How To Build a Reading List

How To Build a Reading List 

So many books to read, so little time.  How is one to remember all of the recommendations, classics and book store finds let alone organize them all into a tangible list?  

If you are a list-lover and a certified bibliophile than you've landed in the right place.  Perhaps you already have a stack of paper lists covered in books or a randomized collection sitting on Goodreads - but today is a step-by-step process for organizing and cultivating said list into an easy to follow guide.  


Step One:

Decide on a time frame and how many books you wish to read.  
Ex: 24 books in 1 year would mean reading 2 books every month.

Map out your timeline anywhere you see fit (I personally enjoy doing this above my general book list so that I know which books I have coming up vs. which ones I'm merely interested in) and leave however many book slots open for each week/month/season/year that you wish to read. 
Jan - Man's Search for Meaning & The Little Book of Hygge 

Feb - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo & Women Who Run with the Wolves

Mar - The Mastery of Self & Jane Eyre 


Step Two

Pick out genres that interest you, then mix and match for different seasons or if reading multiple books.


  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Romance
  • Educational
  • Historical Fiction
  • Science Fiction 
  • Dystopian
  • Poetry
  • Self-Development
  • Spirituality
  • Action/Adventure
  • Philosophy 
  • Stoicism 
  • Thriller/Horror
  • LGBTQ+ 
  • Fantasy
  • Biography
  • Young Adult
  • Health & Wellness
  • True Crime
  • Essays 
  • Guides or How-To's 


Step Three

Scout out some authors and recommendations.  It's always nice to include a classic author into your list because hey, they're classics for a reason right? If you know you've enjoyed previous books, check out more from those authors.  Lastly, use the magical world of google to search up the reading lists of people you look up to or are motivated by - go to the source of those that inspire you.   Ask your friends what they are reading and enjoying! 


Step Four

Always include some educational or informative books.  They say learning never ends right? Life is just a classroom, even long after graduation.  It's always wise to include some titles that can help further your knowledge in fields that interest you or help you gain new skills and capabilities you were not privy to before.

Want to learn how to cook? Read a cookbook.  Looking to sew your own clothes? There's a book for that too.  Curious how cryptocurrency works? You guessed it... read about it! 


Step Five

Leave some open spaces to fill.  Give yourself the flexibility to toss some new books in as your plan unfolds.  Few things are worse than crafting a permanent list and then going on about your life only to find that your wants and needs change.  If you fill in every open slot of your reading plan for the year then you can't add the new book you found while browsing a bookstore with a friend. 



  • Keep your list in one place.  It may be in a bullet journal, on your phone notes app or over on Goodreads but having one designated go-to spot for any book that piques your interest will make it easy to then organize those books into the dates and times you plan to read them. 
  • Try trading books with friends or colleagues when you've completed them to save not only on cash but also on paper and consumption. 
  • For books that become favourites you know you'll keep forever, use a highlighter to mark passages that stick out to your OR 
  • Keep a journal or digital note of quotes, tips and teachings from all of your favourite books so you can source them anytime you need inspiration or a quick reference. 
  • Join a book club - because being able to gush and discuss with fellow book-lovers is always fun. 
  • Each time you finish a book, head over to places like Goodreads or Amazon to review the book and leave a small blurb about your experience with it.  Not only does this help the author out but it can also help out anyone browsing books to read looking to know more before making that comforting commitment. 
  • Line up books and genres to coordinated seasons and holiday's.  Start the year with a motivational read then blend into a romance for February.  Get a jump start on gardening books or a classic Nicolas Sparks novel for the spring time and stock up your beach reads before summer.  Save those thriller or mystery books for close to Halloween and then bundle up on comforting holiday or hygge styles books for Christmas! 


There you have it - those are all of my tips and tricks for keeping an organized book list and reading plan.  Should you have anything to add feel free to do so in the comment section of the blog.  Otherwise, happy reading! 

Read more

Healing a Broken Heart

Healing a Broken Heart

How To Plan Your Spring Cleaning Projects

How To Plan Your Spring Cleaning Projects

What is Love?

What is Love?


Sabrina February 4 2022

Hi Kalyn!
I absolutely loved this post but am struggling to think of how to structure my reading list in terms of design. I think a reading list template would be really helpful! xx

All comments are moderated before being published.