As I look back on the past year and think about the ways I improved my own self-care, reading dozens more books in 2016 than I did in 2015 is one of the most apparent ways that I served myself better.
I loved writing my monthly book posts here and getting feedback from so many of you who read my recommendations.
I loved being a part of a book club at my work.
I loved joining Book of the Month and the excitement of receiving and reading new books every month.
I loved discovering the joys and benefits of audio books.
Basically, I loved all things reading.
I plan to continue my reading trend in 2017 and hope that you are up for me continuing to write about books. While I’m not big on setting goals related to reading because reading is fun, I want to be intentional in this habit. Therefore, I’ve written six ways to nurture a love of books:
- Read a lot of books: Not surprisingly, the more I read, the more I wanted to read. I also stick with reading books I love. (My thoughts on abandoning books here.) My goal for 2017 is to read 50 books. This was a good number for me in 2016, so I am going to stick with it again. My next book that I am writing is due this year, so I do want to acknowledge a heavier work schedule may make this challenging, but I’ll do my best. This number isn’t about putting pressure on me, it’s more about knowing that reading at a certain pace makes me happy.
- Listen to more audio books: 2016 was my first year listening to audio books and it was amazing. I know that I could listen to more during my commutes and while doing household chores, so I want to be more intentional with that habit. If you feel that you are too busy to read, audio books are a great solution! (If you have never tried Audible, I encourage you to give it a shot. You can click here to try it free and get two free audio books!)
- Attend author events: I love hearing authors speak about their work. I am committing to attend four author events this year, which I figure makes it a quarterly exercise. I think I will learn a lot and it will be fun! The first event I am attending is with Zadie Smith, author of Swing Time.
- Connect with other readers: Whether you connect with readers in person, online or both, finding other bibliophiles is such a gift. For me, I love the Sorta Literary Facebook group. I’m in there almost every day chatting books. It’s been such a rewarding, inspiring experience. I also love my bi-monthly work book club. The combo has enriched my love of books.
- Not buy any books for six months (with the exception of Book of the Month): This one is for the book hoarders out there! I love reading, and I love buying books. But I have well over 100 books on my bookshelf right now that I have not read, and probably close to that many on my Kindle as well. My audible app has at least a dozen books waiting to be listened too. Clearly, I have plenty of good books to read, so I am going to force myself to not buy any new books for six months. I will be continuing though with my Book of the Month subscription because I’ve paid for it already (so technically it isn’t buying new books) and because I love it too much to give it up. I’m not opposed to the library either, I just happen to be one of those people who always seems to be acquiring late fees because I am terrible at returning books on time.
I think these habits will really help me to stay committed and engaged in my reading hobby.
In case you are looking for some good books, here are a few that are on my bookshelf waiting to be read:
The Underground Railroad
A Gentleman in Moscow
A Window Opens
The Paris Wife
The Plum Tree
All the Pretty Things
The Sun is Also a Star
The Color of Secrets
Z is for Zelda
Small Great Things
What She Left Behind
The Birth House
Love That Boy
Also, here’s my top 10 reads of 2016.
YEOW! That’s a lot of books and book talk.
Have you set any goals related to reading? What would you add to this conversation?
For more reading inspiration check out my top tips for how busy moms can find time to read.