Many of us associate goals and resolutions this time of year with eating better and working out. While focusing on your health is never a bad thing, what about changing things up and creating some reading goals for yourself? Whether it’s to simply read more, read different genres or finally finish books you’ve started, setting reading goals can be a creative challenge and fun way to try something new.

My first reading goal is one I set for myself every year: to read or listen to 100 books. I have friends that surpass that number annually but I have never achieved it myself. Every January, I’m optimistic and excited to try though! I have a good feeling that 2022 is going to be the year I crush that goal. My second challenge I’m setting for myself is to (mostly) read works published this year. While I always have a print book, an eBook and audiobook at the ready, they aren’t necessarily new books. I definitely want to be better prepared when colleagues and library customers ask me about newly released titles. My last reading goal is to read at least one classic novel. This one is not a new goal for me but it’s been a few years since I’ve enjoyed a classic piece of literature (or, not enjoyed, as was the case in 2019 when I read “Moby Dick”).

Here are some additional goals from the staff at Fergus Falls Public Library. Maybe after reading what we’re challenging ourselves with, you’ll be inspired to come up with some of your own!

Katelyn Boyer, adult services librarian: “This year I want to read more. Researching my family history took away from my reading time in 2021. I plan to better balance these two pursuits this year. I have subscribed to the Minnesota-published magazine “Book Women” (available at the library) which gives wonderful reading suggestions. In addition, I would like to take advantage of audiobooks each month to fit in some extra reads while I drive and clean the dishes. I enjoy traveling through reading, so I have started off the year with “North to the Night” by Alvah Simon. Alvah purposefully got iced in and overwintered his boat in the Arctic to challenge himself to live in the extreme climate. It’s amazing how a small mistake in the Arctic can quickly become life threatening, as he discovered during the long, dark winter.”

Gail Hedstrom, library director: “My goal is to finish what I have started: I am on the second volume of Karl Ove Knausgard’s six-volume autobiographical series, “My Struggle.” Three books that I started and was really enjoying but for some reason never finished: “The Dud Avocado” by Elaine Dundy, “The Nice and the Good” by Iris Murdoch and “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” by Megan Marshall. I also hope to read more books that have been translated to English from another language.”

Krista Kugler, children’s services librarian: “My 2022 goal is to increase my nonfiction reading as that is an area I tend to overlook when choosing books. Last year, I intentionally read twelve nonfiction books and enjoyed the perspectives, experiences, and stories of the different people I read about each month. This year, I plan on reading 16 nonfiction books and have started January off with “Will” by Will Smith. Due to Will’s excellent storytelling skills, this memoir is one I’m already enjoying after only listening to the first couple of chapters.”

Kelly Arnston, library assistant: “My 2022 reading goal is to read at least one book a month from a different genre. The vast majority of what I read is young adult or romances so this year I want to push myself to read some genres outside of my comfort zone, like fantasy and sci-fi.”

Deb Zachmann, library assistant: “My reading goal for 2022 is to read less after midnight. Chapter breaks, breaks within chapters — tomorrow’s alarm doesn’t seem to stop me if I’m reading a good book.”

Emily Millard, assistant librarian: “My goal is to listen to more audiobooks. Historically, I have not enjoyed listening to audiobooks because I get too distracted and find myself missing plot points. I just listened to “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” by Agatha Christie and really enjoyed hearing the spoken language.”

Arielle McCune is the youth services librarian at Fergus Falls Public Library.

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