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How To Read a Book a Week

Tweet

Yep, I finally did it. I read over a book a week all of the past year.

More than that– I never fell behind or stopped. I was always ahead of schedule for the entire year. So now, this coming year, guess what? I’d like you to do the same. Here’s how.

Why in God’s Name You Would Want To Do This

It feels awesome. It gives you an amazing amount of ideas. It helps you think more thoroughly. It’s better than TV and even the internet. It makes you understand the world more. It is a building block towards a habit of completion. Did I mention it feels awesome?

… whatever, just do it already.

Why One a Week?

First of all, why so many, why not just “read more books?” I’d argue that setting a massive goal, something crazy like one a week, actually helps. To make a comparison, the body reacts strongly to large wounds, expending significant energy to heal them. Small wounds, it doesn’t think much of, which means they can sometimes take longer to heal. So setting a massive goal will make you take it seriously.

So, that’s first. Make your goal massive and unreasonable so that you freak out a little. :)

One Day at a Time

The average book I read was maybe 250-300 pages. Some were larger, some were smaller. I broke this down to 40 pages a day, which I read early on so I can get it over with. It’s an easy, manageable goal, which doesn’t seem nearly so daunting as 52 books in a year. This is critical to managing your emotional state, making it feel like it’s totally reasonable.

Make It a Routine and Stack It

I have a habit right now of getting up, showering, etc., and then going out for breakfast every morning, sitting at counter at the same restaurant, and drinking coffee until I’ve read my 40 pages.

Why do I do it like this? Because I know that I’m kind of weak-willed. I’m betting you can admit this about yourself too, and doing so will help you set everything into its proper place.

Oh, and a protip: Set it up early in the day, as early as possible. Like the Artist’s Way’s morning pages and Twyla Tharp’s exercise regimen (discussed here), it must occur early or we will put it off. This is the same with every habit– you must chain them together for them to work.

Use Every Moment

If you have a commute, use it. If you have a lunch break, use that. This is something I’m just figuring out, but the ability to whip out your book quickly and read 2 pages will help you out significantly, especially in getting ahead, which will be your biggest asset and give you a rewarding feeling. Further, getting ahead will help you take your time with the hard books that are really dense and worth taking time on.

It’s Ok To Give Up… Kind Of

If something sucks (or feels tough), it’s ok give up on it– for now. You can do this when you’re ahead of schedule and it won’t screw with you too badly, and then you can go back to that book every little while until you finish it.

I did this a number of times this year, which means the number of books I started was probably in the 60-65 range (I finished 54.)

It’s Ok To Cheat

Is your deadline closing on you, and you feel you may fall behind? Holy crap! Ok, it’s time to cheat. Choose a quick book and read it, something you may have read before, enjoy a lot, and can breeze through.

“This is cheating,” you may say. I would agree. But the short term cheating to help yourself succeed in the long run on this goal is more important than hard-headed idea that every book you read has to be frikkin War and Peace. It doesn’t. This is to enrich your life, not to make you feel like crap.

By the way, even small books can be incredible. This year, I read the following books that were small but awesome: The Dip, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, Man’s Search For Meaning, Vagabonding, and Of the Dawn of Freedom.

Never Fall Behind

Never “owe yourself one” or deduct from the bank account, saying you’ll get back to it later. Your weekly deadline (the first is on January 7th) will help you stay on track, but falling behind may make you feel helpless and make you consider giving up. You have to control your emotional state from dropping to this level, where you feel it’s hopeless, etc., and you do that by always being ahead of schedule.

In Conclusion

Reading has made me a much better, more complete, and happier person. All the world’s wisdom is contained in books– most of it is not on the internet or known by people in your social group, so this can really help you expand, if you let it. So start today.

All the best in the coming year to you. :)

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* Filed by Julien at 1:41 pm under book a week


Hi, I’m Julien Smith. I'm the founder and CEO of Breather.

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170 Responses to “How To Read a Book a Week”

  1. Andi Narvaez Says:

    I’ve wanted to make “reading more books, more often” my life’s resolution for… well, forever now. Though my accomplishments can’t compare to yours in 2009, I agree with one thing the most — it’s all about shaping a routine in a way that will help you accomplish goals. This is awesome inspiration.

    52 books in 2010… here I come. Thanks Julien! And Happy New Year to you.

    - Andi

  2. Ben Aldern Says:

    I realized how much thinking I did while I finished Trust Agents a few days ago. It’s superbly helpful to have topic discussed at length and with focus. Blogs and the net are great (I’d argue necessary) for long term growth and keeping up with the times, but books do truly lead you to think about a topic at a more useful depth. I do notice that a staggaring number of deep thoughts or blog post kernals flick incessantly through my mind as I read. How do you capture these?

    • Julien Says:

      @Ben — I have a really thorough blog idea + todo capture system integrated into Gootodo.com, which I’ve been using for about 3 years. Works amazingly well and all you need is a basic phone that can send email.

      @Mitch — I’ve thought about this and I’m still considering it, but I don’t want to look like a fucking tool. Is there any hope for me? ;)

  3. Mitch Joel - Twist Image Says:

    A couple of other things will happen as well if you read 52 books a year:

    1. You become a better writer (if that’s important to you).
    2. You accumulate a better vocabulary (which makes you more interesting when you speak).
    3. You open up more (reading is very personal and when you read someone’s innards, you can’t help but become more personable yourself).

    Another trick I would add (if people can afford it) is to get an e-reader. I always find it hard to lug around books, but it’s simple, easy and light to go everywhere with my Sony Reader. I find myself reading books at times when I normally would have never.

    Last trick: when you’re watching TV or listening to your iPod, simply ask yourself this one question: “will I get more pleasure out of this or out of reading something new?”

    And yes… Happy Ready and Happy 2010 :)

  4. Dominique Says:

    I’ve read 27 books this year, a personal record. I usually read around 22-23. It’s been a great year indeed, I’ve shared books with my teens (great way to keep the communication going) and started reading classics I didn’t have the chance to read before. I have discovered aspects of my personality I wasn’t aware of through some books. I’ve laughed, I’ve fantasized, I’ve travelled in time, I’ve cried also. Books rock ;-)

  5. Janet Oberholtzer Says:

    Wow … what a great goal! Congrats on doing it! I’m working on my goals for 2010 right now and I think I will add this.
    Thanks!

  6. Paul Turney Says:

    Books DO rock! But, I like my books to entertain me and don’t keep count, although I read every night and often all day if I find a great story. If I happen on a collection of SCI-FI or Fantasy Fiction (not limited to) I can lose myself in, I peel them off in way too short a time and feel empty when it’s over. And I quickly ditch books I find boring. Thinking about it, a book a week is not unattainable, just expensive if you’re buying them. I would also much rather read than watch TV. My wife doesn’t like to have three books on-the-go but if for the most part I like what I’m reading but get bored, I don’t mind putting it aside for a day or two and tackle something else. And I do read my faves over and over, like Stephen King’s “The Stand”, although I must admit I couldn’t finish Lisey’s Storey, which I thought was crap although Mr. King said it was his best work.
    Oh well, the Golden Rule applies here–The one with the money makes the rules. I’ve taken enough of your time, so the best of the New Year to you and yours.
    Paul

  7. ibrahim Says:

    Hi, great post! Just reading this about this technique is inspiring. I read about 2 books a year due to poor time mangement, tv, the net and sleeping. I am going to follow this technique and see if I can read 2 books a month ie 24 books this year!

