Thursday, July 9, 2015

Discussion: Do You Read 100+ Books A Year? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!

I’m linking back to Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight. They host the 2015 Discussion Challenge.     


Do You Read 100+ Books A Year? Tell Me Your Secrets!


One of my favorite ways to procrastinate life is to screw around on Goodreads. For some reason, I’m fascinated by what random strangers are reading. I routinely creep through people’s virtual bookshelves like some kind of book-obsessed weirdo.

Lately I’ve become really interested in Goodreads reading challenges. Last week, I came across someone who is trying to read 400 books this year. My response was . . . 400 books? 400? Really? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? That’s more than a book a day. How can anybody read that quickly? Does this person just read all day? Is the challenge a lie? Is there some secret to reading that I haven’t discovered yet? Someone needs to tell me!



A Little Background Information


I’ve had the same New Year’s resolution every year since 2008: read 100 books in a year. Have I ever accomplished that goal? No. I have come close a few times, but I average about 75 books a year. Last year, I read 72. In 2012, I only read classics, and I struggled valiantly to hit 48. There were a few years where I reached the low 90s (mostly by reading YA), but no matter how hard I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to hit 100.



My Failed Strategies To Increase Book Consumption


Here are some strategies that have failed to make me read more books:


Give up TV

I try to only watch TV while on the treadmill. I thought this would free up more time for reading, but I’ve never been a big TV watcher, so it hasn’t made much of a difference. I did try to read on the treadmill once. I quickly discovered that I am the most uncoordinated person on the planet. I can’t read and do a hill challenge without seriously injuring myself.

Fewer classics

Classics take me forever to finish. I spent two months of 2014 slogging through George Eliot’s Middlemarch. That’s right: it took me two months to read one book. I haven’t read any classics in 2015, and I’ve only managed to finish 46 books so far, so I don’t think classics are my problem.

Audiobooks

I’ve listened to one audiobook in my life (The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy). I had a difficult time paying attention to it. My mind would wander, and suddenly I’d have no idea what was going on in the book. I pressed rewind a lot. It just didn’t work out for me.



Do Numbers Even Matter?


Does it really matter how many books I read in a year? No, I don’t think it does. I enjoy the books I read, and I read them at a pace that’s comfortable for me. But, I’m still curious. If you read 100+ books a year, how do you do it? Are you just a fast reader? Do you only read short books? How many hours do you spend reading a day? Do you have any reading strategies that actually work? I demand to know your secrets!


36 comments:

  1. I read over a hundred last year, but I spent every moment I could reading. I also had a three week holiday in which I spent most my days reading by the pool or on the patio, and that really upped the number. I think it maybe has something to do with how quick you are, but also how into a book you are. I know that I'll read a book a lot quicker if I've fallen in love with it than if I find it a bit meh. Great idea for a discussion post! :) xx

    Alexandra Florence @ Alexandra Florence Books

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    1. I think a vacation would probably help with my reading. I used to read a ton when I camped. I haven’t gone camping in 3 years because I’ve been going to school year-round. As soon as one semester ends, the next one starts. It’s all school all the time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I also set my Goodreads challenge to 100 books and I always surpass it. This happens only for a reason: I read a lot of manga and graphic novels. When I am in the mood to read a manga series, I can easily read 20 volumes in a couple of days. So, I have this general rule of 100 books, no matter what they are (although I don't count audiobooks for some reason), but I also set a personal challenge for 50 novels a year (full length, not short stories). This is the way I have found balance for my goals :)

    Aeriko @ http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com

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    1. I’m going to try graphic novels. I just bought my first one ever, but I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. Numbers don't matter but I do understand that you want to read 100 books just to see if you can actually do it. I've been reading extensively only since I started by blog in late 2014 - before that I read maybe 20 books a year. So far I've read an average of 50 per 6 months and I think I can do 100. We shall see.

    Audiobooks are definitely a great way to get more reading done. I haven't listened to audiobooks in a while, but they're awesome if you want to do something while you read/listen - two birds with one stone. Not a fan of classics in general, but I noticed that I'm very slow with fantasy. Light literature works the quickest for me, chick-lit, contemporary etc. I'm not trying to push the book count as of now, I'll be happy if it happens and I won't be sad if it doesn't.

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    1. I should try another audiobook. Most of the ones that interest me are really expensive, though, and my library doesn’t have a big selection.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. Numbers totally don't matter. I do think this year, since starting to blog, I will hit over 100. I think audiobooks have helped since I can do when I am cooking or cleaning and I enjoy them. Also I don't read super long books - probably 400 and under pages is average. I also read on my ereader and phone so I sneak in reading whenever.

