My heart breaks every time someone tells me they don’t have time to read. I believe most people don’t lack time, but imagination. We all live busy lives, but that doesn’t mean we just give up growing intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and okay, okay, you get the point.

Reading is the water and the sunlight in the garden of your mind.

The first step in reading more is setting goals. Think about how many books you might be able to read a week. At the bare minimum, think about how many minutes of an audiobook you can listen to every week. Can you listen to 40 minutes while you run? How about 20 minutes on your way to the store? What about 30 minutes on your drive to work? And for the stay at home or work at home moms out there, can you press play while you fold laundry?

You can probably find time to listen to one audiobook a week. That’s 52 books a year! But not every book is the average length of 6-8 hours, so naturally, some might take longer. All I want you to see is that it’s so very possible to read, even when you don’t have time.

If you aren’t one to read every spare moment you get, I want to challenge you to read two books a month for a grand total of 24 books this year. For some of you, that’s a lot more than you managed last year. But if that seems like a lot, I’d challenge you to strive for it anyway. Maybe this is your year to stretch yourself and really see what you’re capable of?

Whatever you decide, I want to know. Sign up for Goodreads if you haven’t already, and add me as a friend! If you already have a Goodreads account, let’s connect, so I can see what is acting as the water and sunlight for your mind. Once you’re in, click on “Goodreads Reading Challenge” and set a goal for how many books you want to read this year. 

And to help you achieve your goals, here are ten tips you can incorporate into your reading routine. They link to blog posts I have written, so if you want more of a break down for each tip, be sure to check them out.

  1. Set reading goals.
  2. Record daily progress on Goodreads. 
  3. Join a bookclub or reading group.
  4. Find a reading partner.
  5. Listen to Audiobooks.
  6. Try my reading crutches.
  7. Read 30 pages a day.
  8. Keep up with the reading community.
  9. Keep a super nerdy book reading schedule.
  10. Remember every time you watch a reality show, a book commits suicide 😉 

If you haven’t signed up for Audible yet, definitely check it out because you can start with a free trial membership. In case you’re wondering, I think the membership is absolutely worth it. I’ve been a member for almost 4 years now. I love getting my one book a month, but I stock up on great listens every time they have huge sales, and I frequently snag their daily deals.

In case you missed it, I want to encourage you to take our 30 Pages a Day Reading Challenge. If you do, you will easily tally up 24 books this year. No matter how much I care about your mind, it doesn’t matter if you don’t.

Here’s to an inspiring and book-filled 2016. Happy reading!  

How to Achieve Your Goodreads Reading Challenge

41 Responses

  1. I already signed up; my goal is 25. Last year, my goal was 25 as well, but I reached only 22. I feel the same way about people who say they don’t have time to read or when they say they don’t have time to work out (my other love). I read every night before bed, and I have a set rubbing schedule. Everyone can find, but she or he needs to make it a priority and assess their schedule.

    1. I hear you. I have that same sentiment toward people who say they want to be healthy but don’t make healthy decisions; working out is just one of many. Cheers to 25 new ways to look at the world by the end of 2016!

  2. I set a goal for 60! I read 67 this past year, but that was because I read as I nursed my baby 🙂 $10-$20 Amazon gift card would be amazing!

  3. I’m a librarian, and it breaks my heart also when someone tells me they don’t have time to read. I even hear this from other librarians. I have to read. It’s like breathing and eating, I have to do it.

  4. I’m trying to read less this year, because I read my 400 Goodreads-logged books (plus thousands of pages of webcomics and hundreds of picture books) due to being sick and injured too much in 2015! And I’d like to watch more movies in 2016 as well, balance out my entertainment.

    So, my Goodreads goal this year is 300 books.

    But I’m leaving my full-time job on Friday so I’m going to have all this time… so we’ll see if I can avoid spending half my days in libraries!

    1. Skye, that number is so inspiring. I love being able to see your conquests on Goodreads. And I hear you on the movies; I enjoy a good story in almost any medium, although I am definitely partial to books.

    2. Also keep in mind that I read graphic novels, which are short to read! I wish Goodreads let people do separate reading challenges, so I could set up one for “books with no pictures” which would be like 20 books!