  8. Trey - Swollen Thumb Entertainment Says:

    Yeah, that’s the real trick, isn’t it. If you’re going to set a resolution, make it one that you can actually accomplish, instead of an incredibly vague one. For example, “I’m going to exercise more in 2010″. Okay, more than what? More than you did in 2009? How much more?

    This is equally good, because this isn’t something that you have to do EVERY DAY. I’m in! 52 books in 2010. I’ll grab the first one today off of my bookcase. I have several books that I haven’t read yet.

  9. Ben Ziegler Says:

    Julien,
    Superb topic for a post. I like reading too – though your 52 far exceeds where I’m at. Hadn’t thought of 52 in 52 – you give a roadmap – nice! On LinkedIn… I’ve been trying to list my reads using the Amazon plug-in app – too bad we can’t list (on LinkedIn) those books not selling on Amazon – it would be nice to see people’s complete lists. Best for 2010. Ben.

    • Tyler Simonds Says:

      I don’t know if this helps you, but Goodreads is an awesome site for book readers – and there are a ton of people on it. You have your own bookshelves (read, to-read…) and tags (like ‘nonfiction’ or ‘sci-fi’) and you can see what other people have read or are in the progress of reading. You can also learn about authors, vote on different lists (like ‘Best Autobiographies of the 20th Century’ or something like that), and find quotes from writers. I could go on. It connects to FB, too, if you happen to be on that and want an easy way to find your friends :)

  10. Tim Kastelle Says:

    The other tip that makes this work – cut TV. Mitch’s question is exactly correct, and the answer is usually that you’re better off reading. And plus, you can listen to music while you read!

    • Tim Klinkle Says:

      Tim,

      Tim here. I couldn’t agree more. I was an English major. Without a TV (and a job) I was reading four books a week.

      Now… well the pace is probably down to one every ten days. :-(

  11. Marcus Couch Says:

    I just go the Kindle DX for Christmas. I want to try this as well. You’ve inspired me (again).

    Happy New Year my friend.

    Marcus

  12. Jutta Says:

    Thank you for making me stop and think, I’ve been pondering it since I found this post earlier today and I can’t work out how many books I have read this year. More because I read so many than because I don’t.

    My biggest problem is that whether it is fiction or non-fiction reading a book can take over my day, if I get gripped by it my brain goes into overdrive and just has to keep on reading. I’ve just been given the complete works of Jane Austin for Christmas as I’ve seen many of the films but never read the book.

    In a bid to make me read slower I’ve started to read books in German – Eragon in German is hard going!

    Reading a book is a great treat for me, I can only let myself when I have got other stuff done in the day. I love books and I love reading, just ask my family!!!

    And congratulations for completing your challenge, hopefully you’ll read many more books this year.

    I do like your idea of a habit of completion, it is something that I will work into my day.

    Thank you again and Happy New Year

  13. Mitch Joel - Twist Image Says:

    You don’t want to look like a tool… so, what you’re saying is that you’re not already a tool??
    ;)

    I’m confused. Sounds like a topic for an upcoming episode of Media Hacks to me :)

  14. Ricardo Bueno Says:

    Mitch: I dig your comments above…

    Julien: I like how you’ve broken this down into a goal of number of pages to read daily (and further, how you’ve integrated that into your routine). I love reading! It’s an escape for me (it’s my meditation and frankly it gets my thought process flowing). I read several books this year but nowhere near 52. I’d like to though! (and heck, if I continue to keep getting review copies from publishers, I damn well better)…

    Happy New Year Julien! (…and talk to you soon)

  15. Valerie Says:

    i doubt i could read a book a week, i mean i could, but i, personally, would feel like i’m rushing…and in my mind, i would be thinking what’s the big rush. but this is an awesome thing you did. it works for you.

    i am taking a photo a day for a year, that’s about all i can do.

    i’m going to go finish reading my book now. i totally hate when a good book has to end. i purposely slow down or not read it, just so that it won’t come to an end…but you know the saying. all good things….

  16. Alan Says:

    Wow! You guys are reading monsters! I, too, would like to crank out more books a year. I find that the time part is the challenge (keep reading). Not the 40 pages per day – but absorbing it. If I read fiction, I can generally rip through it, no problem. But non-fiction, business books, or books that help me in life for career or whatever, I tend to read slower and digest more. When I read this post and also think that Chris Brogan and CC are cranking out book reviews left and right, it makes me think, ‘am I slow reader?’ So, do you all have a secret? Do you kind of skim? I’m more of a read-every-word kind of guy. At any rate, awesome accomplishment, Julien (among the others this year for you!).

  17. Mike Kurtz Says:

    Wow! 52 books in a year. Many people don’t read 52 books in a lifetime. My goal was 12 books this year. I just finished my 12th book today (ironically, it was Trust Agents). 52 books in 2010? For me, there’s too much work, kids activities, etc. I’ll stick to my 12… maybe raise it a bit. But 52? That’s impressive.

  18. BenSpark Says:

    I used to travel half of each year and I had so many books under my belt each year because of all the plane time. Now that I’ve stopped I’ve lost that time where I could crack a book. 2010 there are so many books to read that I may look into your system.

  19. Sonja Lovas Says:

    For the past month I have been reading every day. I haven’t thought about a book a week, but that’s a great idea. I read while walking on the treadmill, so most days read 30 – 55 minutes. I think I’ll start tracking # of pages, instead of # of steps. Hope I can join you in the “book a week club” next January, 2011

  20. Eden Spodek Says:

    Julien, you’ve really inspired me. I’ve been wanting to read more and couldn’t imagine how you were able to read a book a week – something I haven’t done since I was a student.

    I was a voracious reader as a kid. I used to read during my commute to work and make it through a book every two weeks on average. Now, I rarely get a seat on the subway so I’ve opted for podcasts and squeeze books in at other times. ;-)

    It’s time for me to get back into a routine. There’s a couple shelves full of books shouting “read me”. I think I can manage 20-40 pages a day, starting today.

    Thanks and Happy New Year,

    Eden

  21. Imran Anwar Says:

    This is great advice. What I miss most about my younger days was sometimes finishing a novel a night. Nowadays I read 10 times as much in words but mostly (great) articles and blogs, etc. not enough fiction. Keeping a book by the bedside is one of my more effective ways of actually getting to read it.

    Happy New Year.

