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I set a kind of crazy reading goal for the second half of 2018!

Welcome to my weekly Book-ish post where I share what I’ve been reading and watching recently. If you missed it, you can see my Reading Goals for 2018 and 44 Books I Plan to Read This Year

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My Crazy Reading Goal

I set a goal to read 100 story-driven/non-self-help books in 2018. So far, I’ve read 26. Yup. If you just did the calculations, that means I’m quite behind my goal.

Now here’s the thing: I’m all about grace and not stressing myself out over hitting a goal just to hit a goal.

I know that I’ve spent way more time doing things with my family and being with friends and hosting people this year than I ever have in my life. So that has eaten into a big chunk of my reading time. And I’m so down with that!

But if I’m being really honest, I also know that I have spent quite a bit of time getting sucked into reading about other people’s lives on Instagram — people I don’t know, mind you. And it would be wiser to invest this time into reading books instead.

And I’m guessing there are probably other moments and cracks in my day that I could be investing into reading, too.

So I’m committing to make reading much more of a priority in the second half of 2018. In fact, because I like a good challenge, I’m going to aim to read three books per week for the rest of the year — without sacrificing time with friends or family OR sacrificing sleep.

If Teddy Roosevelt could read a book or two per day when he was President of the United States, surely I can do this! 😉

Oh and yes, audiobooks count, as do chapter books I read aloud to my kids. I’ll keep you posted in my Monday posts and we can all see how this goes!

Am I crazy or do you think this is possible? You can give your honest opinion in the comments + your best ideas for ways I can fit more reading in! I’ll take all the tips I can get!

I know it might seem weird, but this sort of goal gets me really excited — especially when it challenges me to get creative and make more time for something I really love!

What I Read Last Week

I finished At Home in the World and it was the perfect book to read before our family leaves for South Africa on Saturday! If you love traveling or travel memoirs or wonder what it’s like to travel with kids, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Also, it made me add about 25 new places to my “Must Visit In My Lifetime” list. I probably should not read travel memoirs as this could be dangerous! 🙂

What I’m Currently Reading

The three books I chose to read (and hopefully finish!) this week are: Dance, Stand, Run by Jess Connolly, And Still She Laughs by Kate Merrick, and Relentless Spirit by Missy Franklin. I’m thinking I’ll pick two shorter books and one longer book each week. We’ll see how this goes!

What We Watched Last Week

So, we had fun introducing our kids to a few classics this past week! We watched RocketMan (we all enjoyed this one, despite how incredibly cheesy it is), Princess Bride (the kids loved this one; Jesse and I both were like, “Wow! For how well known that movie is, we had forgotten just how bad the cinematography is because it came out in 1987!), and Jumanji (the original — I’ve never seen it before and it was a little scarier than we thought it would be, but the kids enjoyed it).

When I Find Time to Read

People are always asking me how I find time to read. Honestly, it’s because I love to read, because I’ve chosen to prioritize it, because I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, and because I can’t not read. Also, when you love something, you usually can find ways to get creative to find time to fit it in — even if it’s in the little nooks and crannies of life.

I wrote a post on 3 ways to find more time to read — even when life is busy. And here are 7 more ways to find time to read.

What did you read and watch this past week? Any books or movies or shows you really think I need to read or watch?


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  • Carolyn says:

    I’ve read/listened to 59 books so far this year, so no, you’re not crazy. 🙂

  • JJ says:

    I used to live about 10-15 min. from Teddy Roosevelt’s summer home. When I took people on tour there, the tour guide said if he were talking to someone and was bored he would pull out a book and start reading right in front of them. 😂 He needed your hospitality goals. 🤗🤩😆 I took Facebook off my phone, and I have budgeted so much more time for other things this way!!!

    • Oh! I hadn’t heard of that tidbit before. So interesting!! Okay, I guess I won’t totally try to emulate him then! 😉

      • JJ says:

        I thought you’d like that fun fact, but I don’t see you as that way at all!!! I was just telling my husband about your hospitality ideas, and it inspired us!!! Thank you for being YOU!!! And Teddy is one of my faves, haha!!! If you ever go to Long Island, his house is a really neat place. They have a private beach(free when you go there, which is unheard of on Long Island), so you can have a picnic lunch on the rocky north shore.

  • Laura says:

    I think it is great! That kind of goal would personally stress me out, but I’m so glad it motivates you. It’s not crazy at all. It is probably one of the best ways to get things done.

    I am making it a priority to read more. Yesterday I took social media off my phone, just for now. On average, I estimate I spend at least an hour a day on social media. Five minutes, every hour, every day is A LOT OF TIME. I will call some friends and read more with that time.

    • I take social media off my phone every Wednesday and I find it so valuable to have one day without the distraction. And it’s also helped me to realize how much time I spend on it — that I could be spending on other things that are much bigger priorities to me! I choose to do a lot of social media for business stuff, but I don’t need to be looking at the Instagram Discover/Search section and getting sucked into that rabbit hole during non-business hours! 🙂

  • Lana says:

    My husband loves Rocket Man! Me not so much but we watch it occasionally.
    We found that all of the seasons of The Waltons is on Amazon and have been watching those and enjoying it so much.

