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
21. Mindset for Moms
33. SEO Made Simple
39. Every Writer Needs a Tribe (by Jeff Goins…I couldn’t find it online, but, somehow, it’s on my Kindle!)
47. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved(written by my brother’s pastor!)
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.