Resolve to Read Better in the New Year

Ah, we're at the beginning of a new year (and decade!). The prospect of staring down months of post-holiday winter might make a lot of folks grumpy, but I LOVE the beginning of a new year. It’s like opening a brand new notebook, or a fresh jar of peanut butter. Fresh opportunity as far as the eye can see. It’s a time to set goals, and what goal is better than improving your reading life?

Here are some ideas for successful reading resolutions in 2020:

Getting started:

  • First and foremost, set a reading goal that works for you. The point of a reading goal isn’t to read more/better/harder than everyone else, it’s to improve your own reading habits. Whether that means finishing one book or one hundred, every reading goal is relevant!
  • Figure out a way to track your goal, whether that’s Goodreads, Litsy, or a paper approach.
  • Need suggestions? Get a Personalized Reading List from your trusty neighborhood librarians for the low, low price of free!
  • You can also check out our Teen Best and Brightest lists for some of our favorite books of 2019!

Challenge ideas:

  • Resolve to read all the unread books on your shelf before borrowing/buying any new ones (this is my nightmare).
  • Book Riot’s annual Read Harder challenge is all about pushing your bookish boundaries.
  • Make 2020 the year you decolonize your reading list! A great place to start is with our alternate classics collection.
  • Set a goal to read a certain amount of times per week, or a certain amount of time per day. Even pulling out a book at bedtime instead of a screen is a great reading resolution (and science says you’ll sleep better, too)!
  • Reading challenges don’t have to be strictly a numbers game, either. You can resolve to read more authors from marginalized communities, or more Own Voices books. 
  • If trying to meet a set number of books or pages or time stresses you out, leave your challenge open-ended. Read when you can, and see how much you’ve done at the end of the year.

Staying on track:

  • Don’t force yourself to finish a book you don’t like!  Again, the whole point is to make your reading life more enjoyable! Besides, you probably already have enough required reading, don’t subject yourself to books you’re not feeling if you don’t have to.
  • On that note, it’s okay to Marie Kondo your whole TBR list. Does that book spark joy? Are you excited to read it? If not, let it go!
  • Get in a rut? It happens! Check out this post for tips on beating a book slump.
  • Get social! Set goals with friends, or turn to social media for inspiration and challenge ideas.
  • Finally, it’s okay to take a break! Reading should ultimately be something you’re doing because you want to (school-assigned book lists notwithstanding). If you get burned out, do something else! Go outside, play a video game, do your homework (gross, I know), make some art. The books will be waiting for you.


Written by ccavanaugh on November 8, 2020