2021 is almost here. If you’re anything like me, then you are probably eager to start the new year with fresh and fun reading goals. Perhaps the purpose of your goal is to expand your imagination, learn valuable new information, or reap the glories of reading instead of sleeping for the foreseeable future. Some goals may be quantitative, while others are qualitative. So where to begin? Here are 11 ideas for your 2021 reading goals.
1. Participate in a Seasonal Reading Challenge at the Real Avengers Headquarters: Your Local Library
There may be superheroes, disguised as librarians, found roaming the stacks at your local library. Why not join them in a reading challenge? If you find yourself busy certain times of the year over others, check with your library for seasonal reading challenges. One of the most popular times for reading programs is during the summer, but libraries across America are adopting accessible winter reading challenges. Check out what the Williamson County Public Library is doing this winter season.
2. Stretch Your Muscles and Prepare To Join the Ranks in the 2021 Read Harder Challenge
Ready to put your strength to the test? Hoping to read outside of your comfort zone? Join the Book Riot crew in diving into books, genres, and authors you’ve never even considered. For a taste, check out this year’s Read Harder Challenge. We publish articles with recommendations for each section of the challenge, so you’re never lost.
3. Finish So Many Books the Stack of Books Extends Into the Clouds and Creates a Bridge To Another Planet
Why stay grounded in reality when you can set a goal to read so many books, you find your way to another planet? One easy way to keep track of this lofty goal—pun intended—is to choose a number of titles you would like to complete by the end of 2021. The goal can be one, or a thousand. Creating an account and setting a book goal in the Goodreads Reading Challenge makes the process painless (and very satisfying to watch, as your completion percentage moves along throughout the year).
4. Read A Billion Pages
Okay, so maybe don’t set a goal to read a billion pages, but perhaps you care more for tackling fewer books that are lengthy (War and Peace, anyone?) rather than a variety of shorter titles. A great way to keep track of your total page count and more is to use Book Riot’s 2021 Reading Log.
5. Read Nonstop for the Rest of the Year (No Sleeping or Snacking Allowed)
Time is of the essence—or at least, that is one lesson that was not learned in 2020 as time stretched on for seemingly 72,890 years instead of one. If you are the type to savor each sentence, or you want to actively set aside an allotted amount of time for reading in 2021, choose a reading time goal. Book Riot’s 2021 Reading Log will come in handy for this goal as well, as you will be able to view your total amount of time spent reading in the “stats” section. Not convinced? Read what one of the Book Riot contributors has to say about measuring time, not books.
6. Skip Customs and The Middle Seat on the Flight by Exploring Other Countries and Places Through Books
Timing bathroom breaks when on an airplane seated next to strangers is dangerous territory indeed. In 2021, skip the flight completely and experience the world through books. Of course it can be very easy to stick with books written in your own language. It can be even easier to only pursue stories that take place in the country in which you live. Why not travel to somewhere you’ve never been while reading in the new year? Read translated works, or fiction by authors from a different nation as one of your 2021 reading goals.
7. Do Not Break Eye Contact With The Books Already On Your Shelves
Quarantine may have had you crawling up your walls and hungrily eating up every page and spine in your house. But if you’re like me, you still have shelves upon shelves of titles still beckoning and begging for your attention. Take this year to stare down those books and finally read them.
8. Take Out the Ear Plugs and Read Those Books Your Friends and Family Members Won’t Stop Chatting To You About
If your loved ones know you disappear into books more often than not, it is entirely possible you are constantly inundated with well-meaning recommendations. (And one-sided discussions you wish you could disappear from.) It might be time to find out what stories your friends and family absolutely could not put down; they will likely appreciate both your interest and the conversations you’ll be able to have about a book that means the world to them. You also may realize you have more—or less—in common, or that you’ve discovered new favorite authors or genres. (This is one of my own 2021 reading goals, I won’t lie.)
9. Join a Book Club and Prepare to Defend Your Theories and Favorite Ships To the Death
2020 has served as a long year and social interaction feels more important than ever. Consider joining a community of readers in a book club. Book clubs serve as excellent opportunities to mourn, seethe, or debate your way through your current reads. (One highlight of social distancing might just be that book clubs with friends near and far are now possible thanks to virtual opportunities.)
10. Practice Not Being Overtly Starstruck- Only To Be Very Flushed and Starstruck While Attending a Reading, Convention, or other Bookish Event
Hopefully you are aware that your favorite author does make public appearances at book events and that they too are human and don’t mind if you are a sweet, sentimental, tongue-tied mess when you interact with them. Now that you know that, learn more about your favorite author or discover a new one by attending a bookish event in 2021 (virtually, if that’s how the year pans out). You might also walk away with a signed copy, fun swag, or the feeling that you’re attending a rock concert.
11. Save a Tree or Three and Read A Book That Isn’t a Book
Maybe this is the year that you move beyond printed or published books. Start reading more brilliantly illustrated magazines, clever long form articles, or online serial stories that rely on beautiful graphics and design, like webcomics.
Are you now feeling motivated and excited to get started on your 2021 reading goals? Need some more guidance on how to successfully see your grand plans through? Check out How to Keep Up With Your Reading Goals in 2020.