reading resolutions

This time of year seems to be all about plans for ‘self-improvement’ – lose weight, get fit, declutter the house, quit to pursue that dream job, try not to yell at the kids so much… Otherwise known as ‘new year’s resolutions’…  So how will you shape up your reading resolutions for 2023? 

The disruptions and challenges of the past few years have impacted on all areas of our lives, including for many of us, our reading habits.  Difficulty paying attention, reading for comfort or escape but struggling to connect with more in depth books, no time for reading while juggling the return to ‘normal’ work-life schedules, or simply finding it hard to engage with books and identify something you feel like picking up.  Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky few not experiencing such problems, but you’d just like to try something new or freshen up your reading choices.  

Having annual reading goals started out of necessity during my ‘young babies’ years, when I set the bar very low indeed (who in their right mind prioritises reading over sleep?!) – back then it was a case of “read one book – my book club book – per month”. This was as much an escape from the less joyful aspects of young babies as an attempt to cling to the remnants of my thinking mind… Fast forward a number of years and I am able to be a bit more ambitious in my annual reading goals, but what to do if you just don’t know where to start? 

The ideas below are designed to give you some inspiration, whether you’re looking to completely reset your reading habits or perhaps just seeking a little boost to your reading mojo by trying something a bit different.  


reading challenge ideas

Choose one or more depending on your time and goals. If none of these take your fancy, try googling ‘reading challenges’ and you’ll find a plethora of different blog spots and other websites suggesting other interesting ideas.

By genre / subject matter / country of origin…
  • picture storybook or young adult fiction
  • a short story collection
  • an Australian classic
  • fiction – crime or thriller, science fiction, fantasy, historical, romance, magical realism…
  • non-fiction – autobiography, biography, history, politics, current affairs, science, philosophy…
  • something translated from a language other than English
  • a modern interpretation of an ancient myth or retelling of a classic
  • combine two or more things from the above lists (eg. Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding would be an Australian classic children’s book or Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ series would be crime / thriller and translated a book (from Swedish)).
  • Try Book Bingo (many available free online)
The more abstract…
  • a  book published this year / last year / the year you were born
  • a book you can finish in a day
  • a book you’ve always meant to read
  • a book recommended by your local bookseller or librarian
  • a book you should have read in school
  • a book chosen for you by your partner / sibling / child / parent / friend
  • a book that was banned at some point
  • a book you previously failed to finish
  • a book you already own but have never read
  • a book that intimidates you
  • a book that has won an award
  • a book that you read a long time ago (it’s amazing the different ways we experience a book depending on where we’re at in our life at the time we read it).
Or get more out of your reading by trying some new habits:
  • Start a reading journal to track which books you’ve read and what you thought of them
  • Attend a literary or writers festival or go along to an author signing / book launch
  • Remember who you borrowed a book from and ask them to have a coffee to chat about what you both thought of it – a mini book club!
  • Join or form a book club
  • Write an online review – check out Goodreads or The StoryGraph.


Once you’ve set your challenge, how do you select which books to try?:
  • Ask your favourite friendly Farrells staff member for a recommendation!  Or check out our Staff Recommended shelf in store or our Staff Picks page here on the website…
  • Check out our regular best sellers lists or forthcoming titles
  • Ask your friends and family which books they have loved – or hated! – or found particularly memorable/fun/relaxing/challenging – whatever you’re after
  • Have a look at the national best sellers lists published weekly in the media
  • Keep an eye open for interesting pieces written on classics, new releases or different authors
  • Look at online reviews – just be wary of spoilers!!
  • If you sign up for an online reading challenge you can end up with a ready-made online book club of other readers with whom you can share your thoughts or feelings about the books.
  • Visit your local library and draw on their experienced librarians.


We wish you all a rewarding year of reading ahead!!