more, um, productive that way, since the actual book numbers are probably gonna be pretty low . :-)

  2. That's a good point. It'd be nice if the challenge was more open since books vary in length. Goodreads does show pages read in the stats feature (I read 34172 pages in 2010) so you could enter in books and make a personal challenge. But I'm afraid that the Reading Challenge is only books read. Just an idea!