    IMRAN

  22. Mischa Says:

    Dang! I cannot read that fast. I am already behind :)

  23. Colleen Pence Says:

    I love this idea. I got a Kindle for Christmas and in the last week of using it I’ve determined that I’m reading faster with it than I do with books (maybe it’s the % completed status at the bottom that challenges me to read on?). Not sure I’ll attempt a book a week but your system seems like a good one to accomplish that goal. Now I’m going to check out Gootodo.com. Thanks for mentioning it!

  24. Dave Fleet Says:

    Love it. I always thought of you as one of the best-read people I know; now I know how you do it.

    Another tip that may help people – if you spend a lot of time at the gym, consider audiobooks. It’s not the same experience, but it certainly helps to pass those hours on the treadmill.

    52 may be a bit high for me, but you’ve certainly inspired me to step my reading up a notch from the 15 or so books I got through this year.

    Thanks!

  25. Meryl K Evans Says:

    Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment. I will certainly set this as a goal someday. It just won’t work right now, but at least I’ve joined a book club and our first book was 700 pages.

    If you need to cheat with some great books <200 pages, I've compiled a list with a lot of people's help:
    http://www.meryl.net/2009/03/02/short-powerful-and-favorite-books/

  26. Justin Lukasavige Says:

    Great advice, even in the comments here. I read a lot of books but I don’t think I’m doing 52. This gives great insight into making it manageable.

  27. Charlie Quillen Says:

    THIS IS FANTASTIC!! :) I’m starting with a series this year so I have something to keep me moving forward. And it’s a big series, has 17 books in it!! I should be set in the beginning, but I can also see how I could fall behind. Jan 7th seems SO close…I better quit commenting and get started!! Good luck everyone!

  28. Darren Cronian Says:

    I am going to do just that and start off with your book, Trust agents. I bought a few business books, and its good to expand your mind. TV off. Time to read a book.

  29. Tara 'missrogue' Hunt Says:

    Awesome goal and congrats for doing it! I’d love to do this, but my ADHD allows me about 5-6 pages before I crash…and those 5-6 pages take FOREVER. I’m sure there is some sort of natural vitamin thing I can take to aid with my concentration (or some not-so-natural chemical thing)…and once I find it, I will definitely attempt to follow in your footsteps! :) Glad to get to know you in 2009!

  30. Alethea Says:

    Signing up for goodreads.com really helped me focus. I finally made it over the 100+ hump (I finished 113 in 2008), and I get great recommendations on books, particularly ones not yet released so I can keep an eye out for brand new books. It’s a great community – @Ben, we do exactly what you mention about making a list in many of the groups. You can create your own! I belong to both the 100+ Book Challenge group and one of the many 52 in 52 groups: here’s the public one – http://bit.ly/100plusbkgroup (the other is private).

    For those of you just getting started, Julien’s tips are great! Good luck with your 2010 goals!

  31. SellyGothly Says:

    Wow!I was amazed! I’m a MA student and I have lots of books to read per semester. Thank you for the tip!
    Good luck!

  32. Judith Cane Says:

    I read a lot of books and have no idea how many I read last year, so I’m keeping track in a notebook. I’m also keeping track of info I like from each book and may want to refer to. I read Trust Agents last year, but am reading it again as my first book for the year because there are a lot of great ideas I’d like to implement.
    Thanks for the great blog.

  33. Michael Bigger Says:

    Marcus,

    I have a Kindle DX as well. You might want to try the ReKindleIT application. I find myself reading more of the web or Google Reader content with this application. Google Reader + ReKindleIt + Kindle DX = Killer Reading APP

  34. Marsha Says:

    Ha, I already had 52 books in 2010 as a goal. But breaking it down too 40 pp per day sounds so much more manageable!

  35. Ronan Vance Says:

    Excellent post Julien. Thanks for the idea and inspiration. I think it is a doable goal and well worth the effort. I love the comments from your readers too. I have been exploring goodreads.com. This should be fun.

  36. paul wolman Says:

    Excellent motivation and action tools. I happened to sign up for http://www.groupon.com last week; the first offer in DC was a 5 hour speed reading class (offers good day of only) – that and the kindle with changeable font sizes should help folks like me see and speed up. Thanks for the ReKindleT app, Michael. Ray Bradbury (creative genius/futurist writer) told me to read everything and anything beyond what one typically reads or does for a living. I’m ready, about 15 years later, to start – your post is thrusting me into action. Of course, Feats speak Louder Than Words,,, my first commitment is to take the course.

  37. Poornima Says:

    Awesome! We have the same morning routine :) I’m curious to know what you’ve read. Check out what I’ve read: http://femgineer.com/?page_id=361

  38. Mike Huber Says:

    Great idea, and comments also: I plan to buy an eReader and implement this goal!
    To Tara: try Vitamin D (1000 mg/day) I really find it helps my focus and attitude.

    Happy 2010 everyone!

  39. Lolly Says:

    Julien,

    I have been reading a book a week for years now and when I used to tell people-about my reading habits-I would to get odd looks.

    So it remained something I did – but didn’t discuss. It is good to know I am in good company.

    Even though you listed Man’s Search For Meaning as a short book, it takes a lot to digest and worth every second of every page. I have re-read the book five times over the past five years. Are re-reads cheating?

    Time to stop writing and finish up the book I am reading if I am to stay on schedule.

  40. Bob Burgess Says:

    This is a great idea! I’m going to take this challenge. You give good suggestions. I think I can do this. Thanks. . .very inspiring.

  41. Adam Taylor Says:

    Big goals with daily breakdowns are key and awesome. I did 12,000 pushups this last summer. Big goal, but very manageable at 200 per day.
    Thanks for the inspiring idea about reading. I’m a slow reader but am considering a variation of the suggestion.

  42. Rob Says:

    Just in time for the Apple book reading / tea-making device? ;)

    I was really interested in doing this last year when you started… Have just been on a trip for two weeks and found my mental state was way better for having not spent ages online etc and instead reading…

    Do graphic novels count ? I can eat them for breakfast. Read all of Preacher #1 on the plane between New York and Detroit on my way over to your fine country :)

  43. Andrea Schultz Says:

    I will probably be reading more than that! I have a new blog in which I review books. I am VERY eager and am getting a LOT of books lined up. So it will be a matter of survival to read more than one per week! But seriously, it has been a lot of fun so far!

    If any of you authors out there would like me to do that, please make contact! I will post on my blog (in which links are sent to my Facebook and Twitter accounts) and will also post on Amazon and Christianbook.com!

    Blessings & Happy Twenty Ten –

    Andrea Schultz
    andrealschultz[at]gmail[dot]com
    http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com

  44. Rick Wolff Says:

    Let’s put it this way. There are 34 comments on this post right now. I’m not sure I’ll get through all of them. I CANNOT CONCEIVE of that pace! I could probably tell you I’ve read 52 books in the past 10 years, and the majority of those were the first half of that period. I read to fall asleep now. I read a paragraph about a dozen times, and give up. I think my brain is rotting. I don’t think I’m capable of making that level of commitment to anything, let alone reading.

