Every year I make a new reading list and I set my reading goal on Goodreads. Even when you don’t use Goodreads, creating a reading list might be a good idea to read more and widen your reading habits. I truly believe that before you can be a writer, you must be a reader, and that you have to read wide to learn as much as possible. Here are five tips to grow as a reader.
Increase your reading goal
This is probably the easiest to do on paper, but in reality it might be tricky. Especially when you have limited time for reading. I cheated by reading a few books with a low page count, but that’s not something I will do this year. I will focus on reading faster.
Read more non-fiction
You will learn a lot from reading non-fiction. Not only because the writing style is different from fiction, but also the subjects you choose. Read it as research for your next book, or for your own interest and personal growth.
Read a genre you normally don’t read
I normally don’t read horror and sci-fi books, but I do have Stephen King’s It and Isaac Asimov’s Prelude To Foundation. I bought them second-hand, but never got around to read it. If you’re unsure about reading a new genre, check out the short list for the awards in that genre. They are selected for a reason.
Read all books by one author
By reading all the books by one author, you’ll see the progress they made in their writing. Maybe find a new author while you’re at it. Picking an author can be hard, since you don’t want the list to take up all of your time, but you’ll want to read more than three. It might by a new author you just discovered or a veteran in your favourite genre. Reading a writer’s whole bibliography will motivate you in writing more and improve yourself.
Fill an alphabet with book titles
Another difficult challenge. If I had to do this in Dutch, I’d have trouble finding books for the letters Q, X, and Y. Words with these letters are more common in the English language, so I want to this at least once. Before you pick out the books for this list, think about if you want to include ‘The’ and ‘A’ in titles. It’s your challenge so, your rules.
If these five steps aren’t interesting enough for you, check out Worlds Without Ends for more reading challenges in the science-fiction, fantasy, and horror genres, create your own challenge, and track your challenge. It’s definitely a fun site to check out and get lost in all the lists created by the team and members.
What is your reading challenge for this year? Share your list or book count in the comments below and we’ll cheer you on!