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. 🙂
- How To Succeed at Anything By Really Trying (Lyman McInnis)
- The Revolution (Ron Paul; lost in a cab, doesn’t count)
- The No BS Ruthless Management of People and Profits (Dan Kennedy)
- The Dip (Seth Godin; reread)
- The Little Red Book of Sales (Jeffrey Gitomer)
- Crash Proof (Peter Schiff)
- On Writing Well (William Zinsser)