Don’t be ashamed; we’ve all been there. We’ve started a book, and left it on the shelf to gather dust for days, weeks, or months on end. We’ve made a reading list, and worked harder on making a list than working through it. Maybe we’ve gotten into the groove of reading, but something distracts us, and we lose the habit altogether. Or maybe we have such a large collection of books to read, that we are left overwhelmed and so we start (but never finish) several books at one time. This article is here to guide you on how to to complete your reading goals.
How to Make a Reading List
Personalization is key
Start by making a personalized list of topics, phenomenons, or historical events that truly spark your interest, because you know better than anyone what gets you up in the morning and stirs your brain. Next, do a Google search for reading lists based on such interests but don’t depend entirely on someone else’s list. Having your own personalized reading list will make you eager to get to the next page, the next chapter, and eventually, the next book.
Variety, Variety, Variety
It’s hard to eat the same whole wheat cereal with the same orange juice and the same peanut butter toast every day for breakfast. It’s the same way with reading. Of course, you should read about things that nourish your soul, just the way you should eat breakfasts that nourish your body- but only so much of one thing is healthy. I recommend you create a varied reading list, which is why I recommended you ask for recommendations from different groups of people, you explore a new theme or topic, read a novel focused on your craft, or reread a book you once adored. This way you have some level of variety in your reading list.
Ask for recommendations
Have you ever heard John Rohn’s saying, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with?” Though this quote was intended to motivate individuals to surround themselves with uplifting people, it very well implies that the people around you are like-minded in some shape or form. Ask those people for book recommendations, but also try to out of your tight-knit circle. Ask for book recommendations from old teachers, co-workers, or even acquaintances. This way you have books that embrace your comfort zone, but you are also pushed out of your comfort zone to explore new authors and genres.
How to Stick to your Reading List
Join a book club, or (better yet) make your own
No one can force you to get going, but depending on a group and having them depend on you, just might do the trick. Beyond dependence, gathering weekly, monthly or bi-monthly to stir discussion and/or debate creates an engaging and thought-provoking atmosphere that you could very well thrive in.
Make reading a routine
No habit is easy to form–whether it’s kicking sugar from your diet, going on a daily morning run, or getting into the habit of reading. Yet according to world-renowned choreographer and creative, Twyla Tharp, the best way to create a habit is to create a routine. Tharp recognizes the power of ritual and claims one secret to her success was, “beginning each day of life with a ritual. I wake up every day at 5:30 AM, put on my workout clothes, my legwarmers, and my hat.” So in order to get into the consistent habit of reading, why not follow Tharp’s advice and make it a ritual? Squeeze reading into your daily routine. You can do this by waking up 15 minutes earlier to make a dent in your book, or by bringing your book to breakfast with you.
Set Small Reading Goals
Rather than reading several books at one time or simply beginning your reading list on a whim, I recommend you set goals and organize your reading list. Statistics show that setting goals set you up for success. Beyond setting goals, you should also take measures to make these goals happen. If your goal is to read one book a month, organize your reading list to make that goal a reality. If your goal is to have round table discussions based on what you are reading, join a book club to make it happen. If your goal is to better yourself, keep a journal as you make your way through your reading list. I hope that with these goals you find the motivation and establish a long-term vision so that you conquer your reading list with ease.
My Book Recommendations for You
Why not check out some of my favorite books for some inspiration for your 2019 reading list? Good luck!
More like this: