Last year I set myself an ambitious Goodreads challenge to read 52 books in 2018. In hindsight, this was ludicrous. Sometimes life is busy, this year more than normal, and there were whole months that went by without me managing to pick up a book. While I could be beating myself up for not reaching my target, I’m actually pretty proud of myself. Despite the stress, the lack of time and instability of the last year, I still read 39 books.
39 books is nothing to be sniffed at, averaging just short of one a week. It was those months where I didn’t read anything that let me down, but when I did read I read a lot. The most important thing of all though, is I rediscovered my love of reading. I set this challenge to try and get back into reading and start making time for it again. In that, I succeeded. I discovered that I still love fantasy, but fantasy done well. I uncovered a new love of medieval crime novels (niche but there you go), a little interest in non-fiction, and a desire to finally knuckle down and read some more classics. Of course, I also cemented my love for the one and only Margaret Atwood, diving into her publication catalogue after reading The Handmaid’s Tale back in the summer of 2017, then completely falling in love with Hag-Seed. I have a small to read pile of about seven books which I’ll work through, and then I’ll be returning to my old bad ways of checking out more books than I can manage from Manchester Central Library.
Two books a month seems like a more realistic goal for 2019, giving me room to be busy without feeling pressured to make time to read, but also encouraging me to always have a book on the go. It’s likely that I’ll exceed my goal if I continue in the same vein as 2018, but this way I won’t be beating myself up in December for not cramming in a 600 page book every week. It’s not feasible and takes the joy out of reading, and joy is exactly the reason I read.