• tomefries

Setting & Keeping Your Reading Challenge Goal

If you read books, you are probably on Goodreads.com. (If you're not, you are probably a recluse with no internet access, so how are you reading this?) Which means you probably set a reading challenge goal of how many books you want to read each year. And there is a good chance you have been a total failure before.

As someone who has dominated the past two years, I decided to come up with some tips to help you novel noobs. After all, I'm pretty much a professional reader. (Seriously, you see those scores?)

First, you have to set your goal.

How many books can you read in a year? What is the magic number for a good reading challenge? Well, according to Goodreads, the average goal is 46 books. But, why go with average?

Make it Micro

Why put on the pressure? I mean, come on, you don't know what the future holds. Maybe you will be super popular in 2019 and get invited to parties every weekend. Or maybe some eccentric billionaire tycoon will offer you a million dollars if you spend a year on a private island, but you can only take one less book than is your goal. So, pick a low number. Go for 3 or 4. Plus, if you manage to read more, you're going to feel really good about yourself.

Go Big & Go to the Library!

Why not aim high? Reach for the stars! Don't go big or go home, go to the library! Hit up those shelves, two, three times a week. Show those Goodreads chumps what a true bibliophile is made of and agree to read 100 or even 200 books. And if you don't reach your goal, you can just tell yourself that it is impossible to read that many books in a year, but you're still better than everyone else because you tried.

As Many Books As Your Age

Or you can do what I am doing, setting my goal as my age. Think of it as an ongoing challenge. Each year read one more book than last year. And once you hit those high numbers, you'll hopefully be retired and have more time! (Unless you're starting now and you're in your 20's or 30's because, let's face it, we'll never be able to retire.)

Now that you have your goal set, and it is officially lingering on the side of your Goodreads page, it is time to start reading. Here are my top 10 suggestions on how to reach your goal:

1. Set aside the time. Try to take an hour or two every day or week. In fact, quit your job and do nothing but read! Who needs an income for things like food and water? Books are all you need! And libraries are free!

2. Start small. Go for the smallest novels. Aim for under 200 pages for fast, quick reads. Save those big tomes for after you reach your goal. In fact, read to your kids! Those books are super small because kids are dumb.

3. Take a book everywhere. Books are not just for the couch or toilet anymore. They make a great excuse to ignore people on planes, trains, buses, and cars. You can even ignore your annoying co-workers at lunch or your partner who wants to talk about their day. You never know when you're going to be pulled into a boring meeting and want to secretly finish a chapter under the conference room table, so it's best to be prepared.

4. Avoid distractions. Turn off the TV, cancel your gym membership, smash your phone, change your Facebook password when you're drunk so you can't remember it, break up with your partner so you can kick them out, and give up custody of the kids. Do what it takes so you can fully immerse yourself in your goal. Success means sacrifice, people!

5. Reward yourself. Try setting goal marks. After reading so many books, go ahead and watch the latest episode of Blackmirror. Better yet, binge watch every episode of The Office for the twelfth time. You deserve it, champ!

6. Have a reading buddy. Ask someone else to read with you and hold you accountable for staying on target. Also, ask to borrow all their books and never give them back.

7. Don't give up. Even if the book is absolutely terrible, don't just put it down and move on to the next. Skim through it so you can claim you read it and count it toward your goal without the pain of struggling through an awful story line and bad dialogue!

8. Share your success. Talk to anyone and everyone about the books your reading. This is a great way to stay motivated because of the boost you'll feel in your sense of superiority.

9. Reassess your goal. If you find yourself not reaching your goal, change it. I mean Goodreads lets you edit your goal. So just lie and cheat. Boom! Goal achieved.

10. Read. I mean, how else are you going to do a reading challenge?

By following these tips, you are sure to crush your reading challenge goal like all your loved ones hearts.

(Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any consequences for decisions you make based on this advice because you are incapable of understanding satire.)


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