The 100-Book March: A Reading Challenge

books on brown wooden shelf
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on

I’ve always been a meticulous record-keeper when it comes to keeping track of what I read and when. I use Goodreads (and a spreadsheet) to do that. While I always set a yearly reading goal, I usually pick the number I know I’m going to read anyway.

This year I’m attempting to read 100 books. I set this goal not because I care that deeply about quantifying my reading but because I want to change some bad habits. Late last year, I realized I’d fallen into the rut of using my pockets of free time to skim news headlines or scroll through Instagram for the hundredth time. Having a yearly reading goal that’s big and bold is a reminder to use my found time to read instead. So far, it’s going well. (Admittedly, the last couple of weeks have been difficult since I went back to obsessively reading the news for COVID-19 updates.)

Because I don’t want to turn reading into a job, I set some rules for myself when I started this journey in January:

No selecting books based on how long they are. I don’t want to try to “trick” the system by purposely seeking out short books or avoiding long books. I read what I want without regard for how it will impact my goal.

Quit books that aren’t working for me. I’ve always been a joyous and enthusiastic un-finisher of books I don’t like. I never count unfinished books in my yearly lists, and I won’t force myself to keep reading a book I’m not enjoying just to put it on this year’s list. When I force myself to keep going on a book that isn’t speaking to me, I end up reading less because I avoid reading altogether!

Don’t stress about monthly goals. In order to reach 100 books in a year, I need to read about 8.5 books a month. But tracking that closely stresses me out. I’m avoiding looking at numbers and instead focusing on using any extra free time I have in a day to read. Some months are going to be busier than others. I’m okay with that. (March has been a splendid reading month so far because of Spring Break and because I can’t go anywhere.)

Celebrate the positives. If I don’t make it to 100 by the end of the year, I’m fine with that. What I care about is renewing my commitment to books (and breaking some of my bad technology habits). Part of the fun of setting a goal is the time spent working toward it. So far, it’s been a fun little project.

Do you set reading goals? How many books do you read a year? How do you find ways to read more?

16 thoughts on “The 100-Book March: A Reading Challenge

  1. Frank LaManna

    how about me and you getting together and having an amazing time together? I think you’re beautiful, and you look 👁‍🗨 really smart…two qualities I lov3! 💞 I would love to get to know you…what do you have to say about that Christine?


      1. Frank LaManna

        i left the gym today, and there was a girl standing outside by her car. I don’t know if she was waiting for me, lol, but i started up a conversation and gave her my number. Thanks! 💕


  2. 8.5 books a month is a lofty goal indeed! I find that I waste too much time on FB these days – a habit I am working hard to break in favour of better use of my time, which includes reading more. I have been thinking about joining a non-fiction reading group, in order to acquire more reading discipline, and so get more satisfaction. FB is a worthy tool, but it’s also an opioid!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like challenging myself but felt defeated last year when I didn’t meet my much more modest goal because “real life” got in the way. But I have also found myself wasting time in the same way. Hoping I can use some of this semi-lockdown time for my reading.


  4. What a great idea. I also feel that I read fewer books now because of social media. I used to write down the books I finished in a month on the calendar but I don’t do that anymore so I don’t really know how many books I’ve read this year. I might try setting a reading target as well. I’ve already tried turning the internet off on my phone on some evenings so that I read a book instead of scrolling the web.

    Liked by 1 person

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