Reading has pretty much been my main hobby, my whole life. Ever since I was a pre-teen kid, sneaking The Fellowship of the Ring into the church to read during the sermon, I have always read. I loved road trips because it meant more time to read in the backseat while my siblings slept. I have dabbled in other hobbies like video games, playing fantasy sports and I even once joined a bowling league. But, no matter how often I try other things, reading books has remained a constant for me. I owe this love of reading to my mom, who often had a stack of novels on her bedside table and would join me in libraries and bookstores, regardless of where we lived.
This love of reading has stuck with me, even as I am approaching 50, here in a couple of years. I use the Goodreads app to track my reading and in that app, you can set annual reading goals. For the last several years, I have aimed to read 60 books, and last year, I hit 72 books read. For this year, I am shooting for 100 books read. This is a target that I have never reached, with my closest being 98 books read in 2015. I really think I can do it this year and I have a plan to do it.
However, this is not just about reaching some numbers goal. It is also about being intentional about the books that I am reading. For example, I have noticed in the last three years or so that I have become a serial starter of series and not a finisher. I read book one of a trilogy or longer series and really enjoy it, but then I move on to something else that is shiny and new, never to return to see what happens next. This does not do justice to these authors who are crafting these wonderful multi-book epics and all I am reading is Act One. This is the year, that I say no more of that. I have made a list of series to continue and finish as part of my 100 books in 2021. Some examples include the Scythe series by Neal Shusterman and the well–regarded Red Rising series by Peirce Brown. I loved both series first books, but then got distracted by some other series. I will do my best not to start any new series until I have finished these existing series that I have started. I know myself, which is why I said that I will try. No guarantees but I will try.
Now, back to the plan that I mentioned earlier. In order to reach 100 books, as a full-time business owner, dad, and husband, I just do not have time to read constantly. Nor can I reach that target by reading a lot of door-stopper-sized books. I am looking at you Brandon Sanderson and your 1,200 page tomes (large, heavy book). So, I will be adding in more comics and graphic novel reading to help balance out the longer science fiction and fantasy that i love. Additionally, we will continue to do our readings at night as a family which should add some to my total.
Will I make it to 100? I am in good shape so far at 16 books read through the first week of March but we shall see. I am quite determined and I’m not opposed to sneaking my earbuds into church to get a little extra reading in if I need to. Keep reading folks, it’s nothing but awesome.