Posted in Interesting News & Commentary

Reading Challenge Check-In and Tips


Are you participating in a reading challenge this year? McCain Library shared a post in January about different 2021 reading challenges readers could take part in. Some were fulfilling personal goals and others were checking off specific books or genres from an organization’s reading list. Whether you are surpassing your current goal, staying on track, or falling short of where you would like to be in your reading journey, check out the tips below to help you achieve your goal this year!

  • Read What You Like – Instead of forcing yourself to sit through 300 pages of a book you aren’t enjoying, DNF (do-not-finish) it and start something else. Readers often feel forced to finish a book because they are a hundred pages in or because they want to look smarter by reading a classic, but nothing makes you dislike reading as much as reading a book you are not enjoying.
  • Set Aside Time Each Day to Read – Creating a set reading time each day is beneficial for individuals who like scheduling their day into time increments. Setting aside thirty minutes or more each morning or evening for reading will help you chip away at your reading list in no time. Add it to your daily planner or calendar to feel extra productive after completing your daily read!
  • Set a Page Goal for Each Day – For some readers, setting a time limit (like read 30 minutes each day) feels restrictive or turns reading into a chore that has to be accomplished. Instead of setting aside time, they plan a to read a certain number of pages each day. Often, they become so invested in the book and surpass their goal. Reading a minimum of 30 pages a day means you could complete Marie Kondo’s life changing magic of tidying up, Aysegul Savas’s Walking on the Ceiling, or Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber in a week! (Fun Fact: All of these are available for checkout at McCain Library!)
  • Take a Book with You – Have a gap between classes? Taking the bus to get groceries? Typically spend your lunch break on Instagram? Take a book with you when you leave your home or dorm room and read it during your break, bus ride, or in the long line at the grocery store. If you are participating in the Scottie Fit Challenge this semester, you can gain points for every hour away from your screen. Read a book during lunch instead of checking in with social media and gain Scottie Fit points!
  • Audiobooks – Audiobook popularity has steadily risen over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. You can listen to them while driving, cooking, drawing, grocery shopping, working out, or when drifting off to sleep. They are easy to access through apps like Audible, Bookmobile, and Google Play. Public libraries often have popular audiobooks freely available through programs like Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla. While audiobooks aren’t for everyone, they are a great resource for students with a reading-heavy semester who might need a break from the screen or page.
  • eBooks – EBooks are also freely available through most public library systems through apps like RB Digital, Hoopla, Libby, eBooks on EBSCOhost (available through McCain Library) and eBook Central (available through McCain Library). If your public library is currently closed to in-person service, try finding eBooks to expand your reading options.
  • Join a Reading Challenge Group – If you are participating in a group reading challenge like the ones listed in January’s blog post, share what you are reading with the group in Goodreads (or whatever platform the group uses) or look at what others are reading to see what looks good!
  • Join a Book Club – Book clubs usually meet once a month and read specific kinds of books. Find a group that interests you and check it out! Charis Books & More has several monthly virtual book clubs which you can find here. The Black Power Book Club, Agnes Scott’s student organization, also has a monthly read. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • And Finally, Reread Books You Love Reading, like most things, is often quicker the second time around, and if you love a book, why wouldn’t you reread it? Not everyone finds it easy to reread books. Some readers find it boring to explore the same characters again and again, but if you enjoy rereading, make it a habit to reread titles you love whenever you need a break from new books!

Never feel guilty about not meeting your goal or falling behind. Only you get to determine what, when, and how much you read. As Captain Barbossa puts it in Pirates of the Carribbean, “The code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules,” and as Coach Jimmy Dugan does NOT put it in A League of Their Own, “There’s no rules in reading!”

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