  45. Vince Says:

    I enjoyed your comments on the reasons for reading books. I don’t think you’re recommending speed reading. I am a slow reader. Many of my friends are speed readers. I enjoy marking up a book (in pencil) to ‘highlight’ new or foreign words, as well as passages that I may want to return to (for a variety of reasons). A book a week is a little to ambitious for me. Perhaps I should resolve in 2010 to devote a little more time to reading so I can improve my books (read) per year number

  46. Roderick Says:

    This is just the encouragement I needed. Some thought my goal of a book (mostly novels) a week was too ambitious given the amount of reading/research I do for my work in the church. Taking your suggestion of adding 40 pages a day as you did last year makes it seem manageable and not the least bit overwhelming.

    Since writing improves with reading, I’m looking forward to writing better sermons, blog posts and letters.

    I’ll stop by from time to time and let you know how it’s going. I’m excited!

  47. David Jacobs Says:

    Love this idea. My dad always challenged me to read a book a week. 40 pages a day is a great benchmark and very doable, the bummer is the Kindle does not count page numbers. I guess you wold have to go by % completed. I figured it out to be around 14% complete daily.

  48. JasonS Says:

    I read about 80 books this year. Not sure exactly how many. I reviewed 75 on my blog.
    I am slowing down this year, because I need to retain more. I sacrifice comprehension and retention by reading fast.
    That being said, I love to read and appreciate the fact that the information/digital age has not totally removed us from bound, printed matter.

  49. Sebastian Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I got to 25 last year but am trying Kindle for iPhone now which seems to increase productivity as far as “get your book out and read 2 pages” goes. Question Julien: Do you always read one at a time, one after the other, or several at the same time?
    Thanks

  50. Julien Says:

    Bam! 50 comments. Thanks guys, glad you liked the post. :)

  51. Kevin Mackey Says:

    Great post. Just finished Trust Agents, so I might as well keep it up and finish 51 more. Does anyone have a good web-based tool for tracking books you’ve read or want to read?
    Thanks!

  52. Bakari Says:

    I’m gonna try 52 books this year, mainly because I don’t read books like I used, and I need spend less time on the Internet. I invite others to keep me in check throughout the year: http://fiftytwobooksnfiftytwoweeks.posterous.com/

  53. Ralph Says:

    I think I do read 52 books a year. My problem is that the books I read are typically fiction which can have some value but not as much as non-fiction. My goal is to read books which help me grow rather than just entertain. I am digesting Trust Agents (second read).

  54. Rob Says:

    WOW. A book a week. I might start small like a book a month for 2010. I read zero books right now so 12 in a year would be a huge accomplishment for me. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Mark Leslie Says:

    Congrats on making it to 52. Quite impressive. though I’m a die-hard book-lover, I’m a slow reader, and so only get through about 40 books per year – you inspire me to work harder at it. And now that I have an iPhone I think by ALWAYS having a book on me, I might be able to sneak a few more into my reading this year.

    BTW, Trust Agents was one of the 43 books I read in 2009 and it was in my top 10 faves for the year – glad to hear you and Brogan are working on a follow up book.

  56. Elizabeth Cottrell (RiverwoodWriter) Says:

    Increasing # of books read has great benefits. I agree we should give ourselves permission to not finish ones that don’t resonate. Reading “The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life” by Steve Leveen has greatly increased the quality of my reading. Reading “Trust Agents” has greatly increased the quality of my marketing and thinking about online community. Thank you!

  57. Daniel Johnson Jr Says:

    After hearing you talk about this on Media Hacks, I’ve wondered how you did it. Thanks for helping me believe that I can do it, too.

  58. Kathy Says:

    For all readers and book lovers, you might be interested in checking out librarything.com
    It’s a social site that allows you to catalogue your own book collections, like a library, but in the process also allows access to other members’ collections. It enables you to share information about books with people of similar interests. You can find reviews, book discussions, author discussions and much more.

  59. Karen McAllister Says:

    Great post. I had set a goal last year of reading at night rather than watching any TV — but I like the goal of 1 book a week. It’s a great example for my kids, too:)

  60. Jim Lee Says:

    Reading a book a week is a worthy goal and it takes a strong commitment to do that; congratulations.

    I made a commitment to walk 3 miles at least 5 days a week starting this past October and I’ve kept that commitment to myself.

    So far I’ve lost 20 pounds and about 3 inches off my waist. Feels great.

  61. karim kanji Says:

    I saw an earlier post about your reading prowess and was going to send you an email/tweet on how you read so much. You answered my question with this blog post.

    It’s something, i think, that we all know but fail to do until someone else suggests it.

    I WANT to read more. It’s entertaining ans educational.

    So, I’m going to start today by finishing Trust Agents…

    Thanks!

    KK

  62. Jan Richards Says:

    Congratulations!

    I love it! This is one of my goals for 2010. I noted your reminder that Jan. 7 is the first milestone.

    Thanks for an excellent idea, process, post. I especially like your description of what meeting this goal did for you.

    I’m heading off now to catch up on the pages for the week…many to go…

  63. Une femme libre Says:

    Count me in for 2010. Fabulous idea and great advice. I always waited to read in bed at nigth but used to fall asleep on my book. To start reading early in the day will be a première for me. Thanks!

  64. Dave Says:

    After seeing your 52 books in a year stuff earlier this year I decided to start doing this myself in 2010. Really, I’ve been doing it for the last two months of 2009, but I’m only actually starting to count now, and posting short reviews of each book at http://www.52books.ca (I’m surprised the domain was still available).

    I think this is one of those things that sounds much harder than it actually is. I hope.

  65. Bridget Says:

    I’m doing this with my roommate at http://2in52.wordpress.com we’ll see how it goes!

  66. Steely Dad Says:

    I have two kids and we have a reading routine (we read at least one book before nap and at least one more before bed time). So, I’ve been reading on average between 2-4 PER DAY! Title include Curious George, Where the Wild Things Are and anything from the Charlie and Lola series. Beat that! :)

  67. Becky McCray Says:

    Julien, you helped me get back into the habit of reading. Thank you.

    Tracking my progress on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjmccray/tags/bookaweek/

  68. Curt Says:

    Theres some interesting insights in this that relate well to achieving success in anything not just in how to read a book a week. Here are several things I picked up in your post.

    1. By breaking things down into small chunks it doesn’t seem as BIG

    2. Make it a routine or ritual. This is very true. I also wrote a post on creating rituals which really are the keys to productivity.

    3. PAIN, we initially start something and were all excited but when we get that first taste of discouragement or little pain we give up and try to make things easier.

    4. Consistency, don’t fall behind. If someone is trying to read a book a week and they fall behind they may just give it up all together. Instead, if your consistent you feel good about being true to your goal.

    Really good post!

