Tips to creating a yearly reading goal


As the year comes to a close, it’s time to start making reading goals for 2019. I’ve been creating reading goals for myself since 2013, so I thought I should share some of what I’ve learned over the years.

Realize what your goal actually means

When I first made my reading goal back in 2013, I set it to 25 books, solely because I thought that was a good enough number. At the time 25 seemed like a lot. What I failed to realize was what that number actually meant when you break it down. 25 books a year is roughly 2 books a month. I ended up reading 40 books that year. As you can tell I grossly underestimated my reading capacity. So when you make your goal, it helps to think of it in terms of months. Start with how many books you think you can read in a month, and then go from there. For example, if you think you can read 4 books a month, try setting your goal at 50 books.

To avoid pressure, start small!

What I’ve been doing these past few years is setting my goal super low at 30. In 2016, I fell into a really really bad reading slump and only read 31 books. Since then, I’ve set my goal at 30 and then increased it by 5 every time I got close to finishing it. In 2017, I stopped the goal at 65 (and finished at 83). This year I stopped my goal at 70 (and am currently at 88). Doing this really takes the pressure off you to read, especially at the beginning of the year when it is easy to fall behind. It always feels better to increase your goal, then to decrease it.

Think about what books you are including in your reading goal

I’ll often see people ask whether or not to include certain books in their goal such as picture books, graphic novels, etc. My piece of advice: if you want to include them but it feels like your cheating, up your goal accordingly. If you don’t want to include them, lower your goal. Remember: reading goals are not set in stone; you can always change it.

So those are my tips to creating a reading goal. I hope it helps.

My goal for 2019 will be even lower than I typically set it: 25 books.  Law school keeps me busy so I’m lowballing it significantly. 

How did you do on your 2018 reading goal? What’s your reading goal for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!



11 thoughts on “Tips to creating a yearly reading goal

  1. vicklea says:

    Good tips, Jessica. Several years ago, I started with 50, surpassed that, moved the goal to 100 and surpassed that and this year my goal was 200. I’m at 245. Of course, I should add a disclaimer that I am retired and some of the books that I read are children’s books to my grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. misslittlewoodreads says:

    Initially this year my goal was 20 (I think) then I smashed that so upped it. I’m currently at 54 books read, and hoping for a few more. but I read loads of picture books (as a teacher and for own enjoyment) and don’t count those. I’ve only really included books over 100 pages. I’m thinking of including them all next year but having a higher goal so I get a more accurate picture of my reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. allthingsmommablog says:

    These are great tips!

    My goal this year was 52 books and I’ve finished 131 and should have another few finished before the year ends. I set next year’s goal for 1.5 books a week instead of 1 books a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bibliogyan says:

    This is really helpful! I started with a goal of 20 this year but read around 35 and am still reading. Am not sure about next year since theres a lot I wanna read. I kept a minimum number at 30+ so hope it goes smoothly 🤞🏻😃

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s