Each year, like most people I draft resolutions. But a few years ago, instead of just throwing ideas into the wind, I decided I will make a conscious effort to improve one thing and one thing only in my life annually.
I started this about five years ago, when I gave up soda. Each year since I’ve tackled things such as giving up coffee or fast food. This year becoming a reader is my task and reading 24 books is my goal.
I’ve always been a picky reader. Seldom would I find books that interested my enough that I would shift time from another activity to read. More often than not, I would find a good book, read it over the course of a month or so, then have nothing to continue to when I finished.
Biographies and other non-fiction books have always seemed to hold my interest the most, so I’ve started out the year with a list of books that I thought would interest me and I’ve kept an eye out for them at libraries and thrift stores.
Making Time To Read
Time has always been an issue for me. So to tackle my goal, I looked at the places throughout the day that I “could” read, and then exploit it. I came up with the following times
- My Commute – Daily I spend about 45 minutes driving, so I signed up for an account at Audible.com so I could get audio books.
- Lunch – I usually eat at my desk, but there was 15-30 minutes
- Bedtime – I’ve began trying to go to bed earlier so that I have at least 15-45 minutes
- Bathroom – A couple of pages can be knocked out using the Kindle App on my phone
- Waiting – Time spent waiting at doctor’s offices, before meetings, etc, give a few minutes to get through a few pages
Keeping Track of What I’ve Read/Want to Read
Early in the year, I discovered the website GoodReads.com, along with their Android App. Using this site, I manage what I’ve read, what I want to read, as well as my ever growing inventory of travel/reference books. GoodReads also has a “Reading Challenge”, to help you track your goal of reading a set number of books during the year.
When I find that my “TO READ” list is getting short, I stop by Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million and break out my GoodReads app with the barcode scanner to fill it back up. As I find books that interest me, I simply scan it and it is automatically added to my “TO READ” list.
Using my GoodReads TO-READ list (on my phone) at libraries and thrift stores I frequent has made finding books easy.
I truly believe that I’m becoming the reader that I’ve always wanted to be. I look forward to opening up my current book and seeing what happens next. It is no longer a chore; it is becoming a retreat. Thus far my resolution has been so successful (I’m currently averaging about a book a week) that I’ve increased my goal from from 24 books to 35.
Follow Me on GoodReads
Image: chillihead (Flickr)