Reading goals for 2021
Reading goals – do you set them for yourself? If you do set reading goals, is it a number of books? Or maybe it’s to broaden what you’re reading? Or the authors that you’re reading?
Each year, I set a number of books that I want to read by the end of the year. I used to track the books by title, author, and genre in a paper reading journal. Then I shifted to a spreadsheet and now I use the GoodReads app. I find that keeping track online is so much easier because I can simply scan the barcode of the book and WHAM. GoodReads adds all of the book’s information to my account.
I’ve discovered that a great way to help myself reach my reading goal is to take part in reading challenges. Reading challenges can be very simple such as tracking the number of books you read. Or they can get more involved with reading prompts, hashtags and buddy reads.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular reading challenges so you can reach your 2021 reading goals!
Goodreads reading challenge
I sign up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge each year. I’ve done it since 2011. If you have a Goodreads account already, it’s super easy to sign up. Click on your profile and you’ll see a link to Reading Challenge. Goodreads will ask you the number of books you want to read this year. That’s it! Make sure to include your completed date when you add a book. Goodreads takes care of the rest. You can see how many books you’ve read, what percentage that is of your goal. You can share your progress on social media for some accountability. And you can see and comment on your friends’ Reading Challenges on the Goodreads site or app.
Libby reading challenge
Libby, the one-tap reading app, also has a reading challenge. It’s the Diverse Reads Reading Challenge. And it asks you to read authors and books that feature diversity such as a book by a Black author or a book with an LGBTQ+ character or a book focusing on a historical event. It’s a great way to expand your horizons! Here’s the list of reading prompts as a PDF.
Overdrive reading challenge
The Overdrive app also has a reading challenge this year, the Professional Book Nerds Challenge. They have twelve reading prompts designed to encourage readers to expand their horizons by doing things like reading a picture book or reading a play. If you complete the challenge, take a photo of your completed sheet, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a new device. Here’s the list of prompts and directions.
The PopSugar Reading Challenge is in its seventh year and it’s always a favorite. They give you a total of 50 reading prompts – 40 regular ones and 0 advanced. Some are pretty easy like a book published in 2021. Others are a bit tougher like a book with something broken on the cover. The prompts also encourage reading diversely with prompts like a book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list and a book about a social justice issue. Get the complete list here.
Setting reading goals
How do you decide how many books to set as your goal? And before I go any further, let’s put to rest the old question of “does listening to an audiobook count?” Yes, yes it does. So do graphic novels.
So how do you decide on a number? Do you want to read a book a month? Then your reading goal is 12. Two a month is 24 books. One a week would be a reading goal of 52.
Be realistic. It’s good to push yourself but don’t set a reading goal so lofty that it’s unattainable. That’s going to have the opposite effect. Nobody wants to push themself into a reading slump.
If you want challenges, let that be in what you’re choosing to read, not how many.
Joining a reading challenge (or several) can be a great way to stay on track with reaching your reading goals in 2021. If the challenges I mentioned don’t seem challenging enough or you’re looking for more, here’s a more comprehensive list of 2021 reading challenges.