At the beginning of every year, I set a reading goal. I’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s something that Goodreads prompts all of their users to do and I enjoy anything that lets me feel like I’m working towards a goal and making progress. 

Last year, I thought it might be fun to push myself and set a goal to read 100 books in one year. A few months into the goal I wasn’t at all on track and reading was starting to feel like a chore. I quickly decided I didn’t want to ruin reading for myself and I changed my goal to 30 books. (I wound up at 31.)

So what’s different this year?

In previous years you would have seen my book list peppered with self-improvement, business, and best sellers. I was reading books because they were popular because I thought I should be reading them, not always because I wanted to be reading them.

Not anymore.

Earlier this year, I came to the realization that the kind of books I want to read aren’t always self-improvement (let’s be honest, too much of that leaves you feeling like you aren’t doing enough.)

At heart, I’ve always been a lover of fiction, fantasy, and YA. Growing up, a trip to the bookstore was the best way to spend time and it was always a negotiation process with my parents as to how many books I’d be allowed to leave with. I’d then sit in my room all weekend reading these new finds like it was my job and leaving my mom concerned that I wasn’t spending enough time outside.

It’s hard to tell when I decided that I didn’t want to read what I wanted anymore and only wanted to read what others would approve of. I discussed this with my co-host Habbi on a recent MakeWorkWork episode and one of the sentiments we both express is “How does it even make sense to not read the things you want to read because you’re concerned about what other people think?”

Whatever it was that stopped me from reading the kinds of books I really wanted to (and it may have just been myself) has clearly been holding me back a major passion for reading good stories. The truth is, as soon as I released my love of fiction, fantasy, and YA again – the number of books I was reading started to skyrocket.

Now, my reading list is full of magic, sorcerers, assassins, dragons, and adventure. As it should be.

What I’m reading

I don’t think it would fair to say I’ve found all of these books I’m devouring without sharing the series’ that I’m currently in love with. Here are a few of them I can highly recommend if magic and dragons sound appealing to you:

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix

Healer Series by Maria V. Snyder

Dragon Kings Series by Kimberly Loth

Stella and Sol Series by Kimberly Loth

To see everything I’ve read in 2018 (there has been a little bit of self-improvement but only because I’ve really wanted to read it this time) check out my Goodreads profile or my reading challenge. Add me as a friend on Goodreads if you want to keep closer tabs on the books I’m reading.

Originally published at The title was edited to reflect the current number of books. 


  • Hailley Griffis

    Head of Public Relations at Buffer

    Hi, I’m Hailley! I’m the Head of Public Relations at Buffer. I also co-host a podcast called MakeWorkWork. I write about topics related to career progression, LinkedIn, and public relations. I'm also an avid reader and I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in my free time. Send me a tweet anytime to chat!