I had no intention of setting myself any goals this year, surviving 2020 was enough, I only wanted 2021 to be better (and frankly its gotten off to a bit of a patchy start!) However, after spending way too many hours on Twitter and Instagram and getting goal envy (it’s a thing!) I decided I would jump onto the bandwagon and try and set myself some fun and achievable goals – if only to post about them on Social Media and share my reading journey with fellow book enthusiasts.
I spent a few days deliberating whether to set myself a reading goal and if so, should I aim for a monthly target or an annual one? After debating (or talking at) my husband for a while, I opted for the latter and ambitiously aimed at 50 books a year. That’s 4.16 books a month. Not all months are created equally, for example in Ramadan I probably won’t read any books so that would bring my monthly target up to 4.54 books! Moreover, I’m sure I will suffer from a reading slump or fatigue at some point in the year so that will probably bring my average up too. My final consideration was the length of the books I chose. Generally, I don’t read very long books. The longest book I read last year was probably The Silk Roads which is around 650 pages and I think it took me slightly over 2 weeks. I do have War ad Peace on my TBR and that’s a whopping 1440 pages! According to the maths of reading, I would need to read 102.85 pages a day to complete it in two weeks.
In all seriousness, and putting aside the maths for a moment, I don’t think reading should be a chore or a competition of any sort. Reading for me is purely for pleasure. It’s how I escape, unwind and relax from all the pressures of my daily life. It’s my happy place and I wouldn’t want to do anything to comprise those feelings. Also, reading is a personal journey. Some people spend ages savouring a single story while others power through as many as they can. And power to each reader and whatever brings them the pure unadulterated joy that reading for pleasure should. My reading goal is an arbitrary number I plucked from my head and in truth is not some thing I will be losing any sleep over. Its simply a fun way for me to keep track of the books I’ll be reading (and listening to, because YES audiobooks count!!) this year.
One of the thigs I would really like to be able to do this year is read the tower of books I bought in 2020 but didn’t find the time to read. Books, like everything else in the world, have an environmental impact and therefore its important that if we do buy them, we read them and we pass them on to fellow bookworms rather than continue to produce them just to sit on shelves. I speak only for myself here, but I’m determined to buy more second-hand books and give away more of the books I have, especially newer ones that I have no intention of re-reading and someone else might. I’m hoping it will also be a nice way to build a community with my fellow book lovers. Sharing books and reducing our carbon footprint – win win 😉
Finally, the goal I’m really determined to stick with is blogging. I’m really ad-hoc with my blogging, even though it fills so much of my headspace. While I’m reading, while I’m cooking and just before going to sleep, my brain is always working on a blog post. Ideas come to me at the oddest times and I’ve taken to carrying a little notebook with me wherever I go so I can always jot down my thoughts, however incoherent and whatever the time. And yet somehow, I still don’t manage to commit to getting the words on my blog. Its possibly a reluctance or an insecurity on my part about my ability or my fear of offending or judgement, but the truth is I really enjoy writing and reading and I love sharing my thoughts and hearing from others. I want to be fearless, but considerate, when creating content, and crucially I need to be consistent.
So, there you have it, my reading related goals for 2021. Life comes with its own set of pressures so I’m not going to turn my passion into one, these are more akin to gentle targets I hope I can achieve but most importantly, I hope they increase my pleasure and help me connect with more bookish people.