As I discussed last week after going 21 days without dessert, I noticed having a blog is good for achieving random goals–even if nobody cares about the self-imposed expectation other than YOU, the blogger.

With that in mind, I chose a new challenge for the rest of 2011. And as promised, this challenge does not involve food. Lord knows I’m not giving up chocolate or ice cream from March to December.

I’m vowing to read a book a week. Why? The to-be-read pile on my nightstand scares me. And the shelf in my office lined with books “I’ve been meaning to read” scares me more. I tend to read an average of 1-2 books a month, but I know I can do better. I want to do better. And I’d love for people to join me! (It doesn’t have to be a book a week. Choose your own schedule.)

“But I have no time,” you’re saying.

Listen, we’re all busy, but we make time for what we decide is important. Personally, I see reading more books as an exercise in mental health. Start with one a month if you’re not reading as often as you’d like. I’ll tell you one thing I did already to make the time. I erased several season passes from my already shrinking TiVo list. My friends on Twitter know my beloved Gilmore Girls were first on the chopping block considering I’ve seen each episode an embarrassing number of times.

Now I’ll tell you something I’m not going to do as part of this challenge. I will not write book reviews. There are many excellent blogs already focused on reviewing books (see a sample list at the end of the post). I’ll also refrain from writing weekly posts reflecting on the reading process–BORING. Instead, I’ll keep a menu tab updated with the books I’ve completed in case anyone’s looking for suggestions. You can assume if I finished it, I liked it. I’m staring* my favorites.

Happy reading everyone!Β  (See the 6-week update HERE.)

EXCELLENT BLOGS FOCUSED ON BOOK REVIEWS:

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Nina Badzin is a freelance writer, an advice columnist at The HerStories Project, a book reviewer at greatnewbooks.org, and a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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