With November creeping up on us next week, I started thinking about the books I’ve read this year and reading challenges! Since 2013, I’ve tried to read a certain number of books per year. Generally, because of my interest in graphic novels that are quick for me to read, I read around 150-200 books a year. This year, I’m well on my way to almost 300 books and if all my recent comic book requests come in soon, I will probably hit that goal.
That got me thinking, what are some ways that people keep track of their personal reading progress? If you use Goodreads or a similar alternative (my site of choice is The StoryGraph) then you are probably also tracking your reading through quantifiable means. There are also some sites that create their own reading challenges based on different characteristics, such as a certain number of books by women authors, a certain number of fantasy books or non-fiction, etc.
While these are lofty goals, it may be a bit hard to find books that fit these categories if you’re not sure where to start. One place I often find helpful is looking up a book that I’ve read before in VPL’s library catalogue. For example, I looked up Michelle Obama’s Becoming and through the catalogue’s recommendations, I’m able to see more books that have the same topic or I can even search through subject headings such as autobiographies (pictured left). This method works great if you’re aiming to read more of a certain genre. While I don’t do this method often, as I still am too much of a mood reader, I think this totally works for those who are looking to expand on a certain reading goal in the next few months. Looking up books by a genre is its own challenge in a way, one would need to know a fair bit about the books within that category before they can embark on reading a set amount. That’s why using methods like the one above or looking for recommendations on staff lists is great. Some of my favourite staff lists from this month include Books for K-Pop Fans and Black Stories Matter.