For the past several years now, I’ve been setting reading goals for myself. These goals started small (finish one book each month) and steadily grew with each year and each goal met.
After a stellar year of reading in 2016, I decided to set myself a more ambitious goal for 2017: to read a book set in each of the 26 countries I’d visited. I thought this would add a new, fun element to my travels and help me better visualize the book’s setting. Plus, it would help me branch out, reading more books set outside the US and UK.
At first, I enjoyed researching and reading books that would help me tick particular countries off the list. But slowly, it became increasingly difficult to find books that were of interest to me or were available from the library. I found that I was reading books simply because they fit the bill not because I was in any way interested in their premise. This lead to several months of checking books out of the library and ignoring them in favour of scrolling Wikipedia before dozing off.
Mid-year, after weeks of feeling shame for ignoring the evergrowing stack of books on my bedside table, I decided to abandon my goal. Instead of forcing myself to read books based on setting and locations, I went back to my tried and true ways and picked books that piqued my interest.
While I initially felt guilty abandoning my goal, in the end, it was totally worth it. Within weeks of giving myself free reign, I had reignited my love of reading.
This year, I was able to read 24 books (and one stellar short story), which isn’t too shabby. I was able to check off 10 countries from my list of 26, reading stories set through Europe, Africa, Oceania and beyond.
Although I didn’t exactly meet my goal, I did read a lot of intriguing stories and meet a lot of interesting characters.
Let’s take a look back at all the books I read this year: Continue reading “What I Read: 2017”