Well, this entry should have been made at the beginning of the year. At that time when you have to look back and see what happened with the challenge # 52books2017. At that time I made a small personal reflection and came out the germ of this post, and how it is never a bad time to talk about books and tips to increase your reading this year. I hope you like to read it even if we finish releasing this in May.
2017 was my second year trying the challenge because yes, I did not get it either. I stayed in 31 books (ohhhh!). But some of these books have changed my vision of many things. Now, I am trying to get it in 2018 because they say that the third one is going to be defeated (yeah!). And I am very motivated to get it 🙂
Today, I share what I have learned during this time through seven ways that will help you give the final push to your readings. It is very important not to lose the motivation along the way. And especially enjoy reading what a book is about. Regardless of the number of books that are read, which is the least.
Before starting, if you have interest, you can see in real time how my readings go in my Goodreads profile, which I will update periodically (and I love seeing yours!).
7 tips to To Increase Your Reading This Year
1) Set yourself a goal
- The first step is to mark a number of readings for this year. It is important to find the balance between being realistic so as not to be discouraged, but to go a little further and challenge yourself to read more, because for something it is a challenge (!)
- In the worst of scenarios, you will not have reached your goal but you will not have anything to regret because you will have read much more, very interesting books in most cases and perhaps discovered a new favorite author. No goal that has books in between will never be a failure 🙂
2) Take control of what you read.
- If you never turn on the TV to “see what they throw” and instead dedicate your time to series and movies that really interest you in streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO or Amazon Prime, why get carried away by the news tables of the bookstores to choose your next book?
- There are a lot of small publishers that publish and reprint small (and large) jewels that go unnoticed by the general public. Great names in English literature that you will never find in the bookstore chains, and you will miss out on all to many authors. Moving away from the single discourse is difficult but necessary, in all areas.
- I know there are bookstores where there is a commitment to disseminate other literary genres, other names, beyond the best sellers. And to authors. All my admiration, but unfortunately are the least.
- It is not about forcing oneself but taking advantage of all the information we have available to us on the internet for making more conscious readings that come out of the speeches of large publishers, just as we do in other areas. You will see that you will find a lot of books that will get your attention and that (maybe) you will have to search to find them, but it will be worth it.
3) Make a list of the books you want to read and dedicate a weekly time to keep it updated.
- Virtual or analog, that does not matter. The idea is to have a repository where the next titles that you want to read appear and this will help you not to lose the rhythm. The first year that I considered doing a reading challenge was improvising as I finished a book, went to the library and looked at bookshelves or went to bookstores and looked at the news tables and never decided and that made me suffer regularly. But in the end by indecision I did not read as much as I wanted.
In my case I use two types of records:
- The Goodreads want to read list, which I have been using for a couple of years, although when you browse this social network you end up liking many books that are not yet translated – if you normally read in English there is no problem with that- or that they have very old ones that are very difficult and (almost) impossible to locate, so when you start translating that list into purchases, you encounter certain difficulties and do not fulfill their purpose 100%.
- This year I have started using the Amazon wish list . I have created one especially for # 52books2018 and there I am adding those that I would like to read. It has the convenience that I can order the following in a single click and see if they are available or order them in pre-order to arrive when they are available. In addition to classifying them in order of priority or better yet, share that list when important dates approach: )
I do not follow these lists religiously, because I also approach bookstores or I receive suggestions that are not found in any of these platforms (I always listen to your suggestions!) But it is good to know that in case of doubt they are there. And it’s a good way to consciously include authors and find books that go out of the circuit of novelty tables, in which the same authors always appear.
4) Always have books on hand.
- It seems like a truism, but it is not so much. The second year that I set out to read a certain number of books, I put this advice into practice, and I always had ONE ready for the end of the previous one.
- But I found that sometimes I did not want to read it. Yes, it was the theme that I wanted. Yes, I had chosen it and I wanted to read it, but at that moment my mind was looking for something else. Maybe something lighter, maybe another genre, maybe it was too similar to the previous. So, during this year I have several in the pile of earrings ready to pick up and read. These books are of different types and I have found that the time between books have been reduced in my case.
5) Participate in some thematic challenge.
Reading and sharing what you have read is very motivating, and participating in a thematic challenge can help you to know authors or genres you have never been reading before, especially if you are a recent reader.
Some examples of this type of challenge are for this 2018 the # BronteChallenge of Mickey Fernández or the Celsius 2018 Project.
You can also take a look at groups of Goodreads, in my case I have signed up to “Daughters of Mary Wollstonecraft” , where every month a book written by an author is chosen. I do not always read all the proposals but it does help me to discover very, very interesting books.
6) Record your reading progress.
Keeping track of how many books you are reading and which ones are a great help to motivate you to keep reading more. Also to keep a little control of how close or far you are from your goal for that year, which of course is to increase your reading this year.
To keep the record, I always use Goodreads and its Reading Challenge because it has a progress bar and it tells you the percentage and how you are going on the challenge. It can be modified at any time and you can see how your friends’ challenges go on the social network .
So in my case it’s perfect.
Another (analog) way of motivating yourself is to clear a shelf for the annual challenge. Leave all the books you have read during the year on that shelf. Although if I interject readings in kindle or book loans, it may not be as effective. But if you buy most books you will see at a glance everything that you have advanced.
Or you can also use our a printable record of readings .
7) Insert books of different themes and sizes.
Not all your readings have to be like Game of Thrones. Neither The Lord of the Rings is necessary to make sense of your challenge. Because such dense works will occupy a large part of your reading of the year. Even if you have them in the background as a more leisurely reading. And if it happens to you like me, you will be charged a period of reflection afterwards. Which will make it difficult for you to mentally leave those worlds and be able to enter into others.
That’s where the short novels, the graphic novels and in my case the juvenile literature come in. They are like that lemon sorbet that refreshes you before another dense dish.
Sometimes this block happens when you least expect it, and not only with dense works. Last year I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and it literally left my brain fried. I could not stop thinking about the message in the book. And it took me a few days to even consider starting another one. Therefore, when I did I decided on three short books, which moved within the line of Atwood’s speech and gave it depth- A room of One’s own, We should all be feminists and How to raise a feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi – which helped me process everything I had read before switching to other topics.
All reading can contribute something. Regardless of whether it is light or dense, whether it is an extensive or short work.
These are the tips that you should follow to increase your reading this year. In order to get to the reading goal that you have set for yourself, these tips are really important. If you have arrived here reading I hope that the article has been interesting to you. And if you have any reading recommendation, I am all ears! (or eyes, good).