How To Read 52 Books in a Year

One of the things they say to aspiring writers is to read. A lot.

I think this is fantastic advice and have a lot of room for improvement in this area.

So on Jan 1, 2012, I resolved to read a book a week, for the whole year. Friends and family thought I was crazy, and maybe I was to make such a time-intensive resolution, but that’s no reason not to try something. So I began reading…

…And here it is, February 1, and I am thrilled to say I’m right on target. A little ahead, in fact. So it’s definitely do-able.

In fact, it’s enriched my life in many ways. Each week is distinct from the last now that I’m tackling a new book every seven days. The monotony and tedium of day-to-day routines are broken up and colored by whatever book I’m immersed in. Life’s little curve-balls take on new meaning and are put into perspective by the conflicts the characters are dealing with in that week’s novel.

Plus, I’m learning while I’m reading- examining each author’s style, his or her word choices, studying how they unfold a plot, deciding what works and what doesn’t… It’s been illuminating.

Today, it occurred to me that I might not be the only one reading a book a week, so I Googled it. Turns out, people have been doing this for a while and in so many interesting ways.

If you’re keen on taking up the challenge, here’s a short list of people reading a book a week and how they’re doing it.

Becky Holmes has read a book a week for over 25 years.

Nick Cernis wrote a guide on how to do it properly, and all the benefits to be gained.

Here’s a blog where you can announce your intent to read a book a week, and keep tabs on others who have also committed to it.

If you want to blog about your books as you read them, here’s one to aspire to by Kiirstin, a Librarian with a beautiful blog on her readings.

Why stop at a blog? Jen Miller  turned her book-a-week blog experience into an ebook.

And for you over-achievers out there, here’s a woman who aimed for two books a week. Hardcore.

Need a little variety or want some focus in your pickings? Nina Badzin is doing the 50/50 challenge, where she reads 50 books and watches 50 films, with the intent to study the art of a good story. I like the idea of being focused on a theme. By the end of a year, you could be a real expert on something.

So… Is anybody else reading a book a week? Let me know, I’d love to follow your progress via blog or Twitter. Turns out there’s even a Twitter hashtag for reading a book a week (#bookaweek). I will have to remember to add that to my tweets when I post my #fridayreads from now on.

For an up-to-date list of the books I’ve read, (and to check on my progress), visit my Book A Week page.


2 thoughts on “How To Read 52 Books in a Year

  1. Thanks for the shout out and good luck! Last year I read a book a week and I agree that it adds a different “flavor” to each week. My friends and family look to me as some kind of expert for recommendations now too. Kind of a fun side benefit.

    1. True. Being a recognized expert by family and friends is always nice. 🙂

      My one (and only) problem is that, the more I read, the more discriminating my tastes have become. It’s getting harder and harder to enjoy some of the more ‘commercial’ fiction that I would have eagerly gobbled up a few years ago!

      I wonder if the same thing will happen after I watch 50 movies this year….

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