A Year of Reading: Inspiration from My Dear Sister.

January 23rd, 2011

My sister was not a big reader when we were growing up, but now she’s a book addict of the first order. How much so? She read 110 books in 2010, and now has the goal of reading 111 books in 2011. She’s even started recording her progress, with mini-reviews of each book she finishes, on a blog she calls Seriously Booked!

Once upon a time, I gulped down books by the bushel. But work duties and Twitter and a lot of other distractions have hampered my pace of reading for a long while now. In fact, I can trace the evolution of my book reading with some precision, thanks to a log of books read that I’ve been keeping for more than a dozen years. Here are the number of books I’ve read in each calendar year since I started keeping track:

  • 1998: 63
  • 1999: 71
  • 2000: 58
  • 2001: 27
  • 2002: 104
  • 2003: 45
  • 2004: 32
  • 2005: 32
  • 2006: 30
  • 2007: 19
  • 2008: 30
  • 2009: 11
  • 2010: 11

As a writer who aspires to publish many books, you can imagine that those last few numbers hardly fill me with pride.

What am I doing about it? These things:

  • Setting aside more time to read, especially at bedtime.
  • Resolutely finishing books that I’ve left half-read for too long.
  • Keeping track of the books I finish here. I expect to follow my sister’s lead by writing thumbnail reviews of each book as I finish it.
  • Reading in more ways, for example by reading some books via Kindle for iPhone.
  • Reading whole authors, for example by catching up on the books by Terry Pratchett, Michael Chabon, and John McPhee that I haven’t read.

You’ll know how well this project works by how many thumbnail reviews I publish here. Meanwhile, I’m already ahead of last year’s pace: I’ve finished two books since New Year’s Day, whereas last year I didn’t finish a book until the first week of February.

How much are you reading these days? Is it enough for you?

Photo by Johannes Gilger.

One Response to “A Year of Reading: Inspiration from My Dear Sister.”

  1. What I've Learned So Far » Blog Archive » On second thought, no I won’t. Says:

    […] A few posts ago, I praised my sister’s book-reading and -blogging habits, and said that I would try to follow her lead in reading more books and writing thumbnail reviews of each book I finish. I’m already doing the former, but I’ve decided not to do the latter. […]

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