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Article  •  2 February 2018


Reading goals for the year ahead

Take a fresh approach to the way you read in 2018.

If you’re looking to make a different kind of resolution this year, try setting yourself some reading goals. Whether it’s trying a brand new genre, sampling a new format (think ebooks, audiobooks) or just setting aside more time in your busy schedule to read; here are 12 tips to push yourself out of your literary comfort zone and discover new reading delights.

Read by colour
While some may live by the adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose one based on it. Decide on your next read by your favourite colours, read the rainbow, pick pastels or even go black and white, it’s a whole new approach to reading that might just unearth something wonderful – all while curating a colourful bookshelf. Check out our most eye-catching book covers from 2017.

Step outside your comfort zone
Do you tend to stick to the same genres when it comes to selecting your next book? This year, venture into something new; if you’re usually a fan of historical fiction, pick up a non-fiction history book that reads like a narrative. Love crime and thrillers? Sometimes the scariest books are true crime. Be bold and try something you wouldn’t usually choose – you may discover a new literary love.

Collect the classics
Let’s face it, they’re considered classics for a reason. Tales that have stood the test of time and been read, re-read and studied by readers around the world. Here are just a few recommendations to get you started.

Read it after you see it
If you’re the type of person who finishes a TV show or movie and just wants more – go back and read the original book it was adapted from. From The Handmaid’s Tale to Outlander, Thirteen Reasons Why to Anne of Green Gables, there are plenty of books-to-big screen stories to get you started.

Swap screen time for book time
This one is easy in theory, but may prove harder in practice. Next time you go to pick up the remote, head in the direction of your bookshelf. Leave your smart phone in another room during reading time so there’s no risk of interruption – you could even unplug the Wi-Fi if you dare. And be sure to always take a book to bed.

Indulge in some armchair travel
Embark on a literary journey to an exotic new location. Discover some of the incredible local authors like Tim Winton, Judy Nunn, Candice Fox and Robert Drewe, who capture the various landscapes of the Australian coastline, outback and desert so well. Then venture overseas guided by voices like Fiona McIntosh, Monica McInerney, Bill Bryson and Katherine Scholes. 

Cook your way through a book
Julie Powell was determined to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She documented this in her memoir Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which was later adapted into the 2009 film Julie & Julia. Take a leaf (or a fork) out of her book and set yourself a cookery challenge. Keep it simple with Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients or, if you’re game, try something more challenging like Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi. Whatever you choose, rest assured it’ll be a delicious adventure.

Get together
‘No two persons ever read the same book’ – Edmund Wilson.

Book clubs are a great way to get together with friends and discuss the latest buzz book over tea, coffee or wine. If you don’t have one you can join, check out this handy guide to starting your own. Already have one? Take a look at our list of Book Club Notes here

Be uplifted
Read a self-help book (even if you don’t think you need one). The reality of modern self-help books is that there’s a huge focus on positive growth, personal improvement and mindfulness; you don’t need to have a problem to fix to benefit from them. Whether it’s a new skill or a fresh perspective you’re after, you’ll find plenty of great titles to get you started here.  

Awaken your inner child
Parents and teachers alike will agree that children’s books can be just as profound, entertaining and moving as books written for adults. Next time you’re in a bookshop head to the kid’s section, and indulge your inner child.  

Change your ways
Thanks to technology you don’t need to have half a kilo of paper in your hands to enjoy a great story. From ebooks on your smartphone or tablet, to audiobooks – the way we read and consume books is changing and adapting to make it easier and more accessible. About to embark on a long drive or training for a marathon? Download an audiobook. Going on a long holiday with just hand luggage? Give an ereader a try. . .  

Get festive
Celebrate all things reading and writing at your local writers’ festival. From intimate receptions with your favourite local and international authors to showcases with up-and-coming literary voices, you’ll leave inspired and with a full to-be-read list.

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