We here on the Louis Bay blog like to read and today we are talking about some reading habits and handy tips to achieve your reading goals.
Setting a number goal for the year
Steph: I like to set an annual book goal because it helps to pull me through my inevitable book slumps. I keep the number easily achievable so that I don’t feel an unnecessary amount of pressure—after all, reading is supposed to be fun! This year, I’m aiming for 24 books.
Jane: I set goal number on the Goodreads reading activity page. I feel that it helps me keep track of what I’m reading for the month. It also helps me when I do my reading journal update so I can see the time length it took me to read a book.
Jane: I try and keep a reading bullet journal for each book I read. I find this way is more visual pleasing for me and I can look back on my notes and see if I would re-read it in the future.
Steph: I track my reading through an app called The Story Graph. It keeps a list of titles and creates charts demonstrating trends in my reading habits, such as genres and page counts. The data visualization really keeps me motivated.
Join a Book Club
Jane: Yes! I’m a part of a few book clubs and I feel that it adds to the reading experience. It’s great to hear people’s opinions especially if it’s a book that I didn’t like as much as the other members. We have a bunch of new book clubs coming to the library in 2023.
Steph: While I’m not part of a formal book club right now, I love discussing books with my friends. I especially love when they point out something that I didn’t notice that makes me think about a character or event in a whole new way.
Read different genres
Jane: I try to read a variety. Except fantasy and romance, I find it hard to internally visualize fantasy worlds. Most romance books suck.
Steph: I’ll read books from most genres so long as there’s a character I can get invested in or a premise that interests me. I used to read fiction exclusively, but once I finished school, I missed learning new concepts in a classroom, so I picked up a nonfiction book and I loved it. This has significantly expanded my TBR list!
Jane: Ah reading slumps. I had a big reading slump in the lockdown where I didn’t feel that books were providing an escape. I think that lasted a good two months, but I picked up the eaudiobook of a Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and it definitely helped pull me back into reading. If you feel that a reading slump is coming, don’t feel that you have to continue reading or listening to it. Its good to take a break and then pick up something that interests you.
Steph: Honestly, I usually go through a few reading slumps a year. I enjoy a few different hobbies in addition to reading, and I tend to cycle through them in phases. When a different hobby catches my attention, my reading habits decline for a while. But I recently discovered the joy of audiobooks, and I’m excited to be able to keep “reading” while working on my fiber crafts this year!
Annotate in Book
Jane: No, I know this is very popular for readers on booktube and for English students but it doesn’t work for me. I definitely prefer a journal and lots of post it notes.
Steph: I’ve never really been the type to annotate the pages of my books (especially because almost every book I read comes from our library collection!). Instead, I usually text my reactions while I’m reading to my partner or friends. If a particular line really sticks with me, I might save it in the notes app on my phone for reference later.
Join a challenge or theme
Steph: I enjoy reading along to challenges or themes because it makes it easier to select something from my very long TBR list, which can be kind of overwhelming. This year, I’ve designed a challenge that prompts me to select books with the various Colors of the Year on their covers and I’m really excited about it!
Jane: I tried to follow the book challenge where you read a book from each decade starting from the 1900s. I read maybe two books that fit the challenge and then gave up. I also like seeing book bloggers on Instagram share their reading challenges and if I like the prompt I will try my best to read a title in that category.