Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Planning my Reading

I read a lot, talk about reading a lot, and have pretty thoroughly planned out my reading.

Or so I thought.

My previous plan was to mostly go through my TBR in the order I added the books to my list.  I threw in new releases as I got them from the library, reread some books I own and love as I saw fit.  I'd come home from our visits to the main library branch and eagerly put the books in the order I was going to read them.  I thought I had it planned out.

It turns out I could plan more.  And plan more I am.

It started with this post from Andrea at Born and Read in Chicago last fall.   I read her post and thought "Huh.  I should do that."

And I didn't.  Until about mid-October was I was figuring out how many books I wanted to read for the year (200, I like ending on multiples of 0 or 5 because I am weird.  Also, I reallllly liked ending with an even 200).

I had books I knew I wanted to reread around Christmas because I ALWAYS read them around Christmas.

I had my Advent devotional and the devotional I had been reading all year.

I usually do some comfort rereading in December and knew which books I wanted to read.

I was rereading through the Sierra Jensen and Glenbrook series that I wanted to finish by the end of the year.

Basically, I had 30 slots left for the year and I wanted to be very intentional with how I filled them so I could end on that magical 200.

So I made a plan.  Sixteen books to read in November, fourteen in December.  I slotted in books and left two blank spots for yet to be determined. I knew what I needed to put on hold at the library.  I knew what I was going to read next.  I knew I could fit in all the books I wanted to read.

And I LOVED it.

If there is a way for me to over plan something, I'm probably going to do that. (Same with over packing, I'm very good at preparing for every possible, no matter how remote, outcome.  Which is how I end up with FIVE pairs of shoes/sandals for 3 days at the lake.)

So I knew I was going to start this year planning out my reading.  Since my goal is to read 125 books (really, 150 but I don't like when Goodreads yells at me that I am behind) I decided I'll pick 10 books a month (I can pretty much guarantee I'll fit in another 5 sometime). 

I go through my TBR list on Goodreads.  I go through my "to re-read" list on my library app.  I go through TBR books that will be releasing in the next month.  A mix of working in rereads and books from my TBR.  Trying to balance the fiction and non-fiction, especially this time of the year (in the summer I read almost all fiction). 

I have found it super satisfying. 

I've made a list in my bullet journal, checked them off when complete as well as writing in the date finished.  I separate out the planned books from the other ones that get thrown in when I NEED something to read (that need is real).  (Like on January 14th when I had finished my 10th book of the year and I was still #12 in library holds for one of my picks.  I needed more books.)

I get pretty excited when I get to plan for the next month.   I let myself do that after my QuickLit for the month goes up (by the 15th).  Then I can figure out what books I need to put on hold (almost all come in within a month), what books I need to pick up when we go to the main library at the end of the month.  I can plan what I'm going to reread because sometimes I don't want to work those in, just plow through my TBR.  BUT if they are on THIS list, I most definitely will get to them, there are few things I love like crossing/checking something off a list!

I like planning, I like over planning.  I like knowing what I should be reading in the next month, what I need to get, feeling like I have more time for rereads (because I definitely own enough books that I should be rereading most of them regularly!).

AND it gave me a good reason to get a bullet journal.  As if I needed somewhere else for lists.  This has proven to be a very worthwhile activity for me!

Related posts:
Tracking My Reading
How I Read 100 Books in Six Months

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