Reading goal for 2023: revisited

We're into October now so it's been 9 months since I set myself the reading goal for this year. I'm going to be honest from the outset, I doubt I'll hit the goal of 50 books. With 31 books left and only 75 days to go, I'd say it's pretty unlikely. But that's not the reason for this post.

I came across this YouTube video where Jared Henderson talks about the idea of reading better, not reading more and it got me thinking about my own reading goal.

When I think about why I set the goal in the first place, it was to get me back into a habit of reading more regularly as well as making a dent in the stack of unread books I have lying around the house. There's probably a bit of ego mixed in there too, like "look how many books I can read" (or can't, evidently).

Watching this video, then re-reading my original post made me realise I've been approaching this the wrong way.

The intention to read more is in the right place, developing a better reading habit isn't a bad thing.

But by setting the goal, the focus of the year comes down to whether or not I'm hitting that target or not and, to some extent, it became less about what I was reading and whether I'm actually absorbing or getting anything useful out of it.

With the introduction of journaling and more recently a commonplace book, my view has changed from where it was at the beginning of the year. Rather than trying to hammer through as many books to hit some arbitrary number, instead I'm allowing myself the time and space to read in a more considered manner.

I'm not wholly ungrateful to the goal. I've formed a habit of carrying a book around the house and keep a few on my desk so I've pretty much always got something to read close at hand.

I'll still be logging my books, I'll still try to read plenty more books between now and Christmas but as for the 50? Meh, it's just a number.