Monday, January 14, 2013

Reading Goals

Earlier this month, I read a blog post about reading goals.  I have never thought of keeping track of the books I read each year, or thought to set a goal for a certain number.  But out of curiosity, I went and stared up at my bookcase.  It turns out I've read about 17 books last year, listened to a couple of audio books (which I'm counting cause they were classics), and read countless chapters of manga (hey, there are words....just not many).  I think that's a good deal, particularly considering that I work full time and have a family, oh... and spend spare time writing when I would otherwise be reading.  Now, I've seen others report numbers like 60, 100, or more.  Not happening.  Still, I think tracking what I've read was eye opening, and I'm considering keeping an informal log this year.

What about you? Do you keep track? Do you set a goal for the year?  And what, in your opinion, do you feel  are the benefits of keeping track or setting a reading goal?


  1. I tend to keep track. Partly it's an obsession for record keeping, but I've also been wanting to read more, every year for the last fifteen years, so keeping track has been a necessary measurement.

    I'm kind of a slow reader, so I would set a goal of 25 or 30 books a year and would usually roll in at around 18-23, mostly fiction, a few non-fiction, and perhaps one or two comic collections.

    However, in the last year, I've switched to reading mostly via e-readers, and that has boosted my reading rate by quite a bit. Last year was about half-and-half physical/electronic reading, and I read 37 books last year. This year I'm going to try to tilt it mostly towards the e-reader just to see what happens. Fourteen days in, I'm already into my fifth book.

    So, I'm basically reading about three times as fast as I was before. I did two experiments last year with four books (two physical, two electronic). Reading a 500 page physical book took me about three weeks, while reading an equivalent-length ebook took one week. A pair of 400 page books showed a similar ratio of reading time.

    I suspect a lot of it is that I can use a bigger font on an e-reader, and I have less issues about shifting the book around to catch the light right for right/left pages. I may also be reading more often as it's easier to set the book on the table and read while doing some other activity (eating/etc) than to try and hold a paperback open, tying up at least one hand.

    Mind you, up until I actually *tried* an ereader (Kindle, for the curious), I was a die-hard paper-book lover. "You'll get my paperback when you pry it from my cold dead hands!" You know, one of *those* guys. But now, I can't see going back. I've even repurchased books in electronic form, just so that I can read them in a reasonable time.

    So yeah, I keep track and set goals, and until I made that switch, numbers like 60 or 100 seemed impossible.

  2. I keep track of the books I read through Goodreads. Last year I set a goal of 25 and passed the goal, although it counts short stories as books so it was actually a little less. Goodreads is a good way of keeping track though.

  3. I keep track with Goodreads. I have yearly lists, some of the older ones are incomplete as I only started keeping track a few years ago. I like the challenge. But it sucks to take out the number of how many I want to read from my shelf and not seeing a dent in my massive collection. le sigh.

  4. I do keep track, more for fun than anything else. I don't read as much as I did the in past (thanks writing [g]), so I like to take stock of the books I did get to over the past year.

  5. Hi Kaye,
    I'm much like you...not enough time to do all the stuff I'd like to do. I set goals each week, and this year I am also determined to read more, however i am very slow. My goal is to attack the huge 'to be read' pile.

    I am not allowing myself to buy any books until either I have read, or given away most of the books piled high in the house. Its a real problem.

    I don't write the books down, but I do mention what i'm reading on my blog.

    Hope you manage to get some reading in this year.


I'd love to hear your musings :)