My 2021 Reading Goals

New year, new books. A lot of readers set themselves some sort of goal when January arrives, be it reading a certain amount of books by 31st December, or pushing themselves out of their literary comfort zones and delving into unfamiliar genres.

I have a couple of general readerly goals for 2021; I want to read more graphic novels and poetry and I want to read more horror fiction by women writers. As I said, though, these are just general goals. My aim isn’t to have read 25 graphic novels by the time the midnight bells chime on New Year’s Eve. My aim is to simply buy a decent-sounding graphic novel once in a while and give it a go.

The reason why I’m only setting myself general goals is because reading is a fun pastime for me. For as long as I can remember – from the days when I had stories read to me at bedtime to this very moment – reading has offered me escapism. It doesn’t matter how stressful or downright shit my day has been, losing myself in a book is always guaranteed to make me feel better. A few years ago, I had a particularly bad mental health episode. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t stop crying…I could barely function on the most basic level. Books didn’t make that all disappear, but I found respite in the minutes and hours that I spent reading. In those minutes and hours, I was in a place far, far away, places populated by kickass protagonists and fantastical creatures, places where my anxieties and fears didn’t exist.

Setting myself rigid goals doesn’t allow for this kind of escapism, though. Strict goals turn reading into a chore, especially for someone with an obsessive personality like mine. If I tell myself that I’m going to read, say, ten books off some 50 Books You Must Read This Year list, I am going to read those ten books, whether I enjoy it or not. Where’s the fun in that?

Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting readerly goals. That kind of organisation and structure works for some people, but it’s just not for me. Aside from my aforementioned general goals, my only other goals are to read whatever I like and to take as long as I need to read a book. I didn’t quite reach my 2020 Goodreads reading goal and despite telling myself I wasn’t bothered, there was a small part of me that was somewhat disappointed in myself. It was this sense of needless disappointment that got me thinking about my 2021 reading goals in the first place.

In summary, my 2021 reading goals are as follows:

  1. I’ll read whatever takes my fancy
  2. I won’t rush to finish a book
  3. I won’t focus on the quantity of books that I read, but the quality
  4. I’ll try to read more horror fiction by women writers
  5. I’ll try to read more graphic novels and poetry

What are your reading goals for 2021? Let me know in the comments!

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21 thoughts on “My 2021 Reading Goals

      1. Just anything really. I find I enjoy some science and maths as well as history so hopefully along those lines

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  1. I totally understand when you mention the goal to read more graphic novels, it is also one of the things I want to discover this new year 🙂 good luck with your goals and enjoy your readings! Greetings from Portugal, PedroL

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      1. Thanks for your feedback 🙂 I really like this author Guy Delisle, he has published some of the most interesting graphic novels and I still have part of them to discover eheh PedroL

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    1. Exactly. If you race through books just to hit a numerical target, you don’t enjoy them anywhere near as much! Re the graphic novels, I’m thinking maybe some horror or science fiction. Do you read graphic novels?

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      1. I don’t read loads of them but I know what I like – The Boys by Garth Ennis is a great series if you don’t mind horrific nastiness.

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  2. I like your goals. You’re right that you don’t need to set numerical targets for your reading goals. I just felt the need because I had slipped so much last year. I went from reading over fifty books to a small handful.
    Good luck in your goals for this year.

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  3. Reading brings me peace and it protects me from my anxiety from time to time. So I think reading has become an important part of my life now. My reading goal for 2021 is also to focus on quality, not on quantity. I’d love to read more biographies and books on adventures.

    All the best for 2021. 🙂
    Lisa

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    1. That’s exactly what reading does for me as well. When you’re reading, you can forget about the world and any stresses in your life, even if only for a few minutes. Are there any biographies in particular that you would like to read this year?

      I hope you have a wonderful 2021 and that it’s filled with lots of fantastic books ❤

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      1. Thanks for your feedback:) And apologies for my late reply. I’ve read biographies about some entrepreneurs (e.g. Elon Musk) for last year, as I wanted to get some inspiration from others about how to cope with adversaries. My focus for this year would still be along this line.
        Hope you enjoy your reading too! Happy weekend.

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  4. I didn’t impose the number of books I want to finish reading this year. Instead, my reading goal is to read at least 15 minutes a day. It’s been years since I finished a book (I buy books but barely read them, a really bad habit I know). I’m hoping to be better this year!

    Wishing you the best reading year!

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    1. That’s a fantastic goal that you’ve set yourself. 15 minutes a day reading sounds like the perfect way to spend a bit of you time! I hope your 2021 is filled with lots of awesome books ❤

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  5. Totally agree with how setting goals for a fun past-time is not really the sort of thing to make it fun. The amount of people I see stressing over reading targets and I just sit here thinking ‘but what do you get when you achieve it?’

    Mine is just to read what I want to read. Mostly more non-fiction as a genre goal and I also want to start re-reading the entire Horus Heresy Warhammer series. Other than that, just chill and take it as it comes.

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