How to read 52 books in a year

When I decided at the beginning of 2018 to read a book a week (52 in total,) I really didn’t expect that I’d be able to pull it off. But this one really stuck, and I worked hard to make sure I got in 52 before December 31st.

After accomplishing the goal, with a week to spare in fact, I realized that it’s not as hard as it may seem. Here’s how you can read a book a week more books than you thought possible.

There’s way more time in the day than you think.

At the start of the year I just couldn’t imagine making the time to read that many books. But the funny thing is, I found that I was filling my time with things that were less important to me. Like watching TV shows and sports. Or scanning through Twitter and Instagram. Or listening to podcasts, or playing a mobile game or two on my phone. I didn’t cut all of those things out completely, but I reduced their time in my life down by 90% at least.

Reading can take many different shapes and forms (and locations.)

When we picture someone reading, or at least when I do, I picture someone sitting on a recliner in their living room, book in one hand and a coffee cup in the other. But when you’re working toward a goal of reading a book a week, you start finding all sorts of ways to read. I read while doing the dishes (listening via Audible.) I read while waiting at the doctors office (Kindle app on my phone.) I read while driving (again, Audible.) There are so many ways to read now, and in so many formats, that you just have to be creative in order to make the time.

Don’t waste time on books you aren’t enjoying.

I used to suffer through books I wasn’t enjoying, but I realized that as long as I gave a book a true shot (say, reading 25% of it) then it was ok to put it down and start something new. Of the 52 books I read this year, I would say less than five I stopped before completing. Don’t waste time on books that just don’t do it for you.

Let your interests take you from book to book.

When I started 2018, I would never have guessed that I would have read so many books about presidents. But one book led to another, and who knew I would ultimately read a book on the presidents’ Chiefs of Staff. And I LOVED it. That’s the beauty of reading books, you end up getting really involved in topics you never knew you had a passion for.

State your goal publicly.

When I made the decision to commit to reading 52 books in 2018, I also decided to state that publicly (on this blog.) I knew that would force me to work hard to hit the goal. That kind of commitment – knowing people were expecting me to read 52 books – helped motivate me to go after it. Some friends would check up on me, “So, how are you doing with your ‘book a week’ thing?” and I’d have to share my progress. Whether it’s publicly or not, committing and having a few people hold you accountable is key.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!