  5. That was inspiring! I read 33 last year (as against the goal of 52). Don’t know why but set myself a mammoth target of 75 this year! It’s on Goodreads. Whats your goodreads id? Mine is rumadak, add me if you can find me please!
    Will be good to see sunlight and water for others (love your analogy !!)

  6. I joined the challenge. I’ll read 24 books this year. I’m an avid reader but I stopped reading for pleasure while pursuing my weight loss journey in 2015. My goal was to add reading back into my life (along with other hobbies) so I can have a more balanced life. I’m looking forward to reading more this year!

  7. I am going to guess and say I read five books last year. I will set a goal of seven for 2016!

  8. I also have a hard time hearing “but I don’t have time to read” from people. My other struggle is when people say that they don’t like to read, reading is boring, etc. I firmly believe that there is a book and literary genre for EVERYONE! It just takes some detective work to figure out what that book/genre is.

    I’ve set my goal for 52 books the past two years and actually achieved that goal for 2015! My 2016 goal is also going to be 52 and fingers crossed I meet it again.

    PS I’ve added you on Goodreads! 🙂

    1. Cheers to your goal! I’m so glad you added me on Goodreads, so I can watch your reading journey. My heart breaks when I hear that too. I’m so glad you get to be surrounded by books all day. Paradise, right? 🙂

    1. Sophie! Congratulations! You won the $10 Amazon gift card! Would you please use the contact form at the top of the page under “Contact” and send me the best email address for you? If you reach your goal this year, you will get another $10 gift card. Happy reading and thanks for your comment!

  9. Hello:) I renewed my goal of 85 books this year. I’ve tried setting it at 100 a couple years ago, but lowered it later due to knowing I set the bar too high. I just made it this past year and I’d like to see if I can possibly surpass it even with my wedding coming this October><

  10. Set a goal of 50 this year and looking forward to reading all the wonderful books! I love listening to audio books but seems it doesn’t work for everyone.

    1. Right. I think it can be tricky too. I don’t love listening to fiction on audio unless I can read along. I can listen to nonfiction all day, though.

  11. I read 153 last year and want to beat that goal so I have set mine to 175 this year, I already have read four and almost done with the fifth! :]

  12. Last year I had a goal of 100. I read 70 but I’m not getting down on myself because that is still a large number! This year I decided to read 10% more than I did last year so I set my goodreads goal at 77. I’ve read 3 so far!

    1. Nice! I’m so glad we’re connected on Goodreads now. I set 100 as my goal a few years in a row, but have yet to achieve it. This year, I’m determined. We’ll see. I just finished my 3rd too!

  13. I just joined the 2016 challenge. I set my goal at 75 books because a couple years ago I set myself the challenge/New Year’s resolution of reading more books and at the year I had read 75. I fell out of the habit last year but want to do it again, so I thought I’d try to at least tie myself.

  14. Hi Jessica,

    I plan to read 20 books this year. This is the same goal I had last year and I was able to exceed that goal and read a total of 28 books. I will see if I can beat it again.

    My heart breaks too when I hear that people don’t have enough time. I firmly believe everyone has 15 minutes to read. I wrote about this on my blog ( ) and started a Goodreads group called 20 Plus. Happy reading! 🙂

  15. Found your blog post on Pinterest and adore all things to do with books and reading. I love Good Reads and discovered some fabulous reads through other readers’ reviews.
    Last year my reading goal was 75 books and I was able to actually surpass that goal! In am attempt to stretch myself I set my goal this year at 100 books. I listen to lots of audio books and highly recommend them to everyone but especially to those who have a commute into work. It makes the time fly by!

  16. I’ve my goal set on 25. I’m still recovering from a breakdown because of my mental illness, combined with a light firm of ADD I can tell you even 30 pages are hard on some, read: many. I was thinking of putting up a schedule, but then something in me is scared of schedules, what if I don’t read my daily goals. Stop talking brain lol. But after reading this blog. ..I’m thinking about to start the schedule. Thank you for this post! Really encouraging.

    1. Thank you for your comment! 30 pages a day is hard on me in this season as well, so please know you are not alone. We have a reading tracker if you’re interested. It’s meant to help you stay on track, not depress you when you miss a day! (I’m telling myself this, too).

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