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The Cardinal Press is a lifestyle blog about living beautifully and creatively, every day.

How To Win A Reading Challenge

How To Win A Reading Challenge


One of my resolution for 2018 was to read forty books in the year. In the first few days of January I felt a lot of pressure to get started and read as fast as I could since I had no idea if 40 was an accurate or reasonable goal for me. Now that we're a couple of months into the year and I've read eleven (and a half) books, I'm feeling really confident about my ability to win this challenge! Along the way I've picked up a few new habits that have helped me seriously increase my reading time. If you're thinking of starting a reading challenge, here are my top tips on how to win that bet against yourself. 

Always Have Your Next Book Lined Up

The easiest way I've found not to lose momentum is to always have a book or two lined up for when I'm finished whatever I'm reading. When I get about halfway through a book I start planning what I'm going to read next. Sometimes I already have a book waiting on my self that I picked up at a launch or on a spontaneous book store trip, but sometimes this means going to the library and taking something home before I finish my current book. This way I avoid the slump between books and don't waste a single moment moving from one book to another. 

Read Everywhere

I used to read primarily in bed at night but I quickly found that I would never finish this challenge if I relegated reading to one part of my day. This reading challenge has already changed some of my lifestyle habits since I had to incorporate reading into new parts of my life in order to reach my goals. For example, during a lunch break from work, I used to watch an episode of something on Netflix. Instead, now I read. This habit has transferred into other aspects of my life as well, mainly by replacing TV-time with reading time. Instead of watching TV in the bath or after dinner, I pick up a book instead. I've also gotten back into the habit of bringing books with me when I go out so I can read in waiting rooms and on subways instead of playing mindless games on my phone. 

Use The Library

The library has been a godsend this year. Every so often I log into my account and place all the books on my current reading list on hold. Whether I'm first or 500th on the list, there is always a roster of free books heading in my direction at one speed or another. If I had to buy every single book I read, my bank account would soon force me to give up this challenge. Placing a lot of books on hold means that there's pretty much always something available when I need it, which helps me to make sure I follow tip #1. Also, the inherent due dates that come with library books for me to read quickly.

Since I'm only a couple months into this challenge I'm sure that more tips, tricks, and hacks will come up along the way and I'll be sure to update you when they do. Have you ever done a reading challenge? What should I read next?

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