Here we go again: Finishing 52 books in 2009

They say most people read a book a year. I read a book a week; or at least, I try to. Every year, I fail, and every January, I start again.

While long-time readers will know that I’ve been attempting this feat every year, you may not know that I shift the rules every time. I do this to help me keep up the habit, knowing that I’ll get better (and faster) at reading over time. Succeeding at this long-term is more important to me than succeeding in any given year.

In 2007, I said I would read a book a week. That meant start on day 1, and finish on day 7. In 2008, I phrased it as “finishing” a book a week instead. So I could shift books, as long as I finished one every seven days. Both years I made it about mid-way.

I kept reading after I had failed at both of these tests, but not a book a week. I’m noticing that the big problem was that I’d get bored with something half-way through, drop the book, and never pick it up again, which puts me behind schedule. Now, instead, I’m just switching over to something else, and reading 40-50 pages from that. I stay ahead of the deadline by reading shorter books when necessary (like The Dip, below) and take longer to read the denser ones.

I’m also a slow reader, so I keep up by doing a lot of reading over breakfast, usually 2 hours or so, at a place I go to every day. They’ve become used to me being “furniture,” and I like having a comfortable place where they’re not trying to usher me out. That helps too.

Anyway, I’m a week ahead of schedule. Here’s what I’ve read so far. Some sucked, some were great. You can probably figure out which are which, but feel free to ask. Hopefully I’ll make it the whole way this time. 🙂





4 responses to “Here we go again: Finishing 52 books in 2009”

  1. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    I recommend:
    Meatball Sunday – Seth Godin
    Web Design 4 ROI – Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus
    Pourquoi Bloguer Dans Un Contexte d’Affaires – Collab by MTL’s French blogosphere.
    If you need to argue it to CMOs, Kevin Lee’s The Eyes Have It is a good sales tool for SEM.
    How To Sell Anything To Anybody – Joe Girard
    The Humanistic Tradition, volume 3 – Glora Fiero (5th ed.)
    The Web Design Business Kit – Brendan Sinclair/Sitepoint
    Better Chess For Average Players – T.D. Harding

    I recommend you to AVOID anything to do with law. YAWN!

  2. C.C. Chapman Avatar

    Good luck man. I hope you share what your reading more often so that I can keep up on it and check out the ones you love.

  3. Jean Avatar

    A little self-indulgent I know, I know… but have you read that book of poetry I gave you? I need more people I can “talk shop” with. Also, it helps when it’s people I like.

    If you haven’t I have a proposition for you that may interest us both: many of those poems are in the public domain, which means I can get the e-text for free. Most of the others I likely own somewhere in some anthologies. Anyhow, if I can get may hands on the table of contents, I can comment some for you (maybe even get the ol’ blog and/or podcast going, as a little incentive?

    Just a thought if you want a little something different to read.

  4. Chris Gomez Avatar

    This is probably one the few interesting personal blog post I’ve read in a long time.

    Perhaps it is turns on a light somewhere deep in my dark inside… because I too am “trying (grappling?) to read a book a week, and give up half-way just about all the time. And the boredom that you mention, which sets in… well… it’s a very different kind of boredom. I mean I know I get bored with the book for one reason or another, but still, this sorta’ boredom is different kind. I can’t readily describe it 🙂

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