Hey there reader!
We are almost halfway through the year. I’ve been thinking about writing an update on my reading challenge I started this year and what better time than now? But before I talk about myself let’s talk about you for just a bit.
Always be learning.
I know some of you have listened to Colleen talk recently, and I want to highlight one of the most important pieces of advice: READ! I know there are many of you out there who read for pleasure or for business, and I know there are just as many of you who don’t. I was reading through some articles on Medium and I came across one I think is worthy of your attention, “Why Successful People Always Stay A Student” by Darius Foroux. In the article, Darius quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“Do you know the secret of the true scholar? In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him; and in that I am his pupil.”
What does this have to do with reading you might ask? I look at reading as a way to learn from the authors you read, each of whom have a unique perspective. What better way to learn from someone than by reading their own take in their field of expertise. And it’s not just from non-fiction books that we learn. I can tell you from experience there are many things I learn from some of my favorite fiction works. Whether you learn a new word or the importance of love, each book has something different to offer its readers.
Where am I?
An Updated Look At My Reading Challenge.
Here is where I stand.
- I pledged to read 50 books through the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge.
- I have currently finished 9 books.
- That puts me 15 books behind schedule according to the challenge tracker.
I will admit I have not be as successful as I had hoped. And yes, being 15 books behind schedule is probably too many to overcome but that won’t stop me from pushing towards my goal. Right now I would like to look at a few different things and try to discover what I did right and what I could do better.
What I’ve Done?
Observations from the journey.
When I started the challenge I told you one of the best ways for me to read more was to cut out some of the Netflix I watch. At first this was easy and I probably spent more time reading than I did watching Netflix. What I have noticed though is as time went past I started going back to Netflix more and more. Now I have to consciously think about and make a concerted effort to sit down and read. This is something I have recognized and as long as I work to correct this I should be able to read more books during the second half of the year.
Another observation I have is some of the books I read are quite long, 700 or more pages. Two of the books I am reading now are over 7oo pages. So even though I have not finished as many books as I have wanted, I’ve read a considerable number of pages, in total. As of publication, I have read just under 3000 pages this year.
One of my biggest struggles is I have not been reading business books much since March. I am always one for a good story and I have found that some non-fiction books are written poorly. One book took me entirely too long to read because I could not move past errors such as formatting problems, typos, and a true lack of any substantial lessons. I know this is something I need to work on and what I have started to do is read business books at the end of the workday. This way I am still in work mode and I can devote more brain power to what I am reading.
As you can tell, I am not changing my schedule to fit more reading into what I am doing. I believe we all have things we have to do: work, friends, family, sleep, etc. What I need to do is more effectively use my free time to accomplish my goals. For me, that means less time on Netflix, less time watching soccer (thank goodness that Copa America is finished and UEFA Euro 2016 is winding down!), and less time on social media.
Attack Plan and Updated Reading List
I know there is still half to year left to read 41 books and I am going to write out a small attack plan here to help me reach my goal:
- Read for 30 minutes at the end of each business day.
- Watch less Netflix; I am going to try to do a 1:1 Netflix to reading ratio.
- Spend at least the last 30 minutes before I fall asleep reading.
- Go outside and read! It’s summer and the sun is out. I’ll use that to my advantage.
Updated book list: (12 Read)
- The Mysterious Affairs at Styles – Agatha Christie
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
- The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood
- Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
- The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk – Michael Rank
- Awakening – Jeremy Laszlo
- Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History – Antonio J Mendez & Matt Baglio
- The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
- Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath – Ted Koppel
- The Girl Who Played With Fire – Stieg Larsson
- Along Came a Spider – James Patterson
- Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – Martin Lindstrom
Also, I wanted to add my favorite fiction and non-fiction books I’ve read so far this year. There is no real judging categories or scores, just whatever I thought was the best read:
- Fiction: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
- Non-Fiction: Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History – Antonio J Mendez, Matt Baglio
I challenge you to go out and start to read more. I’ve taken some steps to push myself towards reading more. What are you going to do to read more?
Stay Well and Read,