Setting a Reading Goal for the Year


Photo courtesy of “adamr”/

I thought I read a lot of books. Well, I thought I did. Judging by the many I people I see over various internet sites who read 100s of books every year, my number pales into insignificance.

Oh well, I’m not really fussed by that. I’ll keep working my list and good on those who can read more.

Over the past 4 years I’ve tracked what I’ve read. I’m old school by simply recording them on a running tally I keep at the back of my moleskin. When I start a new moleskin, I simply transfer the list.

This year I’m committed to using some form of technology. It may be a simple blog post that I keep updating. Or maybe I’ll use Goodreads. No doubt there’s a groovy app I can download onto my iphone or ipad. I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

In 2009, I read 40, 2010:52, 2011:64 and 2012:75.

So some good year on year growth I reckon, but declining in percentage terms each year.

This year I decided to set myself a goal. I wanted that extra motivation to ensure I maintain a solid amount of self-development plus the enjoyment of reading, in particular, great fiction.

I read a number of books simultaneously at different times of the day. I might write about that in another post but typically I read from the following categories:

–       Fiction,

–       Spiritual self-help (as I dub this category),

–       Biography,

–       Classical fiction (aim to do at least 1-2 each year),

–       Biblical commentary,

–       Writing craft,

–       Business skills

I don’t set goals per category, simply an overall total.

So my goal for 2013?


Yep. I’d like to hit the century, which is a healthy 33.3% growth from last year. That works out to be a little over 8 every month or some months I’ll need to do 9 to 10.

I’m slightly behind having had a sluggish January (only 5). However, I’ve started February well, having finished 4 and we’re only a third of the way through the month.

How many books do you read a year? And do you set yourself a target?

Let me know when you get a chance.

Wishing you a great week.

8 replies
  1. Cherie Gagnon
    Cherie Gagnon says:

    One hundred books…I think that’s a lot of books! I look forward to your reviews!

    I don’t set too many reading goals. This year, however, I’d like to read 2-3 books on the craft of writing and actually DO the exercises suggested. I’d also like to read a good bio who might inspire me in my faith.

    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Hey Cherie, let me know if you need any suggestions on the craft. I’ve read a few & have many more in my library to read. I really enjoyed Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering”. Helped me understand story structure. Follows similar 3-conflict setup as Randy’s. Also Jeff Gerke’s “Writing Christian Fiction” was excellent too. I understand Bonhoeffer’s bio is meant to be awesome. Would like to read it one day too.

  2. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    I confess. I don’t read enough and I don’t set a target but I may start now. First day in returning from Africa my new shiny book arrived the same day! THANK YOU AGAIN IAN!! Let the reading begin….

  3. Dan
    Dan says:

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda. com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.


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