In 2018 I read 65 books.
I didn’t realize until recently that I read 77 books in 2017 and that I set a goal of 72 books for 2018. While I didn’t meet that goal or read more than the previous year, it’s still more than my benchmark of 50 reads. Looking back I’m really happy with my reading year. I read a lot of REALLY good books, good books, and ok books. If I couldn’t get into a book then I didn’t finish it, so I didn’t read any “bad” books. Best of all, this year it felt really easy to read 65 books. The 12 above are my favorites today, though I might pick different ones on another day.
I’ve read 50 or more books each year for 5 years straight now, for a total of about 300 books. I finally feel like I’m someone who reads “a lot” and maybe I’m qualified to offer some tips on that. So here goes!
My big 3 tips for reading 50 or more books in a year:
Track you're reading. Record the books you’ve read but don’t just stop with the list. Analyze it. People often find an author they like and read all their books. But what then? Look at what genres you read and like. What do the books have in common? What sections of the library or bookstore are the books? The answers to these will help you find more books that you like and when you like a book, you’ll find more time to read it. Also anaylze how many books you’re reading in a month and try to keep (or go beyond) that pace. Having that number (and your total for the year) subtly pushes you to read more.
Use your library. I like to go the bookstore but I might buy only 1 or 2 books. Instead I take photos of all the books that catch my eye. Then I go online and reserve those books from my library. When I go to the library those books are waiting for me to pick up and I’ll also browse the “new” shelf.
Connect with your reader friends. Talk about the books you’ve read with someone and let them tell you about the books they like. Exchange/share books. Read with your kids and count those books. Join a book club or just read the same book with a friend or your partner. Share what you’ve read online and get ideas from your reader friends for what to read next. Being part of a community of readers will help you read more and be excited about books and reading.
If you’re curious here’s my list for 2018:
I’m excited to just keep reading in 2019. I’ll keep my benchmark of 50 books. Rather than pushing myself to read more and more, I’m going to just enjoy the books I’m reading and the richness they’ve brought to my life.