Reading goals and habits or a look at how my reading routine changed throughout the year 📔💭

2020 debuts(3)Hello everyone! 

I’ve talked about this quite a lot on the blog since I started posting in January, but I began the year setting a goal for myself: reading at least one chapter of a novel every evening. The past few years, I had not been reading as much as I would have liked, struggling to finish a few novels and I couldn’t understand why. So I decided this would be a great way to get back into reading and rekindle my love for it, and it worked wonderfully. At this point in the year, I have read 70 books, and this number will surely be a bit higher by the end of December, which is a huge achievement for me. I didn’t reach my 40 books goal on goodreads for the last two or three years, so seeing 70 books now is just amazing.

I tried my best with this goal, without feeling too terrible when I didn’t manage to read some evenings. I knew pressure would simply make me dread having to pick up a book, which was obviously not the goal. I also didn’t limit myself to one chapter every evening: if I felt like reading anytime during the day, I did. Read a book in one-sitting? Sure! I guess you could say it was a simple minimum “requirement” I set for myself.  The few times I didn’t manage to read a chapter was when I was so sick with the flu I could do nothing but sleep back in March, or when I had exams at university or again when my shifts at work ended really late.

dividers(1)Overall, I think it was a success. The few times I thought that maybe I saw a reading slump on the horizon turned out to be nothing and I was reading all these books I loved, which was wonderful. But then, September came around and reading was not so wonderful anymore. I was in a reading slump again, and I could not bring myself to read. Usually, when stressful times happen, like September was for me, I read even more. It helps me when everything seems so overwhelming. But this time, it was the exact opposite. I didn’t see it right away, but I was already under so much pressure from getting a new job, having to move in two weeks and getting ready for a new chapter of my life that adding the pressure of reading on top of it completely failed. Suddenly, reading became that “thing” I needed to do; I know I set that goal myself and I should have just let it go right there and then. Except I was so stressed, it seemed like another failure.

I didn’t read for a few weeks, and at first, I felt terrible about it. Like I said, it was as if I was failing, and this tiny goal that shouldn’t have mattered that much became a lot bigger. And the more I thought about reading, the less I wanted to actually pick up a book and read. It had nothing to do with the novel I was reading at the time (which I absolutely loved once I finished it a few weeks later) but everything to do with my state of mind. I was holding on to a routine that didn’t work for me anymore. I thought pushing myself to read a chapter every day would help me get past my reading slump, and I couldn’t understand why it didn’t. It’s only when things in my life started to settle a little that I came to the conclusion that I needed to let go of that idea. It was okay to change my reading routine; so what if I read less? Or what if it took me longer to finish a novel? It was not a big deal, as long as reading didn’t feel like a chore. As long as I enjoyed the moments when I read, whether it be 3 pages or 200. I had made reading a chore for myself, without even realizing it, and that needed to change.

dividers(1)Reading habits can change at different times in your life, and it’s okay.  Getting over a reading slump also looks different for everyone. Reading at least one chapter a day worked perfectly for me, for a few months, and helped me find my love for reading again which is why I do not regret it in the slightest. But you should never feel bad for changing the way you read: read more, read less, read fast, read slow, it does not matter. It took me a while to come to that conclusion, but I do not have to hold myself to the standard of the first eight months of the year; if doing so makes reading become a chore, it is not worth it. Now, still in the process of getting rid of that weeks long reading slump, slowly but surely, I simply read on days when I feel like it. Sometimes, comes night time, all I want to do is read. The other day, it was when I was waiting for my rice to cook in the rice cooker, around 1pm on a Sunday. It is random, and definitely not regular, but I feel better. Maybe it will all change again in a few months, but for now, I’m finally reading again, and to me, it is all that matters. 

Do you have a set reading routine, or do you read whenever you feel like it? What’s the best way you’ve gotten over a reading slump? I’d love to chat about it with you! 💛

Until next time,

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11 thoughts on “Reading goals and habits or a look at how my reading routine changed throughout the year 📔💭

  1. I tried reading with a routine multiple times but I would ‘fail’ all of those and I would be slightly upset about it. Now I accepted that I’m just a big mood reader. When I’m too stressed, I can’t read. When I’m too tired, I can’t read. And when I’m in a good mood, I can read 2 books in a row. It’s just how it works for me but it took me a while to figure it out.

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  2. Two or three years ago I used to read so, so much, around 70/80 books per year, and then last year this number decreased a lot! I got really sad but I think I’m doing better this year and what worked for me was also setting a goal to read every day, and also prioritize books I had high hopes of loving, so I felt even more motivated to pick them up. I’m very happy for you!! Happy reading ❤

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    • Knowing your reading tastes is also very important, I agree! Of course, there are always disappointments, but it helps nonetheless limit the reading of books you don’t enjoy. And reading less isn’t a bad thing, sometimes reading that many books is simply not doable and that’s okay ♥

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  3. This was so interesting to read! I’m so glad this goal helped you read more, but I’m also glad that you’re not letting it add stress to your life and adapting to whatever works best for you 😊 For the past few years, I’ve had to goal to read for an hour every night, and most nights I’m able to fit it in, though I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it if I don’t have time or I’m too tired. Reading is supposed to be fun, so it’s always good to have a reminder that you shouldn’t stress about it!

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    • My thoughts exactly! Reading should always remain fun, and the moment it becomes a chore is often the moment a reading slump shows up on the horizon. I’m so glad you manage to read almost every night, but don’t let it stress you out. I think it’s the perfect outlook! 🙂

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  4. I don’t have a set reading routine, I tend to read whenever I feel like (usually in the evenings) and on the train ride to and back from uni. Also, on some days, due to the terrible train schedules, I’m at uni with more than an hour before class, and I can read a lot on these days before my friends arrive.

    I definitely relate to (usually) reading more when stressed than when everything is good. There is something about reading that makes me really happy and, idk, more relaxed, I guess. During the exam period I’d read well into the night, haha, trying to finish books in one seat at least once or twice a week.

    As for reading slumps, sometimes all you can do is to stop reading altogether. I usually end up rereading my favorite books if I do feel like reading – or, at least, skimming through them to my favorite parts – or doing something totally different from reading, like watching a tv show. This summer was not the best reading period for me, and I was so sad about it at first, but then I had to kind of accept it and not stress over it, because that made everything worse.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so interesting! I used to read a lot on my train ride to and from work when I lived in England, and I will always remember that one time, in the middle of Winter so it was super dark outside, I missed my train stop and I had no idea where I was, that was fun haha
      And reading makes me happy too, most of the time ♥ When I was at university last year, I used to sit waiting for classes to start and read as well!
      I’ve been playing a lot of video games and watching gaming streams instead of reading lately , it’s different but now I’ve learned to just not push it 🙂

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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