I read 72 books. I'm letting that sink in for a bit (more for me than for you).
That's 44% above the reading challenge I had set for myself. Yeah, it's a shocker for me too. My goal was to read 50 books and I wasn't even sure I was gonna make that mark. After all, I went down to the wire on December 31st, 2020 in order to complete my 40 book challenge. Plus, I barely made it through 5 books in previous years, so who was I fooling? I honestly believed my 50 book challenge was a little stretch.
So, can you imagine how I felt that faithful October day when I realized I had just made it to book number 50 - Oh My Word - I was ecstatic (yes you can get ecstatic over something such as this). Anyway, what did I read you may ask? Well, everything - from BDSM to Spiritual - variety is the spice of life and I like to learn new things. But, really and truly, nothing is off-limits for my reading, however, if I start a book and it rubs me the wrong way, it's highly likely that I'm not going to finish it. Mind you, in the past, I have pushed through and finished some because I was optimistic; I thought there must be a better ending, a lesson, or something. But alas, there are those that never had any of that and left me feeling used at the end of it all.
Just like the previous year, I didn't limit myself to a specific genre and I also paced myself; if I felt like reading I did and if I didn't, well then, I just didn't. If you're struggling to get back your "reading groove," here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Tips For Getting Back Into The Reading Groove
Read at your own pace. Don't get overwhelmed by what others are posting on social media, they are not you. Tackle one book at a time, at a speed only you will appreciate.
Read whatever you want. As long as it doesn't go against the very fiber of your being then read just about everything. Not much is off-limits for me as I find lessons in everything. Try the "tutti frutti" approach - read all kinds of things.
Join a book club or find a reading buddy. Not a must, but a book club encourages you to read more. It can be just you and a friend, or you can find a community online to join.
Follow book accounts on social media. They share insights and recommendations on a regular.
Create a Goodreads account. It helps you keep track of what you read, or want to read, and they also give recommendations.
Try E-books and Audiobooks. I have the Kindle and Scribd apps on my phone and tablet. This allows me to have access to my books wherever I go. Scribd offers a 60-day free trial and with the Kindle app, you can search for free books on a daily basis or opt for a monthly subscription.
Try to finish what you start. I know this is hard, especially if you are not digging the book at first, but sometimes it actually turns out good. Other times it really sucks to the end. But look at the bright side, you would have read one more book and you may have learnt a word or two. Hmmm...there's always something!
Set a daily reading goal. Set a goal for at least 30 minutes a day. Some days you may make it, some days you may not. However, on the days you don't feel like you can do that 30 minutes, do it for 5 minutes; just don't break your rule. Even if it's half a page - do it, or rather, read it! I've found that audiobooks are a great way to achieve this.
Allow your imagination to run wild. It adds to the fun of reading. Become one of the characters, laugh at yourself while doing so; compare the story to your own life experiences. Make it fun, the book will finish faster - LOL.
Join a book challenge. There are many online book challenges across the world, feel free to join one. It opens you to the vast world of books, motivates you to read more, allows you to meet new people, and get engaged in interesting conversations. See list below.
Here are a few popular annual reading challenges
I tend to agree with Blaz Koz who says, "by reading a book you automatically expand your mind, improve your vocabulary, train your creative potential and analytical skills, improve empathy, and much more. You do a brain workout while disengaging from every day worries."
So, what's my 2022 challenge? 80 books. Yup, wish me luck! I've already placed 35 books on my "want-to-read" list. Click here to view that list. Let's journey together for 2022.
Where will your books take you? What's on your reading list for 2022? And, what were some of your best reads for 2021? I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment below, or on my Instagram page. Who knows, we may even be able to discuss a book, or two, over a virtual cup of tea or coffee, or wine if you so prefer.
As Anna Quinlan said, "Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."
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