2014 Reading Challenge

Last year I started to really make good on an on-again-off-again goal of the past several years, in which I wanted to try to read more. I read a lot as a teenager, and even in the first half a decade after highschool finished, but with the advent of the modern internet and working a full time job my reading rate had fallen to what must have been maybe a handful of books a year, probably less.

It begins…

I bought myself a Kindle 4 in early January 2012 and that was the start of getting back into reading. I’m not sure how many books I read in 2012, but it was more than I had done for some years leading up to that point and I give much of the credit for that to the Kindle. It helped make reading something I wanted to do again (even now I still think it’s a cool gadget) and that mental barrier was probably the biggest hurdle. The fact that I no longer had to hold a physical book open with two hands was also nice.

2013: The pace quickens

At some point (I can’t remember when) I started using www.goodreads.com to track the physical books I still had, along with a record of books I’d read, either in the past or going forward. Along with this tracking came the data to let me know how many books I was getting through. In 2013 that number was 24 books. They weren’t all of the size I would have tended to read as a teenager, but I still feel that to be a pretty good accomplishment given how far I’d fallen in the last decade.

Goodread’s runs a reading challenge each year, where people indicate the number of books they plan to read during the course of the year and then get an automatic progress indicator as they read and record books in the goodreads system throughout the year. A simple thing, but handy if you are the type who like to challenge yourself, or perhaps just like to gather data and see statistics .

2014: The pace…slows?

I became aware of the challenge in 2013 but didn’t take part. However I’m taking part in the 2014 challenge. I’ve set myself a target of 20 books. I’m not looking to challenge last years record, I just want to read a number that will be high enough that I can look at it and feel happy that I did a solid amount of book reading over the span of the year. I also want a number that is low enough that I feel I should be able to do it without too much trouble. Easy task = less likely to avoid it. 20 books is only 1.66 of a book each month, so I shouldn’t have any trouble reaching my goal. As I write this it is approaching the middle of February and I’ve already finished four books this year, and should have a couple more done by the end of this month, so I’m already ahead.

I’ve little idea of what will happen in the year ahead, but I can at least be reasonably confident that I’ll be able to come out at the end of the year happy with how much reading I did. And that’s what this is all about really.

Craig Reynolds @wyldphyre