Hidden Shelf
January 10, 2020

New Year’s Resolution: Read More Books

12 min read

New Year’s Resolutions

Several years ago, I decided that I liked the idea of a “New Years Challenge” rather than a “New Year’s Resolution.”⁣ As a person with a competitive nature, a “challenge” was something I felt more compelled to work toward and “win”, rather than a resolution, which always felt like a change you made for January and then forgot about for the rest of the year. 

In 2018 my New Years Challenge was to: READ MORE BOOKS. ⁣

I’ve always been an avid reader, and typically can’t fall asleep without reading a few pages. But during my “read more books challenge”, I found myself more compelled to pick up a book during any downtime. I rarely turned on the t.v., I rarely scrolled through my phone, I rarely cleaned my house (just kidding, 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧). Instead, in every spare moment, I picked up a book. ⁣

This challenge also inspired me to read books that had been on my “to be read list” for a while, as well as encouraged me to branch out and read books based on recommendations, and on specific themes, I created for myself for each month. ⁣

At the end of each month, I posted a picture on social media of all the books that I completed that month. It was a fun way to track what I had been reading. It also prompted my followers (aka friends and family) to suggest other titles for me to read. The monthly social media posts also kept me accountable for my challenge. 

Here are 10 tips I have discovered to help me READ MORE BOOKS:


1. Bring a book with you- wherever you go. Some places may seem more obvious than others, such as waiting at the doctor’s office for an appointment. But you can also squeeze in a few minutes of reading, waiting for the gas tank to fill at the station, or in the endless school pick up line. The more you have a book with you, the more you will discover small, but significant, opportunities to get through more pages.

2. Skip screen time- tv, phone, tablet, video games– all of these screens suck up more time than we realize. Each time you think about turning to one of these devices, pick up a book instead.

3. Pick a few themes (or a different theme for each month), and read through books that fit that theme. This can be a wide spectrum of themes from classic categories, to more out of the box themes. Some ideas: books with blue covers, books set in a particular time period, local authors, authors from your hometown, books set in your dream destination, best sellers from your birth year, minority voices, books with your name in the title, and on and on, endless possibilities.

4. Find books that you like to read. If you like an author, read all of their books. If you like a particular time period or genre, search for those books.

5. If you are struggling to get through a book it is ok to take a break and put it down for a while, and try to come back to it. It is also ok to not finish every book you start. If this is inhibiting you from reading more, then move on to a different book.

6. Another option if you are struggling with a book, find someone who enjoyed the book, discuss with them what it is they liked about the book or the author. Find out more about the author, or the setting of the book. Sometimes gathering more “insider” information, or looking at the book from someone else’s perspective, can spark a renewed interest in the book.

7. Look for e-books and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks when I do chores around the house (dishes, laundry, etc), it helps my house stay much cleaner when I am excited about doing a task, mostly just so I can listen to my book! As much as I really love a solid book in my hands, with real pages to turn, I do like having a couple e-books on my phone for times that it is more difficult to carry a book around, or for whenever I forget to bring my book. Often I have an e-book on my phone I’m working through, a different audiobook I am listening to, and yet a different paper book that I am reading. My husband, on the other hand, will work through one book at a time, with two different formats. He will listen to the audiobook on his commute to and from work, then read the paper copy at night before bed. Just know that whatever format or method that you use; e-book, audio, or paper, it all still counts as completing a book!

8. Create a list of books that you want to read. Create a goal or challenge for how many books you want to read in a month, or a year, or how many pages each day.

9. Join a book club. Talk about books. Discuss what you are reading with others.

10. Ask for recommendations: from your friends, from online book groups, from your favorite local bookstore, from the librarian, from someone you respect. Contact your favorite author, ask what their favorite books are or what they are currently reading.

What books will you discover this year? ⁣

How many books will you read by 2021?⁣
How many hours of mindless phone scrolling or t.v. watching will you eliminate by picking up a book instead?
Who is ready for the 2020 Read More Books New Year Challenge?⁣

𝐓𝐨 𝐣𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊𝐒 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞, find our social media post: 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡e 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞.

At the end of the year, the follower who has read and tracked the most books will win a book and book bag from Hidden Shelf.

Written by Rachel Wickstrom 

Rachel Wickstrom coordinates marketing at Hidden Shelf Publishing house. She’s an avid reader, master party-planner, craft enthusiast, a mom to two young boys with wildly long hair, and is married to a hospital chaplain. As an Oregon native, Rachel’s childhood memories are scented with juniper berries and the crisp mountain air of Central Oregon. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho where her days are scented with lukewarm coffee, and spilled snacks.

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