At the start of 2016 I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge, and set myself the goal of reading 52 books. I had honestly never measured my reading output before, so one book per week seemed entirely reasonable. By the end of the year I had read 226 books. Granted, some of them were graphic novels with relatively low word count compared to prose. A good number of them were business books, and tomes on writing, which read differently than fiction.
This still breaks down to roughly a book every day and a half. It doesn’t drill down to the number of pages I’ve read, so that I could figure out how many pages per day I read. There’s not data on how many words I’ve read, and I don’t know how many hours I spend reading, so I can’t gauge my reading speed with any sort of granularity. There’s no reason to have that level of specificity and detail. I’d just be curious to know.
I dislike the gamification of things, but Goodreads works to keep me accountable. If I haven’t updated in a few days, I know that I need to carve some time out of my schedule to read more. As I usually have multiple books going at the same time, I can tell if I’m neglecting a book and need to get back to it before I’ve completely forgotten who the characters are and what the thread of the plot is.
For the coming year I want to read more fiction. That’s the adjusted goal, a step beyond just “read”. I’ve set me goal at 100 books, roughly two novels per week with some slip in there for longer books, life events, and any other unforeseen disruptions. I also want to read more biographies and autobiographies, especially of creative people and those who have survived difficult times. I’m going to need the hope and inspiration to get through 2017, not just because of the current global political climate, but because I have big, hairy, audacious goals for the coming year.
If you’re an avid reader and you’re not already on Goodreads, consider joining. It’s a social network for book lovers. Following a year marked by a disregard for scholarship, a lack of respect for expertise, and a contemptible trampling of the very concept of truth, it can be a refreshing place to hang out. Consider taking the 2017 Reading Challenge if you plan to make reading more of a priority.
Today’s Word Count: 2377
Present Mood: Determined
Actively Reading: Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
Background Music: whatever Katie’s watching in the living room, I’m not paying attention
Recently Watched: Floyd Norman: An Animated Life
Current Project: Still untitled SF RPG
Latest Release: Story Design: The Change