In 2009, I heard this quote for the first time:
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Until 2017, reading was a necessary evil to endure, because I felt that God had called me to be a leader.
Then something happened: I finally started to enjoy it!
I would often read about CEOs who somehow read 100 books a year and thought it sounded impossible and honestly, slightly ridiculous. So, starting on January 1, 2019, I decided to give it a go.
Earlier today, at the end of August, I finished my 100th book! Here’s what I’ve learned:
ONE: Reading 100 books in a year is not as hard as it sounds.
It might sound daunting, but on average, I probably spent a little over an hour reading per day, split across the day (first thing, lunchtime, evening). Some days, much more; some days, much less. Don’t get me wrong. There were many days where it was a struggle to be disciplined. But it’s significantly less of a commitment than you might think! It didn’t interfere with my work or social life in any way, as far as I know!
TWO: Reading is like learning a musical instrument—you improve with practice
A year or two ago, I would read a few paragraphs, realise I’d zoned out and have to go back and re-read parts again. Two steps forward, one step back. I’ve found that for me, the more I practice reading, the more comfortable I find it both to focus on and retain what I’m reading. If you struggle with reading, don’t stop! Practice reading! I wish I’d realised that ten years ago.
THREE: E-readers are the real deal
I know I’ve written about this before, but OH MAN. Lay your prejudices to one side. I’ve saved so much money reading kindle books over physical books. Every book is always with me. Every highlighted quote (there are 1000s) from 100s of books is now collected, stored, readable, and searchable at any time in my Evernote note taking app. About 200 books in, it’s become quite a valuable resource for me. And when we move back to Canada next year, they’ll come right with me, fuss-free!
To keep this to a two-minute post, I’ll leave it there. We haven’t even touched on the content of the books I read! Friends, I think books are still the way forward. You might not want to read 100 books in a year, but how about 12, 24, 52? We have such a staggeringly exciting opportunity to make the most of all the information at our fingertips. I really want to make the most of it; I hope you do, too.
For the skeptically fascinated among you, are some post-post stats from this challenge for you (courtesy of Goodreads):
TOTAL PAGES READ: 23,113
(An average of 231 pages per book, or 96.25 pages per day)
AVERAGE BOOKS PER MONTH: 12.5
(Highest number of books in a month: 19 in January; lowest was 8 in May)
BOOKS THAT I READ:
If the image looks a little small, click here to see a more detailed list.