Just like anything else these days, the endless options of amazing books out there can make it hard to choose what to read next. Good problem, right? Having some focus with a book list as you start a new year will help you hit the ground running with your reading goals.
But where do you even start? Here are five tips to create a New Year’s book list that will have you reading more than ever.
Set a Goal
A reading goal will help motivate you, especially as the year begins. And if you start out on a good note, you’re much more likely to continue as the year goes on.
· Be realistic with your goal. Sure, we’d all love to read a book a week, but most of us don’t have time for that. Base your goal on how much you’ve read in the past and how much time you think you have to read each week.
If you haven’t been reading much, start with one book a month. It gives you a deadline to finish your book. Ready to take more on? How about one fiction and one non-fiction book per month. Or one print and one audio book?
· Write your goal down. A list will keep you motivated and inspire you to keep going. I’m a big fan of a paper and pen list rather than a digital list, but I often do both just in case I lose my paper list. Either way, keep the list somewhere you’re likely to see it regularly. And have fun crossing each off!
· Create accountability. Then, with any goal, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Tell a friend or partner, share on social media (Goodreads is awesome!) and post updates, or keep your list out on your bedside table to create accountability with yourself.
Ask a Friend
Now, it’s time to get some recommendations for what books you’ll not only enjoy but that will make you want to keep reading throughout the year.
· Ask your bookish friends. Which of your friends read similar books to you, or even like the same podcasts, TV shows and movies? Ask them what they’ve loved reading lately.
· Go to the Gram. Follow awesome book Instagram accounts like @reesesbookclub, @carlysbookclub, @nycbookgirl or @booksandmargs. There are so many others too! And it’s of course not just the Gram – there are so many bloggers, podcasters and more dishing out great recs every day.
· Join a subscription. Still not sure what to read? Join Book of the Month Club. They provide five hot titles of the season in different genres and you choose one. Makes it so easy and fun!
Mix it Up
One thing I know from past experience, if you choose all historical fiction, you’re likely not going to get through your list. Nothing against that genre – I love it! You just need to mix it up with something different and lighter to keep you moving and motivated.
· Fiction/Nonfiction – I like to switch off every other book between fiction and nonfiction. It’s easy to dive right into a totally different book after finishing one since it’s going to be totally different from what I just read. Even the fiction books I read, I like to mix in some fun titles, especially in the summer or when I’m on vacation.
· Different Media – Another way to mix it up is to have one print or digital and an audio book going at the same time, or alternate between the two. I love seeing what my Instagram friends are listing to and reading at the same time. It’s definitely a goal of mine to mix in more audio this year because I think it will really increase how many titles I get through.
Shop Your Shelves
I know it’s exciting to read all the new titles coming out constantly, but if you’re anything like me, you already have so many great books on your shelves to choose from. Make sure you include some of them on your list.
Similarly, shop your family and friends’ shelves. A book swap with a friend will make the process of choosing books a lot easier and much less expensive.
Leave Some Space
You’ll definitely want to add some new titles to your list throughout the year. So, it’s important you don’t make your list finite or rigid.
Leave some room to swap titles out based on what looks good in the new releases, what a friend recommends or what’s available at the library. If your goal is 24 books this year, maybe think of 18 now and leave room to add to it.
Since I’m doing Book of the Month Club this year, I’m planning to fill some of my list with books I already want to read and leave the rest open for the new books I get from my subscription.
Believe it or not, it’s time to start that list because the New Year is almost here!