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8 Bookish Goals and Habits For Reading More Intentionally in 2021

Like a lot of people, I’m looking to craft some intentional goals in 2021 – and one of those goals is to read more books. And as a goal-setter, I know that creating goals around anything in your life requires specificity and an intentional plan.

So, if you’re thinking you’d like to set some goals around reading more in 2021, here are some specific goals to try out. Pick one or two to aspire to this upcoming year – and create a game plan to make it happen. Because a goal without a plan is just a wish, right?

Ready for some fun, reading-specific goal ideas? Let’s get into it.

1. Craft a realistic book goal

How much did you read last year? What’s an achievable goal for you this year? To read two books each month? That’s one for every two weeks, which might be more than you read last year. Level up your reading goals – without making an outlandish goal that you don’t believe you’ll actually achieve. Our ability to achieve our goals has a lot to do with our self-belief.

2. Write your reading wish list

We use ClickUp to organize our reading wish list (see ClickUp for Creatives here and get a reading list template) – and to keep track of our ratings.

How many times do you hear about a great book and then totally forget about it? I love keeping a list of the books I want to read, the books I’ve read, and keep notes on what I learned. More on that in a bit!

3. Create a commonplace book

A common place book is a place where you keep quotes and inspiring tidbits from the books that you read. I first heard about this from Amy Landino & Ryan Holiday.

There are a lot of ways you can do this, but my favorite inspirations come from these two who use a file folder to organize all the handwritten quotes by category. You can use a commonplace book for inspiration – or if you have a book you’re wanting to write or create content online, you can use it as a resource to keep quotes to refer back to later.

4. Listen to audiobooks, instead of podcasts

If you’re like me, you have a tendency to go for the podcasts over audiobooks. I’ve used Audible for awhile and have so many books on there that I’ve been interested in reading. And yet, when I’m on a long walk or drive, I don’t think to listen to audiobooks. In 2021, I want to start listening to books on my walks. 

See the best books for 2021 on Amazon’s top book selections.

5. Create a book exchange

In order to make the most of buying print copies of books, I love the idea of doing a book exchange with friends. Especially a secret edition where you wrap them up and label them with the genre. Because, we all know we judge books by their covers – but that’s not always a good indicator of how good the book is!

Or, even better, create a little library outside your home with a “take a book, leave a book.” There’s no reason to hoard books after you’ve read them, if you won’t be referring back to them. So why not spread the love – and read some books you’ve maybe never heard of?

6. Try a new genre

On that note, make it a goal to explore a new genre this year. Sometimes we stay stuck in our normal reading patterns and forget how fun it is to dive into a book for pleasure – especially when it’s outside our comfort zone.

Take a look at the bestseller list and explore a title that’s out of your usual genre, whether that’s sci-fi, fantasy, YA, or historical fiction. 

7. Read every book by your favorite author

This might be an obvious one, because when you find an author you like, your natural instinct is to read them all, like gotta catch ’em all Pokemon vibes.

But I kind of forgot about my favorite adult fiction writer until this year, and just purchased four of her books I haven’t read. (It’s Colleen Hoover if you’re curious!) I’ve already breezed through two of them, and have been enjoying reading again after a long break because of it.

Make a fun goal this upcoming year to read every book by your favorite author – or explore a recommended author similar to your favorites.

8. Write a mini book report

Remember writing book reports in school? It’s time for a fun, adult version.

I find it hard to remember everything (or, anything really) about a book after reading it. I tend to skip to the next – but when you’re reading something, especially in the nonfiction and personal development genres – you’re likely learning a lot of things that you can apply to your life.

Why not create a little book report system to keep track of your favorite takeaways. Keep it simple and write a few sentences on your favorite takeaways. You can use the commonplace book system above to keep tabs on your highlighted quotes – or you can jot down a few action steps, so you can actually apply the lessons you’ve learned from the books you read!


What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Let us hear it in the comments!

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