Bookworm, part 2

I love to read. I mean, obviously, since my entire career revolves around reading (and I get paid for it!). But because I read day in and day out at work, often I’ve found my motivation for pleasure-reading to plummet, limited to magazines and other mediums that require only a short attention span (hello, Facebook, I’m looking at you). Several years ago, I decided to make reading more of a priority as one of my New Year’s resolutions, even if it meant sacrificing some sleep. That was a broad, undefined goal, but it did help jump-start my desire to read for fun, so overall it was a success.

Last year, however, I was more concrete with my reading goals and decided to take on the 50-book challenge that I’ve had a lot of friends attempt. Just to clarify, reading 50 books in one year is a very ambitious goal for me. I am a pretty slow and careful reader, which means that I can get through a typical book in about two weeks if I really press myself. But 50 books in one year meant that I needed to read each book in about one week, give or take.

I wasn’t really sure if I’d succeed, but indeed I finished book #50 on December 31, coming in just under the wire. (It probably helped that I had some time off after breaking my ankle, and again after having ankle surgery later in the year.) I won’t lie, though — it was a difficult challenge to meet, though I’m proud that I did it.

I briefly considered continuing the challenge again this year, but I didn’t want to put that pressure on myself again (because I really did feel some pressure to read each night so I wouldn’t get behind, and I didn’t want that pressure to turn me against reading). So now I’m back to a more generalized goal of just “reading more,” and if I hit 50 books again this year, then great! If not, no big deal.

So far, though, I’m pretty well on track — as of today, I have finished 16 books (and I’m a few days away from finishing another book, and probably five days away from finishing my current audiobook). So at the current pace for the first quarter of 2016, I’m set complete 64 books by the end of the year. That seems a little high realistically, though I do have a good number of work trips this year where I’ll probably read some during travel and also in the hotel room at night, so it’s not out of the question. I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up by the end of the year.

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