    Curt

  69. Michael Says:

    Julien,
    So far I have kept up, 4 books so far this calendar year! Just a thought to get more people involved…possibly encourage people to start whenever they can and work towards reading 52 a year from when they chose to begin? I think this is so great. Oh and I was that guy at BEA last year that you and Chris signed your first copy of “Trust Agents” to :)

  70. Annelie Näs Says:

    This sounds like an amazing goal. Next year I will make this my goal, I would need it now but, as I’m stil studying at the university I would always choice the “book of the week” before the course literature.

  71. Pedro Mendes Says:

    Hey Julien,

    I made it my goal too for this year. So far so good. January: 4 books!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  72. carlos Says:

    I think you should do something else instead read a book!!

    What do you think?? people do not work?? are you crazy??

    We SHOULD work and do not waist time…. you should be more usufull for the world…

  73. Sarah Kadi Says:

    I think what you did is very great :) Keep it up
    I made it my goal for this year 2010. I finished 2 books and I am starting a new one.
    Thank you for the motivation and good luck.

  74. Rockstar Sid Says:

    Superbly written!! Although, I believe its not at all required to read books of other topics if you don’t like it, but like you said – It’s ok to cheat.

    I, however, have read only few novels in my whole life.. less than 52 lol.. Specifically, less than ten. I guess I have to start reading them, and hey, Can I read regular textbooks? :D

    Cheers..

  75. Erika Barbosa Says:

    Thanks for this post Julien. Although an ambitious goal – this post has inspired me to give it a try. I’m addicted to reading as well, I just do not make enough time for it. No excuses now!

  76. Paul KH Says:

    Hi, I just stumbled upon this web page.

    What a great idea. I am a writer and really want to read more in order to help my writing.

    I always say that reading a book is much better than watching a film because all the characters are in your head and you also get to see what they are thinking.Also I think it is amazing how you can close a book and all the characters are literally waiting for you to get them going again !

  77. Allison Says:

    This is an awesome idea! I am a Math teacher of the 6th grade persuasion and am going to start now on the 40pp per day. I am very excited about the adult ideas and conversations that my mind will be able to have with all of these books. Thank you!

  78. stargardener Says:

    Precisely what I was looking for! Affirmation of do-ability coupled with specific steps to accomplish my desire to stay on task with my to-be-read shelves! ;-)

  79. sona Says:

    I am so inspired by this post!
    I only wish I’d come across it 89 days back, I would’ve completed atleast 12 books by now :)
    Nevertheless I will be embarking on my one-book-a-week journey from today. Thanks so much for sharing the idea!

  80. Claire in Oxford UK Says:

    I love this idea… Is it too late to start for 2010?
    I’m a slow reader with lots of domestic commitments but this has inspired me.

  81. Kristin Says:

    I’ve read a book a week (plus a couple extra) in 2008 and 2009, and am on track to do it again in 2010. I actually don’t find the pace difficult at all. I have a 1/2 hour subway commute to and from work, so that’s guaranteed reading time every day. I also always read while eating lunch (another 1/2 hour or so.) Add in long lines, the dentist’s office, reading at night to fall asleep, etc., and 50+ books a year is nothing.

    I’m moving farther away from work this summer and my commute time will nearly double, so I’m wondering if I might be able to break 100 books in 2011 :)

    Happy reading!

  82. Mitch Gallant - Capital Auto Says:

    Ok, I read a decent amount and ike the last 82 replies (Minus asshole carlos @ 73) I found it inspiring. A question I have is about retention. Right off the hop I’ll concede that I’m not the sharpest spoon in the drawer but I read mostly for work and find that I can’t keep it all locked in upstairs. With so many books on the go over a year what kind of things are smart people doing, while you’re reading, or once you’re finished a book?

    Should a guy/gal be taking notes or will the cream simply rise to the top and with such a high volume you’re bound to read intertwining ideas that just end up entrenching themselves. I read for work and i don’t think I’m reading shitty books or reading for the wrong reason. Bottom line, I want to get the most out of the investment by doing whats right… any tips?

    • Julien Says:

      Mitch, I let the stuff naturally rise to the top. It leaves a good impression on you and you remember it, but I also sometimes take notes for the blog, etc. So it’s a combination of the two.

  83. Joe Sorge Says:

    I will accept your challenge, err, instructions, umm, idea. Yes!

  84. jesslin Says:

    This was one of my new years resolutions. I got through January doing it, and then I let life happen to me and I fell behind. I’ve been recently inspired by your tweets to pick it up and try again. I think maybe my point of weakness was picking similiar books to read & getting bored. Thanks for the tips!

  85. Chris Taylor Says:

    I did this in 2007 (and every year since) and can safely say it changed my life.

    @Mitch and @Julien – I always read with a highlighter and pen on hand. Highlighting key ideas/passages, then scribbling a few notes on them helps me retain the best parts of each book.

    I’ve found a ton of value in being an active reader – I try to take one thing from each book and apply it to my life. 52 small attitudinal or behavioral changes over the course of a year can make a big difference in the way you interact with the world.

    Different strokes though… I’d encourage you (Mitch) to do it in whatever way makes the most sense to you.

  86. Anonymous Says:

    Are you joking? One single book every week is not some huge amount, it’s the baseline amount that literate people read in the regular course of their lives while they’re doing a million other things. Talk to a literature or history graduate student preparing for their comprehensive exams if you want to hear strategies for reading *a lot* — but be prepared for their pages/days ratio to fucking crush yours (mine averaged 2-3 fat books per day for one summer). I’m glad you’re finding ways to read more, but presenting this as some kind of ironman challenge is completely recockulous from a *serious* reader’s perspective.

  87. Kenneth Says:

    Congratulations, however, I couldn’t help but be a little puzzled here. Obviously, you are not a book lover. If you were, you wouldn’t need to set goals, or “get it out of the way”. lol. That simple statement speaks volumes. I read 2-3 books per week in my spare time, but I always carry a book with me wherever I go. Reading at a stoplight, check. Lunch? But, of course. Anytime you need to wait in line? Makes you seem extremely patient!

    Every other “book lover” I know does similar things. So, congrats on increasing your reading volume! You’ll probably be a better rounded person for it! But, to simply lose yourself in well written words… ah, now that is better than any movie or TV show or play… To wend your way through the authors world with just your imagination building photos from the words.

    Where’s my book?

  88. HS Says:

    What a rubbish suggestion … what happened to simply reading for the love of reading … getting totally lost in a book and finishing it in a day – because you found it such an enjoyable read … getting to about page 100 of a book and realising that you just can’t continue and putting that book down for good … having 2 or 3 books on the go at the time and reading whichever one you’re in the mood for at the time … not having time to do your 40-50 pages a day because of more pressing matters.

    Reading huge stacks of books just so you can say you’ve read them and so you can reel off clever quotes at dinner parties doesn’t make you a better and more rounded person, it makes you sound like a complete tosser. Reading about and being able to talk passionately about something which excites you, now that makes you a more interesting to be around.

    Also, what happens if a book you really want to read is 1,000 pages long … would choose not to read that book just because it would mean missing your book a week target?

