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With the end of the year in sight, many college students are already starting to consider possible resolutions for the new year. Instead of setting lofty, unreachable goals, try to focus on enjoyable and realistic resolutions that will have a positive impact on your life.

Setting new year reading goals is an excellent way to prioritize self-care, improve your academic results, and explore new interests or topics.

Setting Reading Goals for the New Year

Reading resolutions are increasing in popularity, especially in the BookTok era, in which authors and their novels are going viral at an unprecedented rate. Reading is officially trending, leaving many people wondering how to create goals that will adequately support their reading habits.

Whether you are setting reading goals to try new authors, increase the number of pages you read each year, or to improve your overall reading comprehension, you will want to make sure to set actionable and attainable goals.

Importance of Reading Resolutions

Outlining and defining reading resolutions will help you achieve your goals. Reading goals are important because they:

  • Give you a milestone to focus on.
  • Help make reading more enjoyable.
  • Allow you to stay on pace throughout the year.

Understanding Your Reading Habits

Now that you know you want to focus on reading more in the new year, it is time to evaluate your existing reading habits. You should ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy reading for fun? Or does reading feel like a chore?
  • How often do I currently read?
  • Where do I usually find myself picking up a book or listening to an audiobook?
  • When can I carve out more time to read?

By being aware of your current reading habits, you can build upon your existing foundation and start taking steps toward reaching your reading resolutions.

Mapping Out Your Current Reading Pattern

Before the new year arrives, you should spend some time tracking your current reading habits. Logging when, how long, and how many pages you read each session will reveal your personal reading patterns. By knowing your reading pattern in advance, you can set realistic, reasonable, and achievable reading goals.

Strategies to Read More Books in the New Year

Making a commitment to read more books offers many surprising benefits. According to an article in Time Magazine, reading has been shown to help reduce stress, improve sleep, and can even lower a person’s heart rate.

Knowing that you want to read more is the first step, but it can be hard to prioritize reading when you are already managing a busy collegiate schedule.

These strategies can help you increase the amount of time you spend reading and ultimately allow you to read more books over the course of the next 12 months.

Choosing Books Wisely

One of the best strategies that you can use to increase your reading is to choose books that you genuinely enjoy. You will be able to choose the right books for you by:

  • Selecting books from a genre that interests you. There is no sense in forcing yourself to read fantasy fiction when you are most interested in non-fiction works.
  • Choosing books that align with your reading pace. Avoid selecting titles that are long and daunting if you prefer fast-paced books you can easily pick up and dive into.
  • Asking friends and classmates for recommendations. Simply asking someone what book they are reading can open your eyes to new titles that you would not otherwise have considered.
  • Talking to a librarian. Librarians have a wealth of knowledge, and they are often able to play matchmaker when it comes to connecting patrons to their new favorite book. Tell them a little bit about your interests and the types of books you like to read, and they will easily be able to generate a curated list of book recommendations.

Allocating Specific Time to Reading

It is easy to say that you want to read more throughout the next year, but it can be hard to find the time. By scheduling time to read, you will be more likely to sit down and pick up that book you just checked out from the library. Depending on your current schedule, you may find a few minutes to read while you are having your morning coffee, during your lunch hour, or right before bed. Choose a time that works well with your schedule and put it in your calendar if you have to—allocating specific time to reading is the best way to make it a priority.

Embracing Diverse Genres in the New Year

While it is important to read the types of books and genres you enjoy most, you can also use your resolution to expand your reading palate. The top trending genres right now are:

  • Romance — There is nothing more indulgent than a romance novel, and avid readers are always looking for the next insatiable tale of love and lust. A 2018 study highlighted the eternal popularity of this genre, with more than 25 percent of all books sold that year being romance novels.
  • Fantasy — Escapism continues to reign supreme, with readers appreciating the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fantastical world with awe-inspiring settings, creative characters, and unusual plot twists.
  • True Crime — Blending the thrill of a mystery story with the facts of the real world, true crime novels continue to hold readers hostage, forcing them to continue turning page after page. If you are looking for your next great binge read, consider a true crime novel.

