As October rumbles on, I’m excited to have finished my reading challenge for the year. I decided to aim for 125 books back in January – not knowing then that I’d spend some time off work, and return to work for a publisher! Those two factors have of course made it easier to read a larger number of books than average, but I’d suggest that a few other things have also helped.
- Re-starting a daily quiet time. This meant that I end up reading (I assume, by the end of the year) four books without particularly trying – alongside bible, prayer and silence.
- Making the most of ebooks – the Amazon kindle ecosystem, for its faults, is great for snatching a bit of reading time here and there. Syncing reading across devices means you can grab a few pages whilst walking or travelling, or settle in with the device you favour to get some serious reading done.
- Tracking it. By having a goal in mind, I’ve been conscious of the need to finish books, but also start them. In 2018, I aimed for 125 books and fell short – but I still read over 100! The goal is there to give me something to aim for, not to make me feel guilty, and tracking it is immensely helpful for a sense of scale.
- Talking about it. I find writing and sharing book reviews very enjoyable – not everyone does – but I love telling people what I’m reading, to see if they’ve read it, or if they have things to recommend. I’ve ended up with a few books this year that I wouldn’t have expected to read – just by talking about books and reading generally!
- Not being afraid of a pile. Having multiple books on the go is a great way to do this – I am a note taker/underliner/corner folder/bookmarker – and it means that (true example) if you are wading through a long history book, you can also be enjoying some trashy military sci-fi, and reading snippets of some deeper more devotional theology.
I’d reiterate that a few months of time off work, and working for a publisher since September, do mean that I’m in a privileged position regarding both reading time and access to books. But I hope these five points are helpful for thinking about reading more generally – whether you want to read more, read differently, or start reading! (Obviously audiobooks would have increased this further – but I personally don’t really like them. Each to their own!)
If you are particularly bored/interested, you can see what I read over at my goodreads profile. I now need to catch up on a backlog of reviews…