Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post.
I LOVE to read. But I often lack intentional reading.
What do I mean? I have a tendency to collect books–especially free or cheap eBooks–but fail to make a good plan to read them. I do end up reading many of them, but it’s often in a haphazard way–with no rhyme or reason.
It hit me recently that if I were more intentional about making a year-long reading plan, I would glean much more from these free and cheap books that I am so prone to accumulate–and learn a whole lot more in the process!
So here is what I did: I learned how to make a year-long reading plan.
I recently went through my Kindle Fire as well as my eBook files on my computer, and I made a list of all the books I want to read over the coming year. All I did was jot them down on a notepad.
I then divided the books up into categories. I tend to go in phases of reading books all of the same theme–such as marriage and parenting books or blogging or business books.
In order to make a year-long reading plan with intentionality, I took a good look at the books in each category and assigned them to months when I plan to read them. Instead of cramming all the health books into January and all the Christian living books into March, I have tried to spread out books of various categories throughout the year!
For this part, I actually typed the books out and copied/deleted and pasted them into each category.
Cookbooks and Bible study books are different (and I haven’t included them in this post.)
For cookbooks, my plan is to go through them and make a list of recipes I want to try from each one. I don’t really like trying more than one new recipe per week (or it overwhelms me!). So I’ve decided to place one cookbook on my list for each month–12 for the year–and I will choose one new recipe from each book to try each week.
For Bible study books, I have just listed those that I want to use during my devotional time throughout the year.
I went back through my list and eliminated books that weren’t on the very top of my list and chose 55 to keep on my reading plan. I am limiting myself to one book per week.
I will probably not make it through all 55 of these–and I am allowing myself the flexibility of putting a book down if it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Instead of spending time reading a sub-par book, I will move on to the next book on my list. Some books are short and will not take long to read, while others may take longer.
Along with planning on which books to read this year, I am also designating a time to read: right before bed (to help me unwind!).
For those books on my Kindle or in my eBook files on my computer that didn’t make my list this year:
- I am deleting books from my Kindle that I think I will never read.
- I am gifting (and then deleting) PDF books from my computer that I will never read.
- I am putting those books that are not currently applicable to me (like pregnancy or parenting teenagers) in a separate folder of my computer (or just leaving them on my Kindle).
- I am leaving reference books–such as books on how to make natural skincare products and my cloth diaper eBook–in a separate folder to reference as needed.
(Wow–this is making me sound WAY more organized than I really am! I’m seriously making myself do this to make sure I take advantage of all the books I have collected!)
Where do I get my books?
I’ve almost entirely transitioned to eBooks in the past couple years. They are easier to access, take up MUCH less space and I almost always get them for a really good deal and a fraction of what I would pay for their print counterparts! (We still use print books for the girls–and this saves room on our bookshelves for those!)
I primarily get the books from:
eReaderGirl.com: I subscribe to her daily e-mails, where she notifies you of really cheap or even FREE eBooks!
Ultimate-Bundles.com: I am the co-organizer of this bundle business. We run a homemaking sale in the spring and a healthy living sale in the fall. These MEGA bundles include an entire library of books at a tiny fraction of retail price!
Interested in the books I chose?
(Note: This doesn’t include the cookbooks or Bible study books. I’ll have to name them in another post! I have included as many links as possible in case you are interested in these. Some of these links are my affiliate links. That means I will receive a small kickback if you ever decide you want one of the books!)
Health and Wellness
2. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
3. Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
5. Stress, Belly Fat and Adrenal Fatigue
6. Help for Women Under Stress
9. Stopping Stress before It Stops You: A Game Plan for Every Mom
11. Using Essential Oils Safely
12. Honoring the Rhythm of Rest
15. A Beginner’s Guide to a Natural Medicine Cabinet
16. The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity
18. Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role
19. Stages of Homeschooling: Beginnings (Book 1)
20. I Can Teach My Child to Read: A 10-Step Guide for Parents
21. Mindset for Moms
23. Desperate: Hope for the Weary Mom Who Needs to Breathe
24. Give Them Grace (Foreword by Tullian Tchividjian): Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
25. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
26. How to Really Love Your Child
28. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
29. 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life
30. How to Be Social: A Social Media Manifesto
31. Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time
33. SEO Made Simple
34. The “Do What You Can” Plan
35. iBloom in Business: Equipping You to Build a Successful Business while Living a Life You Love!
36. What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us
37. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
38. The Early To Rise Experience: Learn To Rise Early in 30 Days
39. Every Writer Needs a Tribe (by Jeff Goins…I couldn’t find it online, but, somehow, it’s on my Kindle!)
41. Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom
42. The Virtual Assistant Solution: Come up for Air, Offload the Work You Hate, and Focus on What You Do Best
43. Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough
44. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together
46. The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet
47. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved(written by my brother’s pastor!)
48. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
49. Saved Without A Doubt: Being Sure of Your Salvation
51. 1,000 Gifts
Just for Fun
52. Growing Up Amish
53. Embracing Beauty
54. Green Your Life
Do you like to read? Do you make a year-long reading plan?
Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post.
Thanks for including my book about learning to rise early in your list. Early to rise for moms will be out January 1st by the way! Would love to send you a free copy if you’d like one. Blessings – Any Traub
I would love a copy of it! I’ve been wanting to read your book for a long time–got it when Money Saving Mom advertised it! Happy to add it to my reading list for 2014! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 p.s. You can send me the book at thehumbledhomemaker at gmail dot com! Thanks again! 🙂
Good idea! I have almost 1,000 books on my Kindle that I need to read. I don’t think I’d get done with those in a year. Maybe if I chose somewhere between 20-50 that I want to get to this year, that’d be a good idea :p That doesn’t even include the entire bookshelf (physical, real life shelf) I have of books that need to be read.
I’m so glad I’m not the only book collector! LOL! I was going to just pick 24, but I had a REALLY hard time choosing! Actually, then I switched it to 52–but I still couldn’t keep it to that! LOL
Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace
I love this. I always make a list of books that I want to read at the beginning of each year. Like you, I tend to read several books in the same category one after the other. I usually stick to my list pretty well until about June of each year. Maybe I should just start planning my book lists in smaller chunks. Hmmm…there’s a thought! Loved reading how you organize your book list. It’s always fun to see how others do things.
Thanks, Leigh Ann! We are so different–yet so similar, too! Bookworms rock!! 🙂
Small world…JD Greear is my pastor as well! It’s a great book too, by the way 🙂
Awesome! He is also my brother and SIL’s pastor! They just returned from a 2-year term to South Asia. I have heard AMAZING things about his church–I’ve been there a couple times, but we live in the Charlotte area.
Tasha @ Real Imprints
Yes! I make a year long reading plan too! I do it with my cookbooks, children’s books, adult books, and even my magazines and newspapers! I love books and my house is overflowing with them. On our website I am over the “Good Books” section of inspiring books. I am constantly following my plan so I can share the great literature that is out there! Thanks for the post!
1,000 gifts is a must! You’ll love it!