9 Reading Goals Examples to Pursue This Year

It may have happened to us before: We open our books, expecting to grow our knowledge or enjoy a good read, only to be disappointed.

From an uninteresting genre to distractions in the house, it’s tough to have a soul-stirring reading session.

If this pertains to you, then you may want to set some reading goals. With that in mind, I’ll cover what reading goals are and 9 examples to encourage a better read.

What Are Reading Goals?

A reading goal is any desired outcome you have related to reading. They could range from working on your comprehension skills to simply reading more books.

These goals can make you a better reader and encourage a lovely read. And even if you aren’t an avid reader, setting reading goals can have a drastic impact on other parts of your life.

For instance, if you hope to improve your writing skills, reading will help you learn new vocabulary and sentence structure.

Ultimately, regardless of what you desire, goals push you to accomplish them. So don’t shy away from creating some reading goals; embrace it as a way of growing personally.

Make Your Reading Goals SMART

For those looking to set reading goals, you can’t forget to be SMART about it. SMART is a goal method that involves 5 main criteria for setting effective goals.

That is, your goals should ideally be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Here’s a deeper look into what that looks like:

  • Specific: Make your goals well-defined and concise. For instance, instead of “reading books,” aim to “read 5 non-fiction books each month.”
  • Measurable: You should be able to keep track of your goal progress. In the above example, you can measure how many pages you read every week.
  • Attainable: The goal should be reasonable and within your capabilities.
  • Relevant: Your objective needs to be something you genuinely desire.
  • Time-based: Have an end date to keep you accountable for reaching your goal.

Using the SMART framework will ensure you see tangible results in no time. You will no longer have trouble achieving your dreams in life.

9 Reading Goals Examples

Are you stuck on what reading goals to set for yourself? Luckily, here are 9 reading goals examples to strive for this year:

1. Join a Book Club

If you’re a bookworm, nothing is better than joining a book club. Not only do you chat with like-minded people about your favorite novels, but you also discover brand-new books you might not have otherwise come across.

Book clubs are often relaxed and informal, and they are a great way to make new friends. You have lively conversations about the characters, plot, and themes of the books.

There’s no pressure to finish every book, and you can participate in the discussions even if you haven’t read the book in question.

So if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening, why not join a book club? You might just find your new favorite book.

2. Keep a Reading Journal

A reading journal is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings about what you’re reading.

Every reader is different, so there’s no right or wrong way to journal. Some people like to write down quotes that they find particularly meaningful, while others prefer to summarize each chapter.

Some people even choose to sketch out scenes from the book. It allows them to stay engaged with the material and think critically about it.


Reading journals can also be helpful to reflect on what you’ve read. You can look back at your journal entries and see how your opinion of a book has changed over time.

3. Have More Time to Read

One excellent reading goal you can set for this year is to create more time to read.

While everyone has busy days ahead, you should still try to free up your schedule to accommodate more reading time. Naturally, be realistic about the fact that you can’t read as much as you want.

But recognize that even setting aside 20 minutes for daily reading can make a life-changing difference. So look forward to meeting your goal and getting lost in some amazing books.

4. Improve Reading Comprehension

There are plenty of ways to achieve better reading comprehension. For example, try skimming a text before you read it. This will give an overview of the content and identify the main points.

You can also try Googling terms that you don’t understand. Although your reading speed may be hindered by searching the words, at least your background knowledge won’t suffer defeat.

According to one 2019 study published in Psychological Science, being unfamiliar with specific terms in a topic can cause an inability to understand the text.

That’s a scenario you want to avoid. Taking these steps will ensure that you’ll be able to reach your reading goals with no sweat.

5. Clean Up Your Bookshelves

As anyone who loves books knows, they can quickly take over your home. Whether you’re a collector or have a hard time saying no to a good deal, it’s all too easy for your bookshelves to start overflowing.

And while there’s nothing wrong with having tons of books, it can be good to do a periodic purge. It provides the opportunity to donate books you no longer want and creates more space for new purchases.

Plus, it’s immensely satisfying to see all those empty shelves. As a reading goal that also declutters your home, cleaning up your bookshelves is a great choice.

6. Read Different Book Genres

Countless people naively find a book in their favorite genre and stick to it. But one of the best things about reading is that it offers a path to explore different worlds and experience new things.

If you’re only reading books in one genre, you miss out on fantastic books. So push yourself to try something new by including a variety of genres on your reading list.

You might be surprised at how much you enjoy a book outside your usual comfort zone.

And as an added bonus, branching out will help you become a more well-rounded reader. Hence, don’t be afraid to switch things up next time you want something new to read.

7. Expand Your Vocabulary

As you probably already know, reading is the go-to activity to learn new words. But you may not realize there are a few specific approaches to expanding your vocabulary while reading.

First, take note of any new or unusual words you come across. You can jot them down in a notebook or on your phone so you can look them up.

Another strategy is to keep a running list of difficult words as you encounter them in your reading. Then, when you have some free time, you can focus on learning those words.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to break out a dictionary once in a while. If you come across a word you don’t know and can’t figure it out from context, looking it up is the best way to learn it.

8. Be Mindful of Distractions

no distractions

Sometimes you may get pulled away from your book while in the middle of a good chapter, and it can be hard to get back into the flow.

By being more aware of what’s pulling your attention away, you can try to minimize those distractions and make more time for reading.

For example, if you tend to get distracted by your phone, put it away or turn off notifications while reading. Or if you often daydream, focus on the text and visualize the scenes in your mind instead.

By being more aware of the obstacles that distract you, you can promote a lovely reading session.

9. Make Reading Exciting

In order to make reading more fun and exciting, choose books that you are actually interested in.

Finding books you’re eager to read can be a game changer. Do not be afraid to mix things up from time to time. If you are used to reading fiction, try picking up a non-fiction book for a change of pace.

Or if you usually read on your lunch break, try listening to an audiobook during your commute instead. Doing experiments like these could keep reading feeling fresh and exciting.

Final Thoughts

Reading is an activity that requires you to ponder and reflect on ideas and thoughts. It’s not about letting passages of text go through one ear and out the other.

Fortunately, reading goals can make your reading experience enjoyable and interesting. The key to establishing reading goals is making them SMART.

Your goals should be a detailed roadmap to success. You need to know exactly what you need to attain and if you’re on course to goal attainment.

From today onwards, take action on your reading goals. Don’t let reading be a boring hobby that brings about negative feelings. Let it be a motivation to enrich your knowledge.

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