As you know, I’ve launched a challenge for 2014. I’m asking that each of my readers (and anyone they invite) to read 52 books. That’s a book per week. Yes, you’re busy. If you’re like me, it probably takes you several weeks to finish one book. But allow me to give you some tips to make this goal reachable.
1. Set up a Goodreads account. Goodreads is an excellent way to track your reading and get recommendations from other readers on books similar to the ones you’ve enjoyed. There are also plenty of reviews (more on this later…I have much to say about reviews) and groups to join if you are inclined to talk with like-minded folks.
2. Use your library’s digital and audio offerings. Most libraries now offer e-books and audio books. Check your library’s website or just ask at the desk. Get the Overdrive application on every device you own. You can visit the Overdrive website now and see if your library is listed.
3. Speaking of audio, this is how you can double your reading. The Overdrive application is your best friend here, but if all you have is a CD player in your car, most libraries carry those as well. Take advantage of your commute and catch up on your reading.
4. Set aside one hour per day for reading. Yes, it’s possible. I’m willing to bet that most of you have the TV on for at least two hours a day. Take one of those and read. Trust me, you’re not missing anything. Reading, by the way, is a better way to relax your mind. One hour of reading before bedtime is a good way to beat insomnia.
5. Use The Rule of 5. Most of your reading will probably be for entertainment, but pick something you’d like to learn. A foreign language? Quantam physics? Early American history? Find 5 books on your subject and work them into your reading schedule. By the end of the year, you’ll be an expert on one more subject.
Believe me, 52 books is achievable. I work full-time and write in the evenings. Normally, I get 30 minutes or so to read each day. I just counted my Goodreads list and I have 51 books on there for 2013. Many of my writing craft books are short, less than 150 pages, but those count! Goodreads, by the way, sends you a year-end report of your reading activity…Nerd. Paradise.
Okay? Okay! Be sure to “like” the 52 Books facebook page and let us know what you’re reading. I’ll write an update on this site every Monday and ask you to comment with your progress. Most importantly, just read. Your brain needs the exercise!