Sometimes I want to sign up for all the reading challenges. I want to read a certain number of books throughout the year, to read books that meet specific criteria, to read a book from a variety of genres, to cross off all the classics that compel me. My list of reading goals is neverending, and my to-be-read cart is overflowing. Like, truly it is overflowing.
I have a bookstagram I’ve been running for about two years now where I post a review about every book I read, as well as other bookish content. Running that account has taught me to pay more attention to the types of books I’m reading and what I’d like to read more of. In a perfect world, I would have endless time and access to all the books I’m able to read, but that is just not the case for me. I recently crossed the 30-book mark for this year, which is a lot, a little, or a pretty average amount depending on who you ask.
My goal is to read 50 books by the end of 2021, which was also my goal in 2020. I find that’s a pretty reasonable amount for me, based on my reading pace and the amount of time I usually have available for reading. I haven’t exactly done the math on the time I spend reading or the speed at which I read, but I do know that I’m able to read that amount without becoming overwhelmed about reaching my goal and without having to miss out on other activities I enjoy, such as napping or playing with my pets.
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, so I like to set aside time to do it. I also enjoy talking about the books I’ve read, finding new book recommendations, reading a book by an author I’d never read and then devouring the rest of their books, and photographing my books so I can share my thoughts with the Internet. All of that gives me so much pleasure. And I don’t want to take away from that, but I do want to make sure that I’m mindful about what I’m reading. I want to make sure I’m always learning and growing through what I’m reading, as well as having fun. For me, this means I attempt to read a variety of genres, and books by people of a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities.
Making sure to consistently read books by people of color doesn’t take away from the fun of reading for me. Making sure to include both fiction and nonfiction on my list helps me keep my enthusiasm about both genres. I’ve discovered new authors this way and read some incredible books. I have been able to learn so much more about both myself and others, and my love of reading has only continued to grow.
I obviously cannot read everything no matter how much I try, but I can take into account what I’d like to learn more about, as well as the representation that matters to me most. I can uplift the voices that matter to me and hope others enjoy those books as well.
My system isn’t perfect, and I’ll probably continue to tweak it and reevaluate my priorities, but I’m glad I’ve found a way to be intentional in my reading and to document my love of books. If you would like to follow along, you can find me as breezyreading on Instagram or by clicking here.