Two weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of reading to keep your mind healthy. I challenged my readers to go out and find a book they had never heard of and purchase it. Now, it’s high time I offer a way to go about sticking to a reading goal! Let’s break this down into three tiers, based on how much you read: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Now to set a goal to achieve over the course of the year.
For Beginners, your goal will be four new books over the entirety of the 2017 year. That’s only one book every three months! A reasonable goal and one easily achieved by slower or less active readers.
For Intermediate readers, you’ll be setting a bit of a higher bar. Your goal over the course of the next year will be seven new books. That’s just a bit faster than one every two months. Very achievable if you are an active reader year-round.
Now Advanced readers, I am going to set a lofty goal for you: twelve new books over the course of the next year! That’s one every month! Fear not. Set aside time every day and make it happen! You can do this! I have faith!
Find a routine where you can devote at least 30 minutes to reading each day. Some people prefer mornings, while others like to wind down before bed with a book. What you choose is entirely up to you. Next, remove distractions. Nothing is worse than trying to read a book with the TV on in the background or your phone lighting up every 30 seconds. Remove these distractions and the book will be infinitely more enjoyable. Finally, push yourself. There will be days when you do not want to read or feel too busy. Push through it at read. Try and do at least ten pages on these days. Your brain will thank you for it.
Now, WHAT should you read? Well, let’s take a look at several genres and offer up a range of ideas.
“S.P.Q.R”- Mary Beard
“1984”- George Orwell
“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”- Dee Brown
“Half of a Yellow Sun”- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Les Miserables”- Victor Hugo
“Moby Dick”- Herman Melville
“The Book Thief”- Markus Zusak
“The Nightingale”- Kristin Hannah
“I, Claudius”- Robert Graves
“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”- George R.R. Martin
“The Name of the Wind”- Patrick Rothfuss
“Gardens of the Moon”- Steven Erikson
“Howl’s Moving Castle”- Diana Wynne Jones
“American Gods”- Neil Gaiman
“Dune”- Frank Herbert
“Starship Troopers”- Robert A. Heinlein
“The Left Hand of Darkness”- Ursula K. Le Guin
“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”- Philip K. Dick
“The Call of Cthulhu”- H.P. Lovecraft
“The Stand”- Stephen King
“Frankenstein”- Mary Shelley
“John Dies at the End”- David Wong
“Heart-Shaped Box”- Joe Hill
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”- Hunter S. Thompson
“Naked Lunch”- William S. Burroughs
“The Picture of Dorian Grey”- Oscar Wilde
“Dowry Meat”- Heather Knox
“The Moon is Always Female”- Marge Piercy
“Beowulf”- Author Unknown
Of course, this is but a small list of some relatively well-known publications. Set out to make your own and never stop reading!