Monday, January 13, 2020

How To Read 100 Books In A Year

In 2019, I made a resolution to read 100 books in a year. Why? Superiority. Just kidding. My goal was to fill my time with something more productive than mindless television watching and social media scrolling. I still did both of those, so I don’t know how successful I was. But, hey, I read 100 books. Yay?

I also wanted to read so many books because I’d like to write a book. And one of the best books I read in 2019, On Writing by Stephen King, suggested that reading a lot is what puts you in the best shape to do that. So that's my 2020 goal and we'll see how it goes.

Anyways, if you have a goal to read a lot more... here are my tips. And if you want to see the full list of books I read, you can see that here

  • Don’t. It’s a stupid number of books to read.
  • Listen to audiobooks… at 1.25x the speed. The 5th Harry Potter book was 26 hours. I cut it down to 20 hours! Still way too long for Harry’s bitching and moaning. We get it, you saw someone die! He was barely even your friend and there are so many worse deaths in your very near future.
  • Get a dog. I spent so much time aimlessly walking and at the dog park. Lots of time to listen to audiobooks.
  • Make reading a habit. Read a chapter when you wake up and/or go to bed (instead of reaching for your phone.) Use frustrating “waiting” times as a trigger to read. I read while waiting in line at customs in Panama, commuting anywhere and everywhere, before my barre class while sitting on my mat waiting for class to start. It is a much better way to fill time than social media.
  • Get a library card and download books through the Libby app. There are long waiting lists for popular books, but plenty of available books that are a bit older. Plus, it’s very exciting to get an email when a book you’ve been wanting to read for a while is released. Just me?
  • If you haven’t used Audible yet, get a free trial. It got me 2 credits and I read 2 books. I also borrowed the log-in for both my friend and my sister’s Audible accounts. My friend had a ton of good books (like all of the Harry Potters ones and newer, popular ones) and my sister’s account had one book that I really wanted to read and a whole lot of books about British monarchs that I had no interest in. I'm talking A LOT of books on various monarchs. Like 98% of her audible is British monarchs.
  • Get a free trial, or pay $8.99/month, for Scribd. It has unlimited books and audiobooks.  The app SUCKS for audiobooks, but I still read and listened to a ton of books with my one-month free trial. The selection isn’t huge, but they had plenty of books that were new and weren’t available through the library yet.
  • Use books as self-development and upskilling. Can’t afford therapy? Read a book. (Just kidding. Kind of.) Can’t afford a professional development seminar? Want to understand your industry better? Want to dive deeper into a topic? Read about it! I read Chief Joy Officer, Radical Candor, Outliers, Blink, Atomic Habits… and all of them helped me in my job. 

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