Exploring Unfamiliar Book Categories

Exploring unfamiliar book categories can be intimidating, but it is a worthwhile endeavor and could lead you to your next favorite book. When you are trying out a new genre you are not as comfortable with, do not be afraid to read a few chapters and test out the book. You are not under any pressure to finish the title, simply give it a try and be kind to yourself if you decide it is not the right book for you.

How Audiobooks Can Help Achieve Your Reading Goal

Here is the thing about reading resolutions—you do not necessarily have to sit down and flip through the pages of a book to meet your goal. For many readers, audiobooks are more enjoyable and fit better into their busy lifestyles. Listening to an audiobook in its entirety still counts toward your total book goal.

Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks provides a surprising number of benefits, not just for your emotional health and well-being but also for your reading comprehension and fluency skills.

These are a few of the top benefits of listening to books:

  • Audiobooks offer the same physical and emotional benefits of reading. Listening to a story can help you feel more relaxed, rest better at night, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Audiobooks also eliminate the risk of eyestrain and headaches that can come with reading a physical book for too long.
  • Audiobooks are easier to fit into your busy schedule. Sitting down to read a physical book can feel daunting when you have exams to study for, papers to write, and a job to go to. With an audiobook, you can listen to your story on your commute to class, while exercising, or while completing a chore.
  • Audiobooks have been shown to improve comprehension and literacy skills. When you are reading a book, you might get distracted or miss some of the subtext that the author is trying to get across. By listening to an audiobook, you are likely to be more focused on the story and, as a result, your overall understanding of the plot complexities will improve.

Many budding readers find that audiobooks allow them to feel more successful because sometimes you can listen to a book faster than you can read one. If your goal is to significantly increase the number of books that you read each month, then audiobooks may be the perfect option for you.

Building a Reading Community in the New Year

As with any goal that you set, you are more likely to reach your reading milestones with a support system in place. Actively working to build a reading community will help you stay accountable, discover new books to read, and learn more about your friends and classmates in the process.

Joining Book Clubs and Reading Groups

Book clubs and reading groups are two of the easiest ways to start building your reading community. There are many in-person groups that meet on a regular basis. Some reading groups focus on particular authors or genres, while others rely on members to select new and interesting titles for each meeting.

If you do not have time to meet regularly with an in-person group, consider social media groups. There are many active groups on Facebook and TikTok that allow readers to feel part of a community in a way that is convenient and comfortable.

Managing Your To-Be-Read (TBR) List

All passionate readers have a seemingly endless To-Be-Read pile, consisting of all the titles they want to read. On social media, you will often hear people refer to this stack of books as their TBR list, and managing it effectively is practically an art form.

Prioritizing Books in Your TBR List

Instead of creating a massive list that you will never be able to tackle, focus on keeping a slim and trim TBR list. You can do this by prioritizing titles, and identifying which books you intend to read next. Do not add any new books to the list until you have removed a title or two.

Can Tracking Your Reading Progress Boost Your Resolution?

Tracking your reading allows you to stay accountable and visualize your progress, making it another reading habit that you can prioritize as you work toward reaching your goals.

Tools and Apps for Tracking Reading

The most passionate and devoted readers find tracking their reading to be a very satisfying experience, as it helps them feel accomplished and allows them to reference the titles they have read recently.

Some popular tools and apps for tracking reading include:

Making Space for New Books: The Art of Decluttering

You likely do not have enough space in your home for a library’s worth of books. As you continue to collect new titles and pursue your reading goals, you will also want to rid yourself of the book clutter. You can make space for new books on your shelves by donating books to local libraries, sharing and trading books with friends, and even re-selling your books. Or, for digital media lovers, consider creating a e-book library to save on space!

Organizing Your Bookshelf for Easy Access

Once you have pared down your collection, spend some time organizing your books so you can easily find the title you want to read next. Whether you organize by author name, genre, or even the color of the cover, you should choose a consistent method and stick to it throughout your collection.

Reach Your Reading Resolutions at Post University

With more than 13,000 books and 1,200 multimedia resources in our collection, the Traurig Library and Learning Center at Post University is the best place to put your new year reading plan into action. Stop by the library anytime to check out the next book on your TBR list and find a quiet and cozy space to enjoy the story.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s programs and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.