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    1. I noticed that I tend to read a lot of long books. Maybe that’s my problem. I’ve read quite a few 500+ page books already this year.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I just plain read a lot. The past couple of years, I read over 200 books, but this year I knew I'd be able to read a lot less since I'm doing more editing work, so I changed my goal to 150. I read pretty fast - if a book takes me more than a day or two it feels long to me. Of course, some books take longer - I read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson last year as part of a read-a-long, and that one took a while to read (it's over 1000 pages). I don't know that I have strategies - unless you count staying up till the wee hours of the night to finish a book when I should be sleeping a "strategy"! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Wow, 200 is a lot. I wish I could do that. I might just be a slow reader. I think my average is 2 books a week.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Honestly, I don't think it matters how many books you read! I mean, it's always fascinating to see how many you can't read but at the end of the day it isn't about the amount of books you read. If someone read 1000 books but they were all 1 star, and someone only read 20 but they were all 5 star quality, i'd totally rather be the latter.

    I used to read a lot, a book a day, but ever since I started going to my new school (selective school = lots of homework and travel time) I've had less time to read so I've only read like 57 books so far this year :|

    Great post! :D

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    1. I usually love the books I read, so I don’t spend too much time obsessing over the numbers. It would be nice to read more, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I read 120 last year and it didn't seem like I was reading all the time. But I do listen to audiobooks to and from work, read at lunch, read before bed. It just adds up.

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    1. I really need to try another audiobook. Maybe I’ll like it this time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I feel that the contents of the books matter more than how many books you read per year. And I used to believe that I could read over 150 books per year. That's when I had more free time and the books I read were shorter and easier to read. Now, school literally overtakes my life but whenever I have a day off I could finish one to two books in a day. Maybe that's where it accumulates.

    Anyways, great post! And those are some lovely ideas (even though it didn't work) to get you to read some more! :)

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  9. ...you read nothing but classics for a full year? How did you survive?! I've steadily increased my books per year for the last several years but I've never ever come close to hitting 100! I was hoping to get there this year, but school from January til May really put a damper on those plans. I've tried reading on the treadmill too and found it didn't really work out. I also LOVE audiobooks! I really think you should give them another try! ;)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. Yep. I took a year off between college and grad school and decided to fill the gaps in my reading knowledge. I spent that year reading only classics.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. This is the first year that I've read over a 100 books in a year. I'm already around 140. I definitely don't watch much TV and movies, preferring to read instead. While I've read a lot, I don't necessarily care about the numbers. I care about whether I'm enjoying the books or not. If I read a lot of fantasy (like Brandon Sanderson), which is my favorite, then I don't read nearly as many books because these are so long. But I love what I'm reading so I don't care. :)

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    1. I read a bunch of really long Stephen King books this year. A few of them were around 800 pages, but I loved them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. There were 2 years that I read over 800 books each. I've since scaled it back to around 400 a year, since going to college, but the thing that I found made easiest to read so many, is a combination of having a schedule that I didn't necessarily have to follow, and having no social life :) Books are an awesome substitute! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

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    1. Lol, I don’t have much of a social life, either. It’s awesome that you can read 800 books a year. I don’t think I’ve read 800 books in my lifetime. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. Of course numbers don't matter, but they sure can be fun. I just like seeing how many I manage in a year and sort of competing against myself to see if I can read more in a given year. It just sounds accomplished to be able to say "I read over 100 books last year!" That was part of why I wanted to see if I could do it.

    Last year I read 101, over 100 for the first time since I have started keeping track (and probably since I was a kid swalling RL Stein novels at a rapid pace). I am almost over 100 for this year now, and will probably hit it this month. I don't have a secret; I just read a lot. I always thought I would read less once I had kids, but it has been the opposite since my daughter was born. Once I have put her to bed I have no energy to do anything besides hang out in bed myself, reading. So I get between 1 and 4 hours of reading in a day, every single day, sometimes maybe even more if I manage to read a few pages while she's having fun with other kids at the playground or whatever. That means, yeah, I sometimes do read a book a day because I need about an hour per 50 pages.

    I don't watch tv, and sometimes if I notice I'm clicking around twitter too much I'll ask myself, wouldn't you rather be reading a book right now? And if the answer is yes, which it usually is, I go do that instead. In large part it just feels like it is about prioritizing reading over all the thousands of other interesting things one could be doing at any given moment. Sometimes there will be less time to be prioritized, but when I look back at pre-daughter times, I wonder why I never managed it, and I can say for certain that for me it was focus.

