Last year I challenged myself and others to read 52 non-fiction books to stimulate our minds and to simply read more. I’ve been an avid reader since I was young, reading books like Sweet Valley High Twins and Babysitters Club and then graduating to Terry Mcmillan and Eric Jerome Dickey. In 2014 I wanted to push myself to read more personal development and business related books since I was in a different place in my life.
How did I complete the challenge
- I never left home without a book. I don’t like the thought of having idle time, so if I was ever in a situation where I had to wait I took advantage of the time and read my book.
- I divided the amount of pages in the book by seven (days in a week) this way I knew exactly what I needed to read each day to complete the book in a week.
- I took notes while I read. I created notebooks in Evernote for each book that I read so I could capture the important points I wanted to share in the email to subscribers later.
- I didn't force myself to read books that didn't interest me. After reading a few chapters of a book, if I got bored or just couldn't get into it, I was ok with moving on to the next book. There were a few books I didn't like and I didn't beat myself up about not finishing it.
- I scheduled time throughout the day to read. I would have 30 minutes of reading time scheduled and I would also read before bed.
This challenge was not easy and there were times when I would say to myself, “why am I doing this again?” What kept me going was that I had people who were expecting an email from me every week to encourage them on their journey, so even at times when I didn’t feel like it, I kept at it. When you’re accountable to others it motivates you to keep your commitments.
I feel like 2014 flew by and I was amazed when the year was over that I actually exceeded my goal by reading 53 books. Whoop! Whoop! One of my online friends Monique from Brown Vegan emailed and congratulated me on completing the challenge. Prior to her email, I didn't even think much about finishing the challenge because I was already moving on to the next thing. I'm glad she sent the email because it reminded me to slow down and acknowledge my accomplishment.
Reading a book per week requires discipline. So if reading 52 books in a year is too much for you, try reading 26 books in a year, or a book per month. Make your challenge personal and always make sure you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
My goal for the challenge was simple...I wanted people to read more. That’s all. Reading is SO important and if you’re looking to change your life you need to start reading more.
I went to the library A LOT. I would reserve what I wanted to read online and when my books were ready, I received an email to pick them up, and for books that I wanted to own, I would purchase them online. Be sure to take advantage of your local library, but if you want to add books to your home library you can purchase inexpensive books at Amazon.
As my little gift to you, I created a list of all the books I read in 2014 if you need book suggestions this is a good list to start with.
What are you reading this year? How many books are you planning to read in 2015?