Step by Step Guide to Reading 52 Books a Year
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Reading books is about loving to read and learn from them. I wasn't much into books until I stumbled upon a couple of interesting books back to back - Metamorphosis and The Old Man and the Sea. After reading those I actually realized I have missed so much not reading books from an early age, so I took up a challenge of reading 52 books in 52 weeks and actually succeeded in doing so. I will explain you the process on how I did and hopefully will help you too.
Want to take up this challenge
Should commit time (based on your goal and reading speed)
Measure your speed:
First things first, you need to know your current pace of reading so you won't underestimate or overestimate how many books you want to read. There will be a difference in planning and targets for a person whose speed is 10 pages/hour vs someone who has 30 pages/hour reading speed.
Tip: Pick a simple book which you have already or download a free ebook, read a few pages (let's say 40 pages) and see how much time it is taking you to read in an hour without distractions.
Track where the time is getting diverted:
Track where your time is getting diverted. When I initially wanted to read, I used a chrome time tracker extension(you have many such ones, google it). I figured I was spending 1.5 hours on Facebook, roughly 45 mins on youtube and 30-40 minutes on other similar websites and these are not adding my usage of apps on phone.
Since I know where my time is getting leaked, I could seal the holes and I know for a fact that I have enough time to adjust. This works only if you feel reading will help you better than Facebook, even better you should love books than facebook.
Setting up Target
You have to set a target. I hear few people saying - whaaattt? I thought reading is about learning and pleasure and not like a project work with deadlines. But let me tell you this. If you love something and want to improve it, you should have targets so you know you are getting better at what you love. For example, if you like running, asking you to count how many miles you run every day won't sound insane but it does sound insane when it comes to books.
For setting up the target, calculate your reading speed(eg: 20 pages/hour) * Calculate how much time you want to give each day (2 hours) which is = 240 pages/week. Given each book is roughly 240 pages - this will help you hit 52 books each year. If you want to spend 1 hour each day with this speed - it will be at least 26 books.
Setting up Time
Set up a time that you will follow every day, for me reading in the morning for an hour and an hour before sleeping worked wonderfully for me. See what works best for you and stick to you. Your other plans will start getting planned based on this eventually. It would help you get organized too.
Visualise what to do after hitting the target
As silly as it sounds, what worked for me is wanting to write an article on how I read 52 books in 52 weeks on medium and posting it. That's all. It need not be audacious. Visualising what to do after achieving the goal will help you be more motivated. It's the reward you are waiting for or wanting to do.
Measuring Monthly and Hitting the Target
I planned my books weekly but I measured on monthly basis. Why? , because few books are small and few books are heavy, though the average is 7 days per book, sometimes big books take 10-12 days as per plan, I would then plan a smaller book to fill it up. For example, Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success by Deepak Chopra is a really small but interesting book. But make sure you are doing it consistently - just 12 times a year :)
Just do it
Old school advice and this has been around for centuries. If you have a thought of giving a shot at reading, just start it off and figure out the plan on the fly (Hint: take steps from this article to kick start when needed).
This is how it is for me in reality. Initially, when I was reading in the morning, I used to get a lot of stares from my flatmates but eventually, I saw them picking up books and reading. Few friends who are into reading told me I won't be able to do it, they said maximum I can do is 20 books in a year. But my basic math and little motivation aren't lying to me and I did complete reading 52 books in 52 weeks last year. When you start reading, every week won't be the same and sometimes you will lose the track, just realize it and get back on track to complete it. We are 100% human and it won't look like a machine as it looks in theory. I wish you read more books and help more people pick up reading.
Conclusion: If you are reading speed is 20 pages/ hour(which is the average), keep 2 hours every day to hit 52 books a year. If you keep 1 hour then target with 26 books and likewise. Even if you read 10 pages a day at worse, you will still read 12-14 books that year. Be Consistent.