Setting Reading Goals & Annual Reading Challenges

Now that 2017 is firmly underway, what sort of reading challenge have you set for yourself? Some people struggle to read one book a month and others are like a sponge and cannot find enough books to read. With annual events like Family Literacy Day and Summer Reading Games participating in literacy awareness can be easy. Schools host Book Fairs and the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week as well as many new baby programs now include a free book to families with their newborn packages.  Many libraries in Alberta even offer free library cards; I believe access to libraries and their services should be free across Canada, why not?

When it comes to reading goals, do you include your family in your challenge or just plan it for yourself? I tend to not include my children in my reading goals but I do include any chapter books that I read to them in my yearly book count. My kids do like to participate in our local library’s annual Summer Reading Game and it challenges them to try new types of books and find fun ways to read. Recording your books on a website such like Goodreads is an easy way to keep track of all the titles you have read and helps you track your progress. In addition, Goodreads has book giveaways you can enter to win free books; sometimes just reading through the list of giveaways on Goodreads can spark your interest in a genre that you may not have considered trying before.

@Savvyreader also has a 50 Book Pledge website up and running for 2017 which is another great way to record the books you read this year, write some book reviews and connect with other readers.

I have done a bit of research and people seem to love book challenges that want you to read specific types of books, ie. “read a book written by a Canadian author”. Popsugar has a checklist style book challenge for 2017 which is printable: Furthermore, you can record your progress in this challenge and join the group with the many other readers also aspiring to this goal on Goodreads called the Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge group.

If you are loyal to very specific genres, you might want to try looking through this website with the “Master List” of reading challenges. This list is sure to have a reading challenge for just about anyone.

For those just starting out and wanting something different, a good starting place is always the Canada Reads Longlist. The 5 finalists from this list are posted on January 31, 2017.

We will all get to a point in our book challenges in 2017 when we are at a loss of what book to try next. I would recommend then turning to some of your favourite authors websites and blogs and see what they are reading. Chances are good that you will also like many of the same books your favourite author is reading and might even find another favourite author to add to your list. Another option is to try to find something local. Has anyone in your city/town recently published a book? You would probably be surprised at how many people you know that will know someone else who has written and published a book. Supporting local authors is important and helps to build a sense of community.

Here is a list of some of recently published books I am looking forward to reading for my 2017 READ50 list:

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Witch Switch by Sibeal Pounder (Arc Book Courtesy of Goodread’s giveaway)

Veiled by Cyana Gaffney (Leduc, AB local author)

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2) by Deanna Raybourn

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan







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