Reading Challenges – First Month

So far, much better than the last time I tried one of these! I’m really enjoying it and thought it would be fun to talk about how it’s going, what I’m getting out of it, why I think it’s so much easier this time around.

To recap, my goal is three books a month. That’s two graphic novels and one non-comic book. They’re loosely organized around themes, which in turn are adaptations of the themes from the diversity reading challenge.

Since I started, I’ve also added a goal of reading through my single issue comics. I don’t actually have a number in mind for that, but to read every day I fill in blank days with those. And if I find myself with more time and not much to do after I’ve finished my planned reading, I’ll reach for my stack and read another comic.

In general I find that reading just comes easier now, more like when I was younger. Before college I used to read constantly, enough that my parents would have to tell me to stop. At some point I got in the habit of skimming rather than reading, never having enough time, and it just became harder and harder to actually set time aside for reading. But now I’m more accustomed to it and when I have spare time, I no longer think that it’s not enough time and so find small time-waste-y activities, I pull out a book. It’s nice.

I managed to finish my first February book before the month actually started, and I’ve made a decent-sized dent in my single issues. And I added extra books, ones I received to review and am supposed to share by March. So far I’m right on track! I’m planning to put out the first review tomorrow.

Why is it working this time? Mostly I credit Goodreads and Google Keep. I love being able to click a box and check off my reading goals for the day. I like updating my progress on Goodreads and sharing that journey with friends, and especially rating the book when I’m finished. And Keep makes it so easy to plan ahead, break my reading into manageable chunks and know exactly what I’ll be reading every day of the week and how that will lead into my goals.

The fact that I’m more regularly updating this blog and that I planned my reading to match the theme of the blog helps too. But not all the books are ones I’ll review here and that doesn’t make it any less fun or meaningful to read them. I think it’s just more habit-building, adjusting my thoughts so that I recognize reading as an important part of my ongoing work and life, not a distraction or a luxury I can’t afford.

How’s your reading going this year? If you’ve done these reading challenges or ones like them before, what worked for you? What do you like about them?

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