Start out with realistic expectations for yourself
With a little more time on our hands (and in the house) than usual, there is an increased pressure to fill this with things that are conventionally "productive". It is hard not to fall victim to linking our worth and the quality of our days with productivity, and we want to start off by saying you deserve to rest and take breaks and enjoy yourself!
Maybe reading will be a great and relaxing way to make space for self-care, maybe it will be a lot of work and not your thing. Setting realistic expectations for both why you want to create the list and how much time you can or want to commit is our recommended way to start out.
We feel reading is a lot more fun when it isn't a forced activity and when you don't set too steep of expectations into how often or how much you read. 10-minute sessions? Awesome. 30-minute sessions? Cool. 5-hour sessions? Sweet. There is no right or wrong answer!
Mix it up!
Only read historical fiction? Try some sci-fi. Throw an autobiography into the mix. If you’re wanting to catch up on the literature buzz from 2019, check out this Goodreads list of the most popular books published in 2019. Sometimes even former Presidents release book recommendations. If you’re interested in Obama’s, you can find them here. If you want to stay in a wider scope, check out some of these books dubbed the greatest of all time, or the newly released Zora Cannon (100 Best Books by African American Women).
Tier your goals.
Now that you have a realistic number of books you’d like to read, tier them into two or three categories, from the ones you most want to read to the ones you want to read but aren’t dying to get through as quickly. Make it your first priority to get through the top tier books. You never know what life might throw your way. Just in case things get crazy and you no longer have the time you thought you’d have to read, make it your new plan to only get through your top tier books. That way you can still get the feeling of accomplishing something while giving yourself the flexibility of adapting to life’s circumstances.
Add in a few blank spaces.
No doubt you’ll find out about new books throughout the year that grab your eye. Add in a few blank spots into your list to account for those as they come up. Because let’s face it, realistically if you find a book you’re dying to read but it’s not on your list, what are you going to do? Probably drop the list and read that new gem of a find. And that’s ok! Put blanks on your list, that solves your problem.
Share it with a friend!
Keep yourself accountable! Send your list to a few friends - ideally some bookworms or some people who also have a book list for the year. If some of your books overlap you could always start a book club!