  89. YUGGADHI Says:

    Congratulations!!! i´ve been trying to do so. It´s not easy when you have a 2 year old boy. You are reading and in a second when he notice you are reading, he wants to play with you. And when you have time…. it´s time to do other things while he is sleeping!! It´s great!

    I would love to do this, and if i find how to do it, i will tell moms how to do so.

    Thank you for your post. Very nice!

  90. Kenny Eller Says:

    WOW! 52 books in 52 weeks? That’s amazing!

    Do you have a top 10 list of things your learned from reading the books? Maybe a top 100:-)

    Congrats again!

  91. Anonymous Says:

    I’m sorry, but fifty-two books in a year is NOT impressive. Well, perhaps if you have children, it would be. A friend of mine owns a book store and his rate is around a book a day. 365 books a year, THAT is impressive.

    If it doesn’t take you longer than two minutes to read a page, you’re not too slow a reader. You can read a 400 page book in a week by reading two hours a day at that pace.

    How much t.v. are you watching? The average American spends four hours a day watching television. How are you spending your lunch break? AUDIO BOOKS COUNT! How long is your commute?

    If you generally enjoy reading more than watching television, you should be finding it hard to read LESS than 100 books a year!

  92. Chris Eh Young Says:

    While I did fall short of my book a week goal last year I did manage to get through 33 books. I only read 15 and the rest were audio books. I used my driving time, gym time, even working time to listen to audiobooks.

    I am still holding out on buying the Trust Agents audio book Julien as i’m waiting for that promise you made to come read it to me in exchange for a bottle of wine.

  93. Andrea Arrogante Says:

    Thanks for sharing this post again, Julien. It’s going to help me read more books for 2011. How do you choose the books you read?

  94. Satya Prakash Says:

    I can say that reading and updating on any topic through net is a waste of time. From net I got the trend and new comings but not good for deep knowledge as it is difficult to manage and knowledge is scattered also. I followed net 2-3 years for tech update and knowledge and missed lots of details and gained very less. So, reading book is important.

  95. Jorgen Sundberg Says:

    Love the recycling Julien, saving the rainforest :-)

  96. Glenn Garnett Says:

    Julien: I took up your challenge on Jan. 1 and today just completed my 52nd book of the year. And it made a big difference! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Glenn

  97. JR Griggs Says:

    I caught this post I think around the middle of the year. I love the idea & went with it. Although I can’t say I did the 40 pages everyday I read quite a bit of books. I am looking to make 2011 my 52 book year. There are so many good ones out there it is necessary to get through them all. Thanks for the post and hope to report a 52 book year in 12 months.

  98. Kristen Simmons Says:

    52 books in a year is pretty hard core. Congrats to anyonen who can accomplish that. I usually get through a dozen or so books a year on average for the past few years.

  99. Jan Richards Says:

    I loved this idea when I first read your post about it late in 2009. I decided to try it in 2010, and finished my 52nd book for the year last night.

    I will definitely try it again next year. I’ve loved it this year for many of the reasons you describe as to why you liked having and completing the 52 books in 52 weeks goal.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the posts!

  100. Sarah Wallace Says:

    Great post and a topic that is timeless…

    Question, along these lines, would you count audio books or do you find that to be cheating?

  101. cloverdew Says:

    This is a great breakdown of a really simple idea and totally achievable goal. I love your explanation of “cheating”. Would you consider audiobooks cheating?

    I am currently having trouble concentrating on reading due to medications that affect my attention span, but I’m thinking about doing a lot more audio books this year.

    I also have my own way of doing book goals for the year. In order to maximize my reading time, I make a list before the 1st of the year of certain books or authors I want to read throughout the year, a “to-read” list, if you will. It worked pretty well last year and I hope it will do the same again this year. My goals for 2011 include the following: books on cosmology, J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, Thoreau’s Walden, and Barbara Kingsolver’s books. What are yours?

  102. Frances Schagen Says:

    I get most of my books from libraries so I can’t mark them up. Even if I buy the books, I’ll pass them to a library after.

    My retention strategies are to flag pages as I read, then write up a report on the book when I’m done. These usually turn into blog posts.

    The other strategy is to belong to a book club. We like to talk about a book for 4 -6 weeks so we really can get into it. We’re all reading other books at the same time so we bring other ideas into the mix. Makes for deep and wonderful conversations.

    I read 48 books this year! I already read 75 pages today. I love reading books and always have. My favourite is when my 3 youngest kids and I are all sitting in the living room, tv off, reading.

  103. Rob Gerber Says:

    As I heard it said awhile ago:

    Rich(in all aspects) people have big libraries, poor peopl have big TV’s.

  104. Florina Baciu Says:

    As of your blog post and Dave’s I decided to read more in 2011 (http://florinabaciu.posterous.com/how-i-will-read-26-books-a-year). This will be my challenge and my New Year’s resolution.

    Thank you Julien for a year of inspiring ideas that come to life!

    Florina

  105. ella Says:

    And to think you used to make fun of my for my quick-draw book feat.

    To be honest I find the comments on this post really depressing. It never ceases to astonish me how little people read, or how peculiar it is to some people to read for the sake of reading, and not as a chore that is a means to an end. Someone said: “Some people never even read 52 books in a lifetime”?!?! Seriously?!?! I can’t believe that. Oh well, any way of getting more people reading more is good, yours seems like a method that works for many.

    As you know, I would go crazy if I could only read a book a week. Sometimes I have difficulty limiting myself to a book a day.

  106. Tiffany Harkleroad Says:

    I read 55 books over the summer alone, it was awesome, shooting for 200 for the whole year. 1.5 down.

  107. murrayNE Says:

    Well, I am going to take the challenge. I do wonder about some of those who have replied here to say how meagre this effort is. Sorry, people, but not everyone has the option of whether to spend four hours per night on TV or on reading, and (more’s the pity) not all of us have the option of a public transport commute. For some of us getting the kids to bed is just a step in the process of allowing ourselves to get back to more work!

    Ah… I remember being young and responsibility-free. Vaguely.

  108. zak Says:

    I’ve been reading 50 books per year for years, trying for an even fiction/non-fiction split. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get into a book; let it go and find another you enjoy.

  109. Katie Felten Says:

    Thanks for the push Julien I am taking the challenge and have already finished my first book of 2011.

  110. Priya Shah Says:

    I’m on it. Starting with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Thanks for cutting through the BS and stating it like it is.

  111. Gary Says:

    A huge help to me in enhancing my reading time is going for time verses pages or books (I did the read a book a week schedule during 2009–for the first 25 weeks).

    I have modified my schedule to be: 1 hour/day. This is enough time to finish 9 out of 10 books in a week, but releases you from any unnecessary pressure.

    Anyways, hope this helps some.

  112. Ryan Critchett Says:

    Dude.. I’m doing this. This is rad – You’re right, it makes you feel awesome!