    For me personally I don't make it to 100 because I read a lot of short things...some of the books I read are 200 pages, some of them are 800. I figure that all averages out in the end.

    Anyway, good luck with your goal.

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    1. Awesome tips. I am trying to prioritize better and stay off of YouTube. That should help me read more.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. I read over 100 titles every year but that number includes a few novellas and audiobooks. I can't read on the treadmill either but I do like listening to audiobooks while I walk which adds to my numbers.

    I read an average of 3 books per week right now. It does amaze me how many books some people are able to read.

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life
    http://www.carolesrandomlife.blogspot.com/

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    1. I was so happy to see that some of the books in my recent haul are pretty short. Hopefully that will help me get to my goal.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I try not to think about numbers too much - though I tend to read to read around 120 books per year. However, that's probably because I'm homeschooled (no homework) and have far too much time on my hands.

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    1. I wasn’t homeschooled, but I think I did read more when I was a teenager. Being an adult is just too time-consuming. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. Yeah, the numbers really do not matter. Reading more or less books doesn't make any one a bigger reading, as long as they both enjoy reading. Now, I a one of those crazy readers and I do have a read mindset where my numbers matter, only because if I don't read a whole bunch, I think I will never be able to read all of my books. My logic isn't the most sane logic.

    I don't really know how I'm able to read so much. I average 100 pages an hour, so that might have something to do with it, but I just always make time to read every day, even though it's getting harder because there are just so many things to do! I'm sorry that I can't give out any secrets, but everyone seems to read at their own pace. Even I, with reading over 300 books a year, wish I could read more (it would sure help my TBR pile), but I'm no superhero. Anyway, sorry for rambling!

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    1. One of the reasons that I want to read 100+ books a year is because my TBR shelf is always so big. I worry that I’ll never be able to get through it. I must read All The Things!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. This has always baffled me! I've been averaging about 30-35 books per year, and it takes me about two weeks per book, depending on the length. I think I'm just a slow reader. I also tend to only read before bed and on Sunday afternoons, so I'm not a reading opportunist -- I don't carry a book with me everywhere, nor do I pick one up in every spare moment. And that's fine with me, because I'm able to savor the story. I read a fairly short ebook in two gulps while on a looong flight once, and I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I would have had I taken two or three days to read it instead.

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    1. Yeah, I think if I read faster than I do now, I’d just burn myself out and not enjoy the books as much.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I think at the end of the day we all obsess too much over numbers. I've read 202 so far this year. Some have been short, some have been long.

    But at the end of the day, all that matters is reading what you like and what interests you. Whether that's 10 or 200.

    I also think there's a time and a season to everything. Some years reading a book day might be realistic; other times reading a book a week might be all you can manage.

    We all love reading, but at the end of the day, there are more important things in our lives.

    For me, a huge help was receiving a bunch of arcs I felt obligated to read, but that creates its own stress as well.

    A big help for me was also getting a kindle. Now I read while I wait for class to start and pretty much whenever I have time to spare.

    Good luck with your reading!

    P.S. It's totes true ain't nobody got time to read and watch tv obsessively. Those are the people I don't understand.

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    1. I’m reading what I like, so I’m not too worried about the numbers.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. I'm glad so many responders are encouraging you to not focus on specific numbers. I was raised without a TV, and I'm a very fast reader, but honestly--reading so fast and thus finishing so many books means that I don't remember books as well as many of my friends do! I just remember that I read it, and whether or not I liked it. When I was a kid, I re-read my favorites all the time, so I remember those books much better than anything I've read as an adult.

    As for making time to read, there are people who tell me, "Everyone can exercise--you just have to make it a priority," but I can't figure out where in my schedule as a full time working mom I'd possibly exercise. Reading can happen late at night after kids are in bed, while waiting in line at the pharmacy, or when I should really be doing any one of a thousand other things. I don't make it a priority--it just IS a priority! It just comes down to what you really love to do.

    Also, I don't understand people who read a chapter before bed. Once I read a chapter, I want to know what happens next, and then it's 3 am and I'm kicking myself!

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    1. I know I can read faster, but one of the reasons that I don’t is because I’m worried that I won’t remember anything I read. That happened to me in college. I would have to read 2-4 books a week for classes, and I ended up just skimming a lot of them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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