How I Reached My Reading Goal in 2021

I have set a goal on Goodreads to read 25 books in a year four times now: 2014, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In 2014 and 2018, I only “read” two books and one book, respectively, though it was long enough ago that I suspect I just stopped using the website. However, I can’t imagine I read anywhere close to 25 books in either of those years. In 2020, I managed to read 17 books. As I have previously mentioned, I started the year off strong, planning to do one challenge each month of the year. I even kept going strong through the most confining and isolating parts of the pandemic. But things gradually fell apart, and so did my reading.

In 2021, I started with a new strategy: listening to audiobooks while going to bed. I got an eye mask with built-in Bluetooth headphones, and I would play the book with the sleep timer on. Sometimes I would fall right asleep and need to backtrack the next day (though the sleep timer limited how far along it got). Other nights, if I weren’t feeling tired, I would extend the time and listen for more than an hour. This was how I got through my first three books of the year, before I finally started reading the written page. By the end of the year, I’d ‘read’ eight audiobooks, mostly fiction.

While I was slow to get started, and there was a bit of a lull in the summer, I finally succeeded in reading 25 books for the year.

Victory at last!

In 2022, I’ve set a goal of 30 books, although I’ve come out of the gate strong in January, so I may blow past even that.

Full list (with reviews as hyperlinks):


Armada by Ernest Cline (audiobook)


✅ The Body: An Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (audiobook)


✅ How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
✅ Zero to One by Peter Thiel
✅ Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (audiobook)
✅ Reach Out by Molly Beck
✅ The Kingdom of Fungi by Jens H. Peterson
✅ La mythe de sisyphe by Albert Camus


✅ The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson (audiobook)
✅ Caffeine by Michael Pollan (audiobook)

None finished 😿

✅ Dune by Frank Herbert (audiobook)

✅ Artemis by Andy Weir (audiobook)
✅ Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (audiobook)


✅ Thirst by Scott Harrison
✅ Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey
✅ Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

✅ Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

✅ The Sandman #1: Preludes and Noctures by Neil Gaiman (audio and graphic novel)
✅ Atomic Habits by James Clear (re-read)

✅ Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat by Larissa Zimberoff
✅ This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

✅ Free Will by Sam Harris
✅ The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
✅ Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

2 thoughts on “How I Reached My Reading Goal in 2021

  1. Pingback: Habits as stretching – Chortles and Harrumphs

  2. Pingback: Book Review – Free Will by Sam Harris – Chortles and Harrumphs

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