A Book Race

At the beginning of each new year, I set up goals in different areas of my life that I want to achieve over the course of 365 days.

I’ve found that New Year’s Resolutions are a sure curse of doomed failure for me so I don’t do resolutions. Setting goals works better for me.

This year, one of my goals is to do more reading and as a result to be a better reader, to improve the speed at which I read, to plug in more knowledge and writing inspiration into my head, and to refresh my memory on previously read books or learning that has been in remission for a long time.

My goal is to read a minimum of 52 books for the whole year (one book a week). I set the bar a bit high because I like a challenge and figured that should help me achieve my goal of becoming more of a speed-reader.

Part of the reason I’ve decided to focus on reading more and faster is because I have a home library full of books I’ve bought with the intention of reading but end up checking out other books to read from our county library. I also have a habit of being a book hog and taking too long to read our book club’s pick of the month before passing it on to someone else, IF I even get that far.

To get motivated and avoid any delay in picking a new book to read, I went through our personal library and gathered up every book I ever bought and planned to read but didn’t get around to. Next, I gathered up all the books I wanted to re-read and then raided my kids’ bookshelves.

Visual progress will be helpful to my goal. I’m sure after a while my Mr. Tidy husband will get annoyed with yet, another one of my “piles” that he despises, but I deliberately stacked up my book selection in a visible spot near our bedroom closet so that I can see my progress and watch the pile shrink as I read through the stack of books.

I decided not to put limitations on myself and allowed myself to include any of my kids’ young adult books that have interested me if I wanted as well as books I’ve read before and wanted to re-read but never get around to doing it. I plan to mix up the stack with a wide variety of reading material to keep the reading interest alive. The books I’ve added to my stack include humor (a favorite, naturally) new fiction, classics, parenting, self-help, history, reference; books on the writing craft, and other non-fiction type books.

The first book I recorded was a book I had started in November. It was difficult reading: (The Journals of Lewis and Clark edited by Frank Bergon) because Lewis and Clark spelled their words phonetically which slowed my reading speed immensely, but I counted it anyway since I’d finished it in January.

In addition to reading The Journals of Lewis and Clark, the books I’ve read are as follows:

Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee (the section on UPS was surprising)

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner (book I’d bought and always wanted to read even though I’ve seen the movie)

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (bought at library book sale—good reading about cooking and has lots of recipes)

The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis (for book club in March)

Sand in My Bra edited by Jennifer L. Leo (I highly recommend—hilarious short stories about women traveling)

Marley and Me by John Grogan (I’m currently reading—was a book club pick I didn’t read but wanted to and bought on sale at a bookstore)

So far, I feel like I’m keeping up in my book race but calving season’s about to start so we’ll see how well I keep up in the next month and a half. I hope that you’ve found a good book to read as well. Winter can be long you know.






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