  • Suzanne says:

    If reading is a priority for you, you can absolutely do it. I’ve easily read 48 books in the first 6 months of the year and am only 2 behind because we’ve been sick the past couple of weeks. The free 3 month subscription to Scribd that came with the last Ultimate Homemaking Bundle really put me over the top with my reading goal, lol.

  • cindy says:

    It’s not a crazy goal. For some people who choose other activities over reading maybe, but for regular readers, it’s not. I’m somewhere in the middle of avid and regular, and I have the same goal–100 books. I’ve surpassed it the last two years. I go in spurts as far as finishing. I might not finish anything for a few weeks, then suddenly I finish 3-4 in as many days. Everyone is different. Happy reading!

  • Margaret says:

    Love your book posts— they always inspire to make the time for reading. I am finishing up a book right now written by an acquaintance at church. It has done quite well in sales and is even in the works for a movie. Titled “the Delusion”. While it is written with a high school audience in mind it is definitely thought provoking to me as a 41 year old. It reminds us (or opens others eyes for the first time) of the spiritual battle all around us. A fiction book that deals with pretty intense stuff in the world— like suicide etc. Not “pretty” but approached carefully. Normally I read mostly nonfiction, but so much nonfiction truth in the story. Based on some of your other reads, thought maybe worth you looking up…

  • Linda says:

    My goal is 104 books for the year (I’m a little behind too!), so this librarian says “Go for it!!” True confession, I read in line at the grocery store. I take a book in my purse to keep me from thinking about how long I’m waiting!

    • And I guess that’s why I use the self checkout lane at the grocery store… but now that I think of it, maybe I should wait in the real line so I can read more!

  • Lauren says:

    One of my fav quotes: If you’re hitting more than 50% of your goals, your goals aren’t high enough. Love the goal, and the GRACE!

  • Susan says:

    I normally read between 60 – 75 books a year. I had higher counts when I listened to audiobooks while on a longish commute. But this year I actually lowered my reading goal. I realized I was choosing shorter books. I realized I wasn’t remembering what I had read. I realized it was taking some enjoyment out of reading to always be pushing to finish another off the list. I realized I wanted to model for my daughter to be a well-rounded person and spend time doing other things besides reading. I would ask yourself why you are reading. And thoughtfully consider decreasing the number so it is more about the enjoyment of reading than the joy of hunting the goal. You could always make a new goal for the second half of the year about hosting people in your home – since that is important to you.

    • Great thoughts! I realized that I’ve been choosing to be on Instagram or just wasting time online during the time I used to spend reading. I realized I wasn’t feeding my brain the way I wanted to and I missed reading more books like I used to. So I’m challenging myself to switch out that time wasted online for reading — and setting a goal will help me remember that when I’m tempted to just waste 30 minutes online at night! 🙂

      But don’t worry, I’m not going to sacrifice sleep, or time with friends, or hospitality, or time with my kids, or time hanging out and just being. Because those things are definitely not worth sacrificing. But that 30+ minutes a day wasted online? Totally worth switching out for reading. 🙂

  • Mary Ellen says:

    I know this goal is doable. I need to get back to reading more. So many distractions these days. My question is how do you afford all the books? I try to get many at the library, but then I am on a waiting list and they always come in at inconvenient times. Also, for the audio books do you do the library version or Audibles and again how do you afford them?

  • Den says:

    Crystal – I’ve read your blog for years and I really admire you! I’ve also observed how you are constantly questioning yourself, which I also admire.

    “I’m not a fashionista – wait, I love clothes, and fashion and makeup!”
    “I’m not strong – wait, I love working out and getting strong.”
    “I need to get up earlier – 5:30am, 4:30am – to be organized and get some work done – oh wait, my body needs rest and sleep.”

    So when I read that you are challenging yourself to read even more “I can’t not read” I thought to myself – why not do the opposite? How about you stop reading for a week or two? Stop filling every crack in your day.

    I love to read – worked at a library for 20 years – but I need to take a break from reading every month or so. I take my nose out of others lives and put it back in my life. It’s refreshing and then when I pick up a book again, it’s a real treat that I savor.

    Just a thought!

    • I actually took some breaks from reading this year (the weeks I didn’t post book updates) and it’s what made me realize how much I love reading and want to make it more of a priority! It’s been good to read at a slower pace to realize that I just don’t like it — I LOVE reading and it feeds and fuels me in a really profound way. So I guess I followed your advice without even realizing it! 🙂

      Thanks for taking time to comment. It made me think and examine things in a good way!

  • Kristen says:

    I love your reading challenge! I set a really big and really fun goal for myself this year: to read 1,000 picture books! I love picture books and hope to some day become a picture book author. It’s not something I want to pursue right now, but I thought how fun it would be to at least do something to immerse myself in that world. So far, I’ve read 400! And I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s been one of the most fun things I’ve done this year. I got way behind a couple of months ago, but then realized that if I read just 25 books a week (5 books a day), I could still make my goal by December. Good luck with your goal!

  • I have what I call my “Purse” book. If I’m standing in a line anywhere, even if it’s just for a minute or two, I have something to read. This is especially good to have on hand for doctors appointments too!

  • Jenni says:

    I just read and absolutely loved a book called “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. It’s a book about an attorney who was working to get an innocent man off of death row, but there are many other stories in there highlighting different injustices in the criminal justice system as well as the possibility for redemption in individual lives. I think you would really like it.

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