  113. Emily Says:

    Julien,

    I’m a big reader, but I tend to leave books unfinished if I don’t find them interesting. For me, the most attractive thing about this post is the concept of the habit of completion. I can see how forcing myself through the mental blocks will help me in other areas of my life in the long run.

    Thanks for a great post!

  114. Bil Morrill Says:

    Thanks for the great post. I’ve just started reading a book a week a couple of weeks ago. I’ve also started to blog about it at http://bookeachweek.wordpress.com

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  115. Jessica Says:

    I recently watched the movie, Julie and Julia, for the first time, and I was instantly inspired by the character’s challenge of cooking for a year and documenting her journey via blogging. I decided to do something similar but with reading rather than cooking! I’ve challenged myself to read one book per week for an entire year. I came across your post while searching for others you have already made it through this reading quest! Thanks for the tips :)

    Here is a link to my blog if anyone is interested:

    http://inspiringidiosyncrasies.blogspot.com/

  116. fig Says:

    Last year me and my best friend read a book a week for a year and we blogged about each one of the books! It was amazing and one of the most AWESOME things I have ever done!

  117. Paul KH Says:

    Hi, I posted on this thread last year and thanks to being inspired by you I am now well into reading my 52 books !

    Thanks for the inspiration and yes I am loving the challenge and hopefully it is helping me to be a better writer too !

  118. the GyPsY Says:

    Wonderful! I found this today as I am planning to continue on my reading journey for 2012. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far this year http://www.facebook.com/groups/183660354992216/ .. and I ‘cheated’, too, but I’ve decided it’s not cheating at all and shouldn’t be called that. Because many times re-visiting a book feels like it’s new again. You get a new perspective on older books when you’re older or you’ve read more. Where does it say you should only read a book once? :-)

  119. Lia Says:

    could you please make a link for Facebook in this article? I really like the information and importance of reading you provided here and I hope to encourange my friends and love ones to read through your article. More power!

  120. Mike Hoy Says:

    I’m doing this. October was my first month. I love it. I had the idea myself and out of some weird reflex googled it and ended up here. It’s a great plan and I especially found the ‘cheating’ portion of this blog post useful. For me cheating is reading a Lawrence Block book (quick and easy mystery). I had to do that at the end of October to hit my mark.

  121. Blaaah! Says:

    Lets do this!!!
    I start this evening with the book ”The Nightmare Room – Full Moon Halloween” by R.L. Stine
    it has 126 pages wich is fair because I have only 2 days because today is friday and i must have read the book by sunday!

  122. Blessing G.O Michael Says:

    this is like… no, this is a reading magic stone

  123. a human being Says:

    I normally read 2-3 books a week, when im not working or with the family i read!

  124. David Loftus Says:

    I’ve read roughly a hundred books a year (as few as 70, as many as 130, I think) since I was in my mid teens. I couldn’t operate any other way. Now that I belong to three different book discussion groups, I read perhaps a wider variety than I would, because they often choose books I either wouldn’t have chosen myself or I haven’t even heard of, which is great. I also occasionally review books as a free-lance writer for the Portland Oregonian. Here’s an essay I wrote about one of my book groups for that newspaper:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/books/index.ssf/2011/05/choosing_a_group_book_is_full.html

  125. David Says:

    I tried this last year. I made it all the way to July but then life got in the way and I couldn’t find a conistent time everyday to read — which I find makes it a lot easier.

    It was nice to get through so many books, and now I feel like I need to go back and reread some to absorb them better.

    One thing I did for cheat weeks was to pick up a book I hard started but never finished. Which helped clearing out a lot of books I was needing to clear off my nightstand.

  126. Ivan Hernandez Says:

    Dude! You just blew away my goal of reading 3 books per month… Last year I read 29 books and felt great about it. This year I said, OK, let’s bring it on, 36 books by the end of the year …. OK, Mr. Smith, thanks for rising the bar :)

  127. Anon Says:

    At first glance I thought the title of this was “How to WRITE a book a week in 2010. *Reading* a book a week now seems infinitely easier than it would have if I read the title right the first time.

  128. Doug Says:

    I haven’t read since 8th grade. Never really found it enjoyable till now. Now I’ve already read 13 books in the month of Jan. I can’t stop!! I find a book I love I have to finish it. Work, dinner, bed doesn’t seem to matter, I have to finish.

  129. Allen Jay Mosley Says:

    Thanks Julien, this post is great help for my book reading goals for 2012. My Goal is 60 and I procrastinated in January which makes me behind schedule. so breaking it down I am looking at 5 1/2 a month. I started this morning so my Goal is in motion. Please anyone feel free to check me on my progress because I have never been a book reader so this is really a BIG Deal for me. Thanks.

  130. Gabriel Dipankar Subba Says:

    I have been reading a book a week and finished 7 books now. Mostly short books like Do the Work, Anything You Want, Poke the Box, you get the idea. Longer books shall follow…

  131. Dave Says:

    Hmmmm… let’s see…what should I do? Read 52 books this year? Learn to play an instrument? Learn another language? Learn how to play better poker and Bridge? Learn to improve my chess game? Learn how to fix my computer? All of which should be done first thing in the morning—O yeah–keeping up with my 10,000 steps per day program and 30 minutes of meditation..PLUS keep up with my day job so that I can support all f these activities.

    Only so much a feller can do in the wee couple hours of the morning…

  132. Adam Alvarado Says:

    I definitely wish I could muster a book a week. Just not a fast enough reader (probably spend too much time sounding out things…) But I just got a nook which has helped. I may not do 52 but the more the better. Thanks for the inspiration!

  133. Peter Says:

    I’m lucky to finish any book I start.

  134. dave Says:

    A book a week.. Well for most people thats pretty good :)

    Lets see.. In the last 7 days i have read.
    1.higher education
    2. the billion dollar boy
    3. outward bound
    4,mission to minerva
    5.giants star
    6.entoverse
    7.inherit the stars
    And 5 others.. I am currently on a SF kick..My problem now days is finding something to read that i haven’t read before..

    I have never sat down and totaled up how many books i have read in a year, mainly because i go through periods where i won’t read a book at all for a month or 2 and then read a book a day for a couple months.

    To give you a idea, It takes me 2 1/2 days to read through Hubberds “Battlefield earth” 1050 pages.

    OCD for the win or loss Depending on how you look at it lol.

  135. Kristin Says:

    @Dave – For me, I prioritize reading over any of those activities (except, perhaps, trying to get some exercise.) If I’m not working, doing necessary household chores, or spending time with friends and family, then I’m usually reading. It’s what I do with almost all of my free time. I’ve found if I limit my hobbies to what I really, really enjoy and want to do, I get more out of them. And that’s reading in my case.

  136. Aktifistri Says:

    Hello! Thanks a lot for sharing a very inspiring habit and post here. What you did has made me feel like I want to jump into tomorrow now so I can go to the provincial library here to start my membership and start reading more. Well living in China and the fact that it’s impossible to me buying books every week, the provincial library here is my only biggest chance to read books in the language I understand (at least English, because my native language will be impossible to find there!).

