I eagerly began 2017 with 52 categories of books to read for the 2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge. As my list of books to be read has dwindled, I’ve been anticipating the release of the 2018 book list with mixed emotions.
First, I’ve been itching to read something new and the anticipation of planning the books and categories has been a bit hard to contain. At the same time, I felt a bit stifled by some of the categories in the 2017 list. I know the purpose is to expand your reading, to allow you to explore new genres and new authors, etc. but I found I wanted to explore more outside of the prescribed categories once I was introduced to a new author or genre. Or, I wanted to read a book in a category I already completed and couldn’t get the book to fit into any other category. I suppose you could say I was a bit too literal with the challenge.
While waiting for the 2018 list, I downloaded the 2015 and 2016 lists to see what categories they included in an attempt to “guess” which categories might appear on the new list. Instead, I found myself wanting to read books from some of those categories as well.
One other issue I’ve encountered with my reading this year is while I’m striving to read 52 books a year (one each week), my professional reading has suffered. I haven’t found a way to establish a balance between my personal enjoyment reading goals and my professional need to read. And, since I have to work and don’t live a life of leisure, I often struggle to find the time to fit in both.
Last week I discovered that the new 2018 reading challenge had been released. So, like any
slightly obsessed good reader, I spent the weekend Googling topics and searching category lists on Goodreads. While there, I updated my Goodreads books read and discovered the 2017 Reading Challenge. Here you simply set a goal of the number of books you want to read and mark them as read when you finish them. Goodreads doesn’t ask for a category or even care since they aren’t affiliated with the PopSugar Reading Challenge even though many of the Goodreads members participate in the challenge. This has opened a whole new world for me (I admit – I’m a little slow).
So, my goal for 2018 is to read 52 books again since averaging one a week worked well for me in 2017. However, I’m going to read for both pleasure and professional development. If a book happens to fit into any of the 2015, 2016, or 2018 categories, I will mark that category complete. And if it doesn’t, that’s ok, too. After all, I’m still reading.
It was nice to be able to check off all the categories on the 2017 list, and I feel like I really accomplished something. It also provided me with a sense of accountability. It was a challenge that I wanted to meet. I am a bit worried that without it, I won’t be as dedicated in 2018
What’s your reading goal for 2018, and how are you approaching it? What are you using for accountability (or do you even need an accountability system)?