6 Tips to Read More in 2019

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Like many people, one of my goals in 2019 is to read more.

I have 3 specific reading goals:

  • Read 30 books total
  • Read all my book club books (or at least make valiant attempts)
  • Read and discuss four books with my husband

I’ve learned, through trial and error, that I have some serious reading pitfalls. My biggest problem last year was not being able to finish a book, but then also not reading anything else–because I felt like I needed to read THAT book.

I’ve come up with some tips to help me this year, which may be helpful to others.

1. Plan your reading year in advance

For the first time, I’ve chosen 30 books that I want to read in 2019. You can check them out here. I’ve been keeping a list of books I want to read on my phone from a combination of sources, like “best of lists” from the New York Times and NPR, the What Should I Read Next podcast, and of course personal recommendations. (One of these books is a weird pick. I really disagreed with an author’s POV in an interview I heard, but I feel like I should read the book before making my final opinion.) I will add to this list once I get my book club recommendations. Which may have some overlap.

2. Monitor the books you read

For the first time, I will be tracking the books I’ve read. I often forget books unless it was something transcendent and fantastic (Station Eleven, All the Light You Cannot See) or a book I could not stand and threw across the room. I like the idea of tracking my books in one place, and I am more of an electronic than paper person.

3. Plan ahead and put library holds on your books NOW

I tend to be impulsive about books. I’ll hear or read about something that sounds great and I’ll want to read it ASAP. Or I get into a book series but the library has a waiting list of 20 people or don’t have the next book in stock. Buying books, which I already do for book club, is an expensive way to meet a reading challenge. While I definitely do like buying books, I want to use the library more in 2019.

4. Create a mix of books

I love reading literary fiction. In my 20s and early 30s, I read the Man Booker prize winner each year, and I have cherished some recent award winners. But sometimes I get stuck in a book, especially if it gets too depressing or scary or whatever trigger it pulls for me. Last year, I got stuck in a dreary section of The Goldfinch (that book’s first 100 pages, by the way, were so compelling I could barely breathe while reading them). I know if I got through that part, the book would be worth it. But instead I fell into a reading rut and didn’t read anything for two months!

So I’ve added some lighter fare to help me keep reading. Sometimes I need to read for escape, and I think it’s better to do that than get mired in Netflix reruns. Which I did way too much of last year.

5. If you like a series, reserve more books in the series than just “the next one”

This tip comes from my mother-in-law who knows how to use the library system better than anyone I know. I LOVED Still Life, but there is a hold on the next book in the Louise Penny series. She advised me to not only reserve that one, but also the next few, as I will not want to wait for another hold. She knows how impulsive I get about a great series.

6. Share your list with someone you’d like to read with

My husband and I want to read and discuss more books together. When we lived in London, we did not have a TV for a time. We read a lot of the same books and had a great time discussing them. I’ve shared my list with him so we can choose 4 books together. Spoiler alert: Asymmetry will be the first one.

Are you planning to read more in 2019? Do you have any book recommendations? Were you able to finish The Goldfinch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Productivity, Reading

5 responses to “6 Tips to Read More in 2019

  1. I highly recommend “I Miss You When I Blink” which I think comes out in April. Best book I read in 2018 (I had an ARC).

  2. Well, you know where to find my recommendations. 😉 I’m keeping my same goal this year at 24 books, although I hope to read more, of course. And I haven’t tackled “The Goldfinch,” although I read & enjoyed “The Secret History” years ago (although I did find it a wee bit disturbing). So many of my friends are posting their reading goals for 2019 & it’s so interesting to see how everyone is approaching them! Both you & another friend have both planned out all or part of your reading lists, which I find really interesting…I tend to be more of a “what appeals to me right now?” kind of reader. I’m curious, what would happen if a new book was published that you were dying to read? — Would you squeeze it in somewhere or wait until you completed your planned list?

    Good luck with your goals, and happy reading! 🙂

    • That is a great question. I have always been more of a “what appeals to me right now” type as well. But I suspect I will read more if I have have a long list of “to be read” titles I can draw from. I expect to manage my Good Reads list pretty closely, and will definitely add to it as I hear/read about new titles. Today I went to the library and went through pretty much my whole list (I’m on the waiting list for 4 popular titles). They had two of my books in stock (Home Cooking and Middlemarch), so it begins! Absolutely loving Home Cooking so far.

  3. Pingback: Friendship Goal for 2018: The Dinner Party Revival | Too Many Fish to Fry

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