    Your post is really a huge fuel to me! I am so glad that I read Transitionelle’s post below which then lead me to your post by the link she made! Best regards.

    http://ellefeeney.com/2012/04/11/taking-away-one-new-lesson-from-each-book-you-read/#comment-819

  137. Mo Mastafa Says:

    Hey Julien,

    Interesting points. I was never a big fan of reading growing up, but as I got older I decided to embrace it. Now I couldn’t live without books… especially my library that I have grown over time.

    I like to practice the “Golden Hour” principle that Brian Tracy speaks about. Read 1 hour each day in your field, before anything else. This gets your mind ready for the day.

    No different than warming up and stretching gets your body ready for exercise. It’s essential.

    I must say, reading or study of any kind, combined with implementation of the aquired knowledge, has without a doubt been the greatest key to my personal & business successes.

    And I recommend it to anyone who wants to develop and grow as a person.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas.

  138. Regina S. Says:

    I can’t wait! I am currently reading Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens. The chapters are longer than I am used to so it’s taking me a while to read her 17 chapters. I will start off with another soon! Probably Angelology or some other book that I have in my “book bag”.

  139. Cristina E. Garcia Says:

    I LOVE this post! I’m on goodreads.com and the first thing I do after New Years Day is set my new reading challenge! Thus far I’ve been shooting for 34-37 books a year. 50-54 books sounds intense but doable now that I’m out of school and not bogged down by textbooks. While I’m late this year I’ll definitely be giving the method a shot.

    I can’t express how stoked I am to start! :D

  140. Raunaq Says:

    Thank you for this amazing post!! I’ve had list of books I need to read for years now, great way to get going.. Am already lining up books for the next couple of weeks.

  141. amanda Says:

    I have a similar approach to Big Goals: aim really high, break it into small chunks, don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind/miss the mark. I also know that I need routine and structure to be really productive, and plan accordingly.

    Love this post, and you have definitely inspired me to try a book a week! I love reading but feel that I don’t have enough time, which is ridiculous. I just wish the library system here was a little better, but I guess I need to start pillaging my friends’ bookshelves ;)

  142. Marcel Says:

    Hey Julien! Just finished The Flinch and it was a awesome read, btw.
    Do you use a Kindle or EInk device for reading? I got one for 1 1/2 month and before I never read, now I am reading a book per 1-2 weeks, so maybe with your tips I can achieve a book a week from now on. The most awesome thing about the kindle is for me, that I can read several books at the same time, because somehow I found for myself I am always more productive working in several directions….

  143. Marcel Says:

    Can someone recommend me a book about “speed reading”?

  144. Harold Coat Hanger Says:

    If you click on your link for ‘subvocalising’ the definition states that it ‘helps the mind to access meanings to enable it to comprehend and remember what is read’ – so surely eliminating it would mean you wouldn’t remember anything you speed-read. This seems a bit contradictory to the message. Maybe an explanation how to retain the information AND speed-read should have appeared in the How sections? I would be interested in that.

  145. Harold Coat Hanger Says:

    er actually it does work – I just tried tracing with my finger and I am now reading things twice as fast.

  146. Robert Abramov Says:

    Can we get a list of the books you read?

  147. Fabian Kunz Says:

    I am starting today. Thank you!
    I have just made a list of all my unread books and I consider reading some titles that were mentioned in Gilmore Girls.
    Check this list of Rory’s books out: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj5OPOyPA2BFdDR3MHh4NFBvZWxtQ09JMUVnOHQ1NUE&hl=en#gid=1

  148. Miguel Says:

    This is definitely a great post. I have a similar technique for reading x amount of books per month. I make it a habit to read books that contain anywhere from 31 to 35 chapters. This makes a daunting task look more manageable. I read exactly one chapter per day, per book and it takes me approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. I read 5 books per month. Next year I will be upping the number of books to 7 per month. Since I apply this reading strategy for books I read for pleasure, I need not worry about speed reading. Books that I have to read to gain specific knowledge, it takes me about two hours to read a chapter and an additional hour to break it down for better digestion. I do not worry about speed reading as I strongly believe that the joy in reading lies in the details. Hopes this helps someone.

  149. Maldita Says:

    I like to quote “The Habit of Completion” that really inspired me. Thanks!

  150. Marcela Landres Says:

    I once had a New Year’s resolution to read more, but it went by the wayside. Then I got the idea to choose a more concrete, simple goal: to always have a book in my purse. Now every time I leave my home and find myself on the subway or waiting in line, I whip out the book and get some reading done. I’ve read many more books this way. Now I always have a book on my dining room table, by my sofa, and on my nightstand table–it’s amazing how many more minutes of reading time miraculously appear when you do this :-)

  151. Sue Says:

    Okay, how about Audiobooks?
    Especially when driving, hiking or doing mindless chores. I can still engage in what’s being told, but have access to much more time this way…
    Do they count?

  152. Pygar Says:

    Thank you for this inspiration. Challenge accepted for 2013.

  153. Nashreen Says:

    Any book? As long as I read one in a week? I’m an avid reader. I could finish one per day. I just don’t know if I’m reading the right books.

  154. Georgina Says:

    Not to detract from your feeling of self-accomplishment, but I don’t really think taking a whole week to read one book is something to boast about. I take about two days to read a book, meaning I tend to read around 100-110 books a year and I know lots of people who do better than that. Just saying, a book a week is in no way unreasonable or amazing.

  155. fab40foibles Says:

    I’m aiming for 80 this year :)

  156. Justin Says:

    Hi Julien,

    I just finished my own 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I have to say that it was absolutely the most insightful year of my life. I almost want to tell people to save themselves the 21K it costs for a college education these days and invest a few hundred in self education instead.

    Great stuff man.

    With gratitude,

    Justin

  157. Nathan Says:

    I casually read about a book a week, and do think of it as an ideal reading pace. I read for about 30 minutes to an hour each day and still have time for everything else.

    But no need to get so technical about it, y’all! To keep reading a crappy book to reach a ‘make myself feel better about myself’ goal is so silly! No one cares exactly how many books you read in a year, although being well-read is superlative.

  158. Ahmad Says:

    Hello,

    I might be out of my league here and probably aiming big, but I couldn’t agree more with you, that big goals are more motivating.

    I never ever read a book in my entire life and I’m about 26yo, it’s a shocker I know, yet I can argue it’s more of a culture norm.

    Regardless, could you please recommend a good first book, I was thinking the da vinci code, yet after reading your article I might consider a smaller book, just to get that sense of accomplishment, which will help me proceed.

    Interested to hear your thoughts.

    Kind Regards

  159. Peter Says:

    Hey, I just started my own adventure of reading 52 books in 52 weeks. Did you guys buy the books, or did you went to the library? I’m a student, so money is pretty tight, but owning a cool stack of books you read is also pretty cool:)

    Peter

  160. scorpion Says:

    Share with us the books you read.

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