18 in 2018 – Reading Goals!

One of my goals this year is to read more! I’ve always loved reading, but it’s been hard for me to “find the time” and really dive into a book. I’ve always felt like I needed to find the perfect time, perfect setting & perfect amount of quiet before I could really enjoy a book. I envisioned slow, quiet, Saturday mornings with comfy socks, a warm blanket, a chair pulled up next to the fireplace and coffee in hand, and if it didn’t look like that I didn’t think I’d be able to focus enough to get anything out of what I was reading.

This past year, however, I decided to try to find new ways to read more because I was honestly just spending so so SO much time in front of screens I wanted to get offline and grounded in real-world tangible things as much as possible. So, I stopped making excuses and started to just use the time I had in the nooks and crannies of the day to read a few pages here or there and it worked. I read more this past year than I have in a long time and it made me even more excited to set a bigger reading goal for myself this year. Now, maybe you’re like my awesome college roommate who could down 200 books in a year (how awesome is that?) but for me, 18 in ’18 will definitely be a challenge! I’m #secretlynososecretly hoping to go further than that but I wanted to start out with a realistic, achievable goal, and plus I just love any kind of alliteration (can you have alliteration in numbers?).

A few things that have helped me get back into my reading goals-

  1. Audiobooks! Honestly, this is something I never thought I’d recommend. I LOVE the feeling of tangibly holding a book and it can be really hard for me to read anything on an e-reader because it just doesn’t create the same experience. HOWEVER – this past year I started giving audiobooks a try again and I got hooked. I found that I only really enjoyed listening to biographies or stories that were read by the author because it felt much more like a podcast or someone just having a conversation with you and telling you about their life. I rarely have the patience to read any biographies but it’s been fun to find a way to get into a genre that I wouldn’t get through otherwise. Challenge yourself to not right off different methods of reading right away and try a few different things out!
  2. Overdrive. Okay, this one is more of 1A because I mostly use this for Audiobooks, but this has been such a GREAT app. When I first started getting into audiobooks I racked up a tonnnn of $$ on Audible (which is an awesome app) but the cost became harder to justify because I knew I wouldn’t go back through Audiobooks the same way I might with a regular book. Overdrive is a free app you can use to read e-books or audiobooks through your library card! Brilliant. Being able to try out different books for free with a user-friendly app has been so so helpful. Also, a bonus tip- if you are using Audible they have a great refund policy. If you start reading a book and it’s just not what you expected or you don’t like it, return it and get your money back! In the past I would feel SO guilty about quitting books once I started them and it would take me sooo long to get through, but now I’m trying to focus on only reading what I truly enjoy. It may sound obvious, but I read WAY more when I am really digging a book than when I feel like I HAVE to get through a book when it’s just not clicking with me.
  3.  Goodreads. Goodreads is a book-lovers dream. A friend enlightened me about the app this past year and it’s been a gamechanger. I used to only go to GoodReads for book quotes but it was so fun to build out a personal profile, upload the books I’ve read, and keep all the info for books I want to read in one place. Plus, I love that you can connect with friends through the app to see what they are reading and rating and recommend things to each other. I’ve read a few things this year that I would have never picked up if I hadn’t seen a friend review it through Goodreads. I think my favorite part of the app though is their reading challenge. This is where you can pick a goal for the year and mark along the way what you’re reading, and what page you’re on so that you can see progress along the way.  You can see my 2018 reading challenge here! Another fun thing they do is give you an end of the year “Your Year in Books” which gives you fun stats about everything you’ve read in the past year. Here’s mine for 2017.

Most of all, find what works for you! Everyone is different and lean-into the things that make you tick and get you excited. You may not nerd-out about book apps and library cards the way I do, which is totally fine. Think about how you enjoy and get the most out of reading find time to do more of those things.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. –Dr. Seuss

 

My top three from 2017-

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins 
  3. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown

 

18 books on my reading wish-list this year:

1.   If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher

2.   Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco

3.  The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines

4.  Contagious by Jonah Berger

5.   Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg 

6.   Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

7.  Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art  by Madeleine L’Engle 

8.The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir by Jeff Goins

9.  God has a name by John Mark Comer

10.  Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

11.  Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner

12.  In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

13.  The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

14.  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

15.  Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller 

16.  At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider  

17.  Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

18.  Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth 

 

What books are on your reading list this year?? Leave me a comment and let me know, or find me on Goodreads to connect! I can’t wait to see what you’re reading and always love to hear new recommendations! And just a reminder that as an Amazon affiliate, I will get a small commission from purchases made through the links in this post. Thanks friends!

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