2017 Reading Challenge

In January I decided I would try a GoodReads reading challenge, 50 books.  I figured 50 books wouldn't be too bad, although it 10x more than I normally read in a year.
When you consider it, it's only a book a week, with a chance to skip two weeks if something comes up.
A typical book take less than 8 hours to read. That's a little more than an hour a day to get 1 book a week.  Even if I'm a little busy during the week, I can easily pick up the slack on the weekend by reading 4 hours a day.
In March I was already pretty far ahead, it looked like 50 books in a year would be a cake walk. I prefer a challenge and decided to go for the much more ambitious 100 books in one year. Unfortunately, now I was very far behind. I would need to read 3 to 4 books a week in order to catch up. I had to start changing things in order to make it:

  • Stop reading novels like the 1050 page opus Reamde, by Neal Stephenson or even the 613 page New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson. Stick to books that are less than about 400 page.
  • Join kindleunlimited which allows me to read some books for free. I'm liking the Frontiers Saga by Ryk Brown, which has quite a few books in the series. The selection of kindleunlimited books is quite small and I still end up buying half my books, but I'm definitely saving some money and branching out to other authors.
  • Stop listening to podcasts and instead listen instead to audio-books (I use Audible). I do this when I walk the dog (about 1 hour a day), and 40 minutes on my motorcycle with bluetooth helmet speakers. I also typically read at 1.5x speed.
  • Finish some books that I've half read, especially physical books.
  • Read a book that is going to be a motion picture. There is some extra impetus to finish the book sooner, rather than later so you can watch the movie and see how it was converted to the big screen.
  • Stop watching TV and movies.
All this was helping, but what really took me over the edge was taking a vacation, I was reading nearly a book a day - and enjoying it immensely. Now it's the end of July and I'm 6 books ahead of schedule.
I thought 100 books would really be a stretch, but if you add some audio books and read, instead of camping in front of the TV when you come home from work, it's almost easy.
There where periods in the past where I would agonise if I should read this book, or that book. Now it's like, "why not read both?".

[Update} I read 112 books in 2017.


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