The Damaged Books Room by AMERICAN VIRUS
One hundred books in one year is a lot of books to read.
Why would anyone want to do that?
To be a better writer, that’s why.
Observe the masters and the flops.
In fact, you could probably learn more from bad writers than you could from great writers. That is, you could learn what to do and what not to do.
Keep a list of the dos and don’ts in a notebook and keep that notebook on your desk.
But first you got to get reading.
The Mechanics of Your Reading Blitzkrieg
Let’s do the math.
One hundred divided by fifty-two (fifty-two is the number of weeks in the year for those who are curious and not too bright) equals 1.92307692 books a week.
Let’s round that up to 2.
That means you have to read 2 books a week if you want to read 100 in a year. Or about one book every 3.5 days. It helps if you learn how to read some 300-page books in 2 hours.
Up to the challenge?
Well, if you’re like me — an incorrigible sucker for ridiculous challenges and a shameless book addict — then this is right up your alley.
But here’s the deal: You’re likely to fail.
Two months from now you and I will be hopelessly behind and wondering what in the world we we we’re thinking.
We’re likely to shove our little challenge under the bed and pretend it never happened. (And by the way, some books deserve to be savored. Deserve to be absorbed into our bloodstream.)
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that to happen. I WANT you to read 100 books in a year — and I WANT you to succeed.
So let’s add a little twist to this challenge.
Sober (or Not-So-Sober) Competition
Let’s make this challenge a competition. You know, an old-fashioned, cut-throat rivalry.
Here’s what I mean.
Choose someone you know who likes to read and invite them to join your challenge. Once you’ve got them nodding their head say, “By the way, let’s keep score.”
I’m telling you, when it comes to motivation — THIS WORKS.
For example, my wife and I are rabid readers. I tend to keep lists of books I want to read. She keeps lists of books she HAS read. And when I saw the list of books she had already read for 2013 (this was back in late February, 2014), I was floored.
I thought, “She’s smoking me.”
Since then I’ve streamlined my life as best as I could to make reading books my single and solitary focus (and also learned how to abandon the ones that were straying from objectives). My goal is not to defeat her necessarily. It’s simply to read 100 books in a year (especially if she does, too!).
Granted, two months later I’m still hopelessly behind my wife who systematically rifles through hefty books at a blistering pace … but I’ve vowed to not give up.
I’ve vowed to read … and read … and read until I see the last word on the last page of the last book for the year.
And hopefully when I do that it will be December 31, 2015 and it’ll be book number 100 that I’m closing.
You in? Let me know in the comments. And give a list of books you’re reading and recommend. [I’m always looking for new stuff.]
Want more advice like this? Here are 99 more ways to become a better writer.