I’ve been setting myself a reading goal for the past few years after I finished 2014 disappointed that I’d not even managed to read one book per month. Each year I’ve steadily increased the number of books I’m reading. And in the last two years I’ve exceeded my expectations of the number of books I could read (as you can see in the graph below).
Best books read in 2017
As well as giving myself a target of 25 books to read in 2017 I also set myself the challenge of only reading recommendations. This additional challenge meant I read a much more varied selection of books. You can view all the books I read last year on Goodreads. Here are my top five (in the order that I read them and with details of how they were recommended to me):
- Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (reviewed on Front Row)
- O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (featured book in Issue 8 of The Happy Reader)
- This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes (chosen by my book group)
- The Passage by Justin Cronin (a birthday present)
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (featured book in Issue 10 of The Happy Reader)
In 2017 I didn’t just set myself a goal but changed my reading habits. For a whole year the alarm has gone off half and hour earlier than necessary. I get up, shower and return to bed with a cup of tea, breakfast and my book. This change in my morning routine gives me 20-30 minutes of quality reading time every day.
What I’ve noticed is that it not only means I’m reading more, but that I’m also in a much better frame of mind to start my day. It’s interesting to look back now on something that started one-day at a time which now, a year on, is so deeply embedded in my daily routine.
This year I’m going to apply the same approach to writing, building in dedicated time every day. Taking things one day at a time to begin with in the hope that in a year I’ll have created a better writing habit.
Featured image: Wild at heart by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.