I’ve set my reading goal for the year: 200

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I love to read and I’ve lately been disgusted with myself for not doing more of it.

I am talking about reading books, specifically, and I’ve been feeling tortured about the backlog of unread volumes in my bookcases.

So, this year, I vowed to get caught up. What’s more, I set a goal for myself of reading 200 books this year.

That’s a tall order, but doable. I am easily able to get through a thick novel within a day or two if it is a really good one, so I’m more than capable of meeting my goal if I pace myself.

I did the math. If I read 17 books per month, I’ll hit 204 titles by the end of the year.

I’m a bit behind schedule (the 15 books I’ve read so far are shown above). If I knock off two more titles by the end of January, I’m golden.

Can I keep this up, month in and month out? We’ll see.

I set a few ground rules for myself.

  1. I have to actually read the books, cover to cover. In some cases this will involve reading every word, and in other cases I’ll skim. I’m an excellent speed reader, but I have to comprehend what I’m skimming. If I’m flipping pages without gleaning their contents, I’m cheating.
  2. Consistently seeking out super-short books also is cheating. Big, thick volumes must be part of the mix. That’s not an issue if it’s a good book; I’ll get through it in no time, even if I have to (willingly, gladly) engage in sleep deprivation.
  3. If I partially read a book and give up on it, for whatever reason, it is disqualified. I already have several discard-pile volumes that aren’t part of my 200 count.
  4. I’ll be reading most of my books for the first time, but it’s all right to revisit old favorites. Even so, rule #1 applies.
  5. I have to read all kinds of books and not just my favorite genres, such as science fiction. This won’t be difficult since my reading tastes have always been a bit eclectic.
  6. I have to read books on all formats, physical and digital. Again, not a problem, I already do this.
  7. Graphic novels (including collections of previously published comic books) count. Individual comic books don’t.
  8. Most important, I need to have fun. The key to this is seeking out the books I want to read, and not feeling pressured by society to pick up books I should or need to read. At times I’ll be reading trash, and I don’t care.

This exercise has already felt a bit grueling at times and enthralling at other times. It will be hard work, no question, but worth it.

Want to follow along? My latest reads are shown in a widget on the bottom right of this page, and my full list of read books is shown here.

Wish me luck. Even better, become my Goodreads friend and suggest titles for me to check out. I can use your help.

Update: As a number of friends warned me, I put too much pressure on myself. I want to enjoy my reading instead of frantically meeting a weekly quota, so I am dropping my goal from 200 to 100 books for the year.

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