One of the few highlights of the horrible year that was 2020 was how much more I was able to read than usual. I accomplished all of the literary goals I set for myself and discovered many new favorite books (as well as some least favorites, but I’m trying to forget about those just like I’m trying to forget most of 2020).
After my most impressive year of reading thus far, here are my reflections and updated goals for the new year!
Reading Quantity Goal:
2020: Read (at least) 72 books
Final: 100/72 books
Reflection: Considering I managed to read 100 books in 2020, I’d say I significantly exceeded my goal! I enjoyed getting to read as much as I did. I still listened to many audiobooks (even without my commute, 43 of those 100 books were audiobooks), I read many of the books that have been on my bookshelves for years, and I read many of the children’s books from my classroom (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but have never had time). It was a very fulfilling year for reading, but as I neared the end of 2020 and was close to 100 books, I pushed myself really hard to meet that milestone (choosing books based on length or pace rather than overall interest). I don’t regret reading what I did, but it gave me a glimpse of why a quantity goal for reading isn’t the most valuable. It’s more important to read for personal enjoyment rather than to meet a quota. Therefore, my updated goal for 2021 is…
2021: Read (at least) 72 books
My goal is the same! I’m re-using this goal from last year for a couple reasons. The main reason is that I don’t think 100 books will be attainable again this year. During the most intense parts of quarantine and lockdown, I read more than I would normally be able to. I’m hopeful that things will start getting back to being at least semi-normal this year, which means I won’t have as much time to read. Another reason is that I’m afraid if I set my goal too high, reading will begin to feel like a chore (which I definitely don’t want!). This year, I want to make time for lots of hobbies, and not just reading.
Reading Genre Goal:
2020: Read more sci-fi
Final: 14 sci-fi books
Reflection: 14 out of 100 books isn’t highly impressive by any means, but considering this is a genre I almost never read before this year, I’m pretty proud of myself! That being said, I’d say I discovered that there’s a reason I don’t usually read sci-fi (oh well!). There were several that I enjoyed, but several that I really hated, too. Ends up, this genre is really hit-or-miss for me. I consistently enjoy speculative or dystopian sci-fi, but my enjoyment of any other niches of the genre is uncertain. However, I’m really glad I challenged myself to branch out! It exposed me to so many stories I would have missed out on otherwise.
2021: Read more non-fiction
I don’t have a specific number or percentage in mind for this one, I just want to prioritize reading more from this genre. I’m rarely motivated to read non-fiction, but I almost always end up enjoying it when I do! In order to be successful with this challenge, my plan is to try to read/listen to at least one non-fiction book for every two fiction books that I read.
Reading Classics Goal:
2020: Read (at least) 1 classic novel
Final: 3/1 classic novels
Reflection: I really enjoyed the three classic novels that I managed to read this year! I was skeptical of my motivation to read more than one, but I ended up really loving challenging myself to go so far out of my comfort zone. The three I read were Little Women, Dracula, and The Great Gatsby. Little Women ended up being my top audiobook of the whole year, and the other two were fantastic as well! I’ve discovered that finding audiobooks of classic novels with stellar narrators often makes it a really pleasant reading experience. I’m excited to read/listen to more in 2021!
2021: Read (at least) 5 classic novels
I still feel like there are so many classic novels that I have missed out on, and I want to continue seeking these out to participate in more literary discussions. I also really enjoyed the classic novels I read last year, and want to continue challenging myself!
Reading in Spanish Goal:
2020: Read (at least) 1 book in Spanish
Final: 6/1 books in Spanish
Reflection: Considering I had never read an entire book in Spanish before, I was really nervous about how challenging this would be. It ended up being a really rewarding experience. I’m focusing on reading goals right now, but one of my life goals has always been to be fluent in Spanish. I’m really passionate about language, and I’m so excited to be able to continue my growth as a language learner even outside of school.
2021: Read (at least) 5 books in Spanish
My experience last year of reading entire books in Spanish was so rewarding, that I can’t wait to continue this growth. I want to keep pushing myself to read more in Spanish to develop my language abilities, as well as to grow as a bilingual teacher. So far I’ve mostly been sticking to children’s books in Spanish (since I teach in Spanish), but maybe this year I’ll be able to challenge myself to read at a slightly higher level!
Just for Fun: Stats and Graphs from 2020!
I can’t wait to continue growing as a reader this year! Reading should be for personal enjoyment and not for competition, so make sure the goals you set for yourself are for YOU!
What are your reading goals for 2021?
Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to our literary adventures in the new year!