I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. I’m the kind of person that seeks them out. But even I may have bitten off more than I can chew with my 2023 reading challenge. Let me explain.
My 2022 Reading Fail
Before I get into the nitty gritty of my 2023 reading challenge, I should tell you about last year’s challenge. I gave myself the goal of reading 150 books in 2022.
I’ve only read 150 books in one other year — 2014. I honestly hated it. It was the last time I set a reading goal until last year. I felt like I was sticking with books I didn’t enjoy just to count them. If you know me, you know I think life’s too short to read bad books. So, after 2014, I stopped the challenges. I just kept on reading between 100-150 books a year without much concern for the actual number.
I’ve read at least 100 books each year since my first challenge in 2013, so I figured I was one of the most avid readers out there. No need for loftier goals. I was good.
Then for some reason, I decided to strive for 150 books again in 2022. I feel short. I ended the year having read 132 books in 2022, not even close to my goal. That would make you think I’d maybe try the same number again in 2023 or even go back to just reading and not worrying about it, but no, not me.
TikTok Made Me Do It
Do you know how many books these nerds on TikTok read? It’s ridiculous! I’m not even kidding. I wonder if some of them are lying. They’ll be all like, “I read 25 books this week while saving lives working in the ER. Here are my two favorites.”
I’ve fallen hard for BookTok. I find so many great book recommendations there. I also have a competitive streak. There’s no way I’m letting Nadine from Nashville read more books than I do while she’s on the frontlines fighting for world peace. No, ma’am.
So, in the same way TikTok has made me order a silly number of things I don’t need from Amazon, it also caused me to set a ridiculous 2023 reading goal.
My 2023 Reading Challenge
OK, you’ve waited long enough. It’s time to tell you the ridiculous number I was influenced into. I’m going to read 200 books in 2023. It will be 50 more books than I’ve ever read in a year, and I couldn’t match my highest reading goal last year.
Laura Warren, a former coworker and friend, is the only person I actually know who reads this many books or more each year. I have a feeling she must be a fast reader. I am not. So, it’s going to be a real challenge.
I have some hacks for making time to read. So far, I’m killin’ it with 10 books in nine days, but I know I won’t be able to keep up this pace.
I will be listening to and counting audiobooks because they count! Don’t try to debate this fact with me.
I’ll also avoid leaving my nonfiction print book sitting around for months without picking it up. I’m going to intentionally read in print every day.
I’ll take any additional advice you can give me on how to read a lot.
I really don’t know if I can read 200 books in a year, but I’m willing to try. Maybe reading this much will keep me from being sad because I can never read all the books I want to read. Either way, I’ve made it public, so it’s happening. You can follow along with my 2023 reading if you’d like.
What’s your 2023 reading goal? I’d love it if you’d share your goal and any book recs in the comments. I promise not to judge you as long as you don’t write, “I don’t read because I think it’s a waste of time.” After all, the average American reads about 12 books a year, and I’m proud of everyone who reads at all.
OK, I’ll take all of your advice and recommendations while you share your goals. And, as always, happy reading!