Friday, 18 January 2019

Completing your reading goals in 2019

how to complete goodreads challenge

Since late December, my twitter feed has been filled with Goodreads reading challenge announcements, my own included! Reading X amount of books seems to be trending as far as goals and resolutions go this year, is it on your 2019 bucket list too? I read 30 books in 2018, most of which in the last 3 months of the year! 30 is nothing compared to some people’s page turning accomplishments, and I’m aiming for 52 completed reads in 2019! If you’ve got a book related goal in mind, I’ve found just a couple of ways to get a few more pages in each and every day - and who knows, they might push me past that 52 book goal!

Ditch the distractions 

One of the biggest book closing distractions that I face, is my phone. Hands down, I get to the bottom of the page, I check my phone. I finish a chapter - check my phone. My phone lights up, down goes my book. No matter how good a book is, you can guarantee my phone knows how and when to pull me away. I know, I know, I frustrate myself. SO, in order to ditch the digital distraction I’ve started putting my phone on the other side of the room. Before I do, I switch it on to do not disturb mode (I’ve got a Samsung, but I’m pretty sure iPhone has a similar option). This means no matter what apps send me notifications, my phone doesn’t even twitch. No lights, no sounds, no distractions. The only calls that can get through are those on my emergency contacts list. And because it means effort to get up and cross the room to look at it, I just don’t, yes, I can be that lazy!

The moments in between

Making a brew? I take my current read into the kitchen and read a page or two whilst the kettle boils and the tea steeps. Bath running? I take my book with me and read whilst the tub fills. Tv show on an ad break? You can see where I’m going with this can’t you? In all the little random moments of downtime, I’d usually scroll aimlessly through my phone, but we’re ditching that distraction in 2019 aren’t we? So I pick up my book instead. My spot on the couch always has two things next to it, my book and a brew. So as soon as I find myself with a random few minutes, I reach for tea or text, over my phone. You’ll be amazed at how many random little moments you can find in your day to squeeze a page or three in. As the bread toasts, as the veg boils, whilst you’re waiting at the bus stop, whilst you’re waiting for friends to arrive for a coffee. Think of how many times a day you pick up your phone - now replace that with picking up a book and those pages will soon add up!

how to complete goodreads challenge

Getting over the guilt

A friend recently asked me how I read so much of an evening when the Mr is about the house. She said she felt guilty for picking up a book after her and her husband had spent all day at work. She felt like that time at home should be spent together, and didn’t want him to think she was being ignorant by sticking her nose behind a book. The Mr knows how much I love to read, he’s forever buying me books and continuing to fuel my passion for the pages. We both have very separate interests that we both love to spend time on. So let’s say a typical evening after work. We’ll come home, have tea and watch an episode or two of whatever show we’re currently binging on. After that, we go our separate ways in the house, pursuing our own pleasures for a couple of hours. For me, this could be blogging, reading, having a chat with my parents, or watching some of the shows I love and he loathes. An hour or so before bed we tend to pop the kettle on and watch something together. He also loves to watch something as he falls asleep, which just isn’t my cup of tea at all, so I tend to read in bed next to him, as that’s what helps me to fall asleep. Every relationship is different, but we’ve found something that works really well for the both of us. If you’re feeling guilty about picking up a book over staring into the eyes of your partner, talk to them. Tell them you’re reading a great book right now and can’t wait to dive back in and see what happens, tell them about the book. Chances are they’ll encourage you to go pick it up and heck, they might be struggling with the guilt just as much for wanting to go and spend time on a passion project of their own!

Audiobooks DO count

I’ve seen this argument doing the rounds on Twitter lately amongst the bookish community and honestly, I don’t see how anyone can say audiobooks don’t count towards your goal. Of course they do! And they’re perfect for racking up a few more completions. Personally, I can’t read very well on public transport anymore, it makes me feel ridiculously nauseous! But sometimes I’m on the bus or train for over an hour, and there’s a whole lotta reading I could get through in that time if only my breakfast would stay down! Travelling, cleaning, cooking, whatever’s filling your hands, you can fill your head with the words of the latest crime thriller or YA fantasy - and I swear, it makes some of the seriously more mundane tasks, like folding all your clothes the Kon-Marie way, much more fun

how to complete goodreads challenge

Double up

This isn’t for everyone, but this works really well for me. I always have two books on the go at once. I have a book I’m happy to leave the house with, and a book that never leaves the house. The books I take to work tend to be library books or books on my Kindle. The books that stay at home are the ones it would break my back to carry around all day, or ones that are so dear to me I don’t want to risk bent corners and scratched covers. I’m slowly building a collection of specially bound hardback classics - these never leave the house! I find it very easy to flit between books, I think it’s the years of practice through University that gave me this CV worthy skill. 

Have you set yourself a reading target this year? Let me know in the comments what it is and how you plan on achieving it! 

Complete your goodreads reading challenge

Until next time, 

Header image: @nbb_photos
2nd Image: @freestocks
3rd Image: @priscilladupreez


  1. I agree with everything you said, including reading two books at once. I have a day-book and a night-book, the one that I read a few pages off, before going to sleep. Of course audiobooks count. It's not like they don't take a lot of time to listen too, so why shouldn't they count?
    Good luck with your reading challenge this year. x

    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has multiple books on the go! Good luck with your reading goals this year too!

      Sarah :)