This Simple Tip Will Help You Reach Your Reading Goals By End Of Year

by Kerri Jarema
Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

It happens to me every year: September rolls around and I start to panic about my reading goals. For some, their yearly reading challenge is the most important part of their bookish life. These readers make strict numbered goals, and write extensive year-long TBR lists that they want to complete by the time Dec. 31 rolls around. And even though I made my own goals less harsh this year — choosing to focus instead on reading mindfully — I've still got to read 16 new-to-me books before the end of the year to fulfill my own challenge. If you're like me, and you're starting to freak out a little bit about reaching your reading milestones for 2018, I have one trick that's always helped me get re-centered in my bookish pursuits: a seasonal TBR list.

Now that summer is at its end and we're swiftly moving into the autumnal season, it's time to have a check-in with yourself, your reading goals, and, most importantly, your TBR. In my personal experience, nothing gets me back to my bibliophile best than taking stock of what's been going right, what's been going wrong, and figuring out what books I actually want to be spending my time on moving forward. Below are five of the biggest reasons why you need to make a seasonal TBR this fall.

It's Way More Focused — And Updated — Than Your Yearly TBR

Remember when you made that list of books you wanted to read back in January? It feels like ages ago at this point, right? With seasonal TBR lists, you give yourself the opportunity to reevaluate those goals you made at the start of the year. Do you even still want to read the books on that list you made eight months ago? Is your numbered goal too high or too low? Do you want to switch up your genres a bit more? It's crucial to update your goals anytime they become stale or pointless, and recreating a TBR for the new season will be like hitting refresh — making you more excited to read than ever.

You Can Re-Plan Around Your Upcoming Seasonal Activities

When we make our TBR lists at the beginning of every year, many of us don't think to plan for the inevitable "life" stuff that pops up. Did you have it broken down that you would read at least 15 books throughout the fall months, but you've booked an unexpected trip that will keep your from your shelves for a while? Did you want to focus on a certain genre but your book club has picked something totally different? Do you want to participate in the latest read-a-long on YouTube but you feel limited? Making a new TBR for the season allows your to incorporate all of the IRL stuff going on so that you can make the most of your time stuck in the pages.

Now's Your Chance To Add Some Themed Reading To Your Stack

On a related note, sometimes the most fun reading we can do is to choose books that directly relate to the season we're in. After all, "beach reads" aren't so ubiquitous for no reason. If you're feeling like your reading list is out of date and it's keeping you from picking up your stack, now's the time to pull out those timely reads. Think spooky horror for Halloween, ethereal historical fiction for cozying up under a blanket, and autumnal rom-coms for bringing along to the park while you watch the changing leaves swirl overhead.

You Can Add New Releases & Unexpected Interests To Your List

New releases we haven't heard about yet, unexpected new interests that have developed over the past few weeks: these are the books you didn't account for when you made your last TBR, but which you probably desperately want to dive into now. Mood reading is a thing, and making a seasonal TBR puts those impulses front and center from the jump. You might have wanted to read that essay collection about bodies at the start of the year, but now you're all about unflinching memoirs of motherhood. Don't ignore your new interests in favor old ones just to hit some arbitrary goal you made months ago. Updating your TBR makes your reading fluid and adaptable.

Updating Goals Is Good For Your Overall Well-Being

The thing that I've found about goals is that I can get so caught up in the making of them that I don't always take the time to step back and figure out if they're really good for me. If you're the same way, a season TBR and goals refresh is not only going to help you get way more reading done, it's going to help you figure out more about what matter to you, and the best ways to make the most out of your every day activities. It might sound silly, but something as simple as making a whole new stack of the books you want to read right now can have a massive effect on your overall outlook of life in general. So get to reading, you never know what amazing results you'll get.