Since 2020, I’ve made annual book reading goals for myself.

But let me step back a bit.

Before getting my first-ever iPad (2011, I think), I read in bed before going to sleep, almost every night. But since then, I’ve read less in bed at night (and overall, really), and instead do things on my iPad like games or watching movies or shows. This got me out of the habit of reading, and also changed my relationship with consuming TV shows and movies.

For much of the 2010s, I was pretty busy with life (parenting, homeschooling, getting out of one relationship and into another, etc.), but did feel the lack of books.

But I just wasn’t as driven to read as I’d used to be.

So in 2020, following along with many friends, I started setting annual reading goals for myself through the annual GoodReads book challenges. (Here’s my GoodReads profile.)

I wanted to set an achievable but significant goal for myself, so in 2020 I set my goal to read 20 books. I read 21. (Have I written a post about this before?) In 2021, I set a goal for 21 books. I read 21. In 2022, 22 books, and I read 22. In 2023, I set a goal of 23 books.

At the beginning of 2023, I read a lot of books, much faster than my normal rate. I think I was 9 books ahead of where I needed to be at one point. But, until this past week, I hadn’t read much at all in the past three months, trying to read but just not getting into it. I just finished reading a book that I’m going to write up for GeekMom, a graphic novel called This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America by Navied Mahdavian (it’s really interesting, comes out in September), but, before that, the last time I finished a book was in April.

I find it hard to read when I can’t relax, when I can’t put my burdens of the day down. I play games on my iPad or watch TV or movies instead of reading so that I can force other images inside my head. Reading will do that, but it takes work, and a very compelling story or topic. And every book I’ve tried to read recently just hasn’t grabbed me (including T.J. Klune’s latest, In the Lives of Puppets… sorry, T.J. I’m still working my way through it slowly. It’s interesting but doesn’t speak to me like his other books have.).

So, I’m in a book slump. But I’m fighting my way out. And I’m determined to make my 2023 reading goal, which will include In the Lives of Puppets. I only have 8 more books to go, though, so I think I’ll make it. I just have to work at it.

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