On Reading: How to Set and Keep a Reading Goal for 2013

by Guest Contributor

With the New Year upon us, you may decide that reading more in 2013 is your goal. Making the choice to read a full novel each day is going to be a bit too daunting, even for the most avid of readers. Therefore, try these tips to set and keep a goal of reading 10 pages a day of a book (in my opinion, the perfect amount).

Choose Beloved Subjects

Do not feel as though you must read Jane Austen’s Emmasimply because it is noted as one of the best novels of all times. Select a book in a genre that you love, whether it be comedy, romance, horror or nonfiction. By choosing a book in which you can really indulge, you’ll be more motivated to read through those 10 pages each day.

Selecting Shorter Books
In the beginning at least, you want to pick novels that are manageable. Opting for an 800 page book is probably going to make you rather frustrated as it will take approximately two and a half months to read it on your plan. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, look for novels that can be completed in two or three weeks at the most. Not only will the goal not be so daunting, but you’ll actually remember the details from the beginning of the book once you get to the end.

Another issue that many people face is as follows: They choose a book that they are really interested in reading, but they try to get in those 10 pages in between appointments at the office or in between cleaning sessions at home. Have a dedicated time in which you just read on your favorite couch or in bed at night. Do a quick test to see about how much time you will need by reading through one page and timing yourself. As a result, you’ll know if you need to set aside 10 minutes or 30 minutes for your daily sessions.

Be Accountable
When people are not accountable to anyone but themselves, they tend to break their goals quite easily. Enroll in a book club, so you will have motivation to complete the novel. You could also take a literature class at a local community college. However, 10 pages a day might not work for such a program. Unless the novel is extremely short and/or a lot of time is provided in which to complete it, you will likely need to increase that speed of 10 pages per night. Fortunately for you, this opportunity is an excellent one to help to make you become even more of an avid and intelligent reader.

Why is it important to tackle a goal such as this one? Well, people who are well-read often tend to be more aware of issues going on in the world. Furthermore, they may also develop stronger analytical minds than those around them. One day, you might even be encouraged to write and publish your own novel!

Do you have a reading goal for 2013? Do you have a plan to help you see it through?

Guest contributor Mary Louiston writes about literature, personal development and education. An English teacher and guidance counselor, her proudest piece is on the top schools for online counseling degrees.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dawn December 30, 2012 at 12:30 am

I am just about to write some reading goals for myself for 2013 along with my other goals. I appreciate your points though since I am a slow reader!
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2 Clair December 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I read a lot, but this December I read Lit! by Tony Reinke and I am rethinking how I want to spend my reading time…reading can be for enjoyment, but I also want to be reading things worth reading. Ironically, one year, my goal was to read less so I would live more (interact more with people).


3 Jennifer January 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

That book is still “on my nightstand” waiting for me to read it! Have to get to it soon for sure.
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4 Nancy December 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This year I decided not to set a reading goal, because last year it was too stressful. I also found I *wanted* to read those 800 page books, and was avoiding them because I could read 3 shorter books in the same time. When it started becoming about quantity over quality, I decided no more goals. This year I read 91 books, 9 less than last year (when my goal was 100), but the same amount as 2 years ago. It seems to be a good number for me.
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5 Jennifer January 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I need to revisit my 2012 reading. I want to post a wrap-up post. My goal was not about quantity but about what I read, and I think I actually did it.
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6 Heather Carrillo January 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I have an annual contest with a friend of mine from my college days. That keeps us both pretty motivated.
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