I read 50 books this year, and yes, a big part of it was caused by my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) =)).
I know that some people might read more than 50 books in a year (let’s assume that it’s non-graphic books, each with 200-300 pages in average – how do you do that?), but I put a lot of efforts on this challenge, reading book isn’t always easy, so I’m going to tell everyone this story anyway.
You, listen. I read 50 books in 2019. Yay!
How I Got Myself in This 50 Books a Year– Obsession
I’m a Goodreads member and as usual, the year started with me setting my reading goal for the next 12 months. I put my usual ’12’ in my Goodreads’ reading challenge space — 1 for every month, that’s what I planned to do in 2019.
But then, I bought my first Kindle e-book reader (the cheapest one) around May (because I got pretty sick the prior month, I spent some money for the medication and hospital, and I kinda disappointed with that, so I treat myself with something nice — I want to enjoy the fruit of my hard work too -_-) and I guess I just want to make sure that I did a smart decision with the kindle-buying (what a smart buy! so efficient! so good for the mind!) so I set a new reading goal: I will read 50 books in 2019.
Book Summaries and Reviews:
Some facts and quick reviews about the 50 books that I read:
- I read 21 non-fiction, mostly related to medical, biology, brain, and psychology.
- I found my new favorite genre (space opera) and my new favorite author: Becky Chambers, I read 4 of her books this year (the 3 Wayfarer series and 1 novella), and I can’t decide which one I like the most between the 4, I like all of them. Read my reviews.
- This year, the fastest time I bought a book after reading a random review on the internet is 10 minutes. I had to buy it. I just had to. I don’t know if I would ever meet this kind of book again so I bought it through Amazon Kindle instantly. The book is Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson. A non-fiction. A very fun book, a perfect twin to my weird sense of humor. Read the review here.
- I also like Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb so much. If you are currently considering to get yourself a psychotherapist to help you get through whatever you’re trying to get through right now (have a day, I hope everything’s okay), or if you are interested in psychotherapy or just psychology in general, this non-fiction is a must-read.
- Met my favorite post-apocalyptic fiction this year: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. This one topped my before-no.1 post-apocalypse fiction fav: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, so it’s huge. Read my review of C.A Fletcher’s book here, you can also read my review of Station Eleven here.
- Are you a fan of Trevor Noah? Me too! I always think of him as a well-mannered, careful, stand-up comedian. I also admire his ability to speak in many languages and dialects, and his autobiography book, Born a Crime, told me how he got all of it (his well-mannered trait, his love for languages) in the first place. It’s funny, warm, and inspirational. Read it!
- Read about several new topics this year: What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali and The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making by Jared Yates Sexton. Found new perspectives from those two books and can’t stop thinking about it ever since.
- And last but not least, finally, had myself read the book that intrigued me for more than a year before: Raden Mandasia si Pencuri Daging Sapi by Yusi Avianto Pareanom, a local Indonesian author. I want to read it because of this very trivial reason: there’s ‘Manda’ (my name) in the title, and I bought it around the Idl’ Fitri holiday, so I guess buying a book about ‘daging sapi’ (beef meat) would be funny. Turns out, the book is great, a very satisfying historical fantasy war fiction, and I like it so much. Will be eyeing for another Yusi Avianto Pareanom’s book in 2020.
One of my favorite quotes from the book that I read in 2019:
See the detailed list of the books that I read in 2019 here. Btw, it’s 50, I don’t know why Goodreads stopped counting after 49. It’s still December 2019 -_-, please do it right, Goodreads.
Is it worth it to read 50 books in a year?
So my friend told me yesterday that Bill Gates also read 50 books a year. I think he’s been doing it for a couple of years, and this is my first year, so no, I didn’t mean to compare myself with Bill Gates =))
Like I have told before, I started the challenge because of my being cheap — I want to use my kindle to its best potential, and I continue to do the challenge and finish it because of my OCD trait. A mild one, this OCD of mine, but enough to make me feel anxious about not being able to meet this year’s target.
Being able to read a lot of books from different genres and about different topics sure has its perks. I never thought that I would be interested in a topic of game theory and management, and here I am, read 4 books of the genre group this year (Radical Candor by Kim Scott is great!). I found different sensations between reading non-fiction and fiction. I drown myself in fiction, fully imagining the setting of the make-up world, but non-fiction has always felt like a fun and fruitful discussion with a dear friend. Non-fiction is my new-found love and I think that’s one of the reasons why I was so eager to read more this year. I never like non-fiction this much before, so I want to explore it while I can.
But I’m a bit sad because, through my 40th book, I’m starting to feel a bit bored by the number-obsessed moves. I’m worried whether I will be able to remember most of the important things from all the books that I read or not. Because, if I couldn’t remember the essence of the book, what’s the point of reading it?
And, having myself to read 4-5 books a month, 1 book per week, kinda takes a lot of my time to the point that I don’t have much time to do another thing that should be my main goal too: writing.
So yes, reading 50 books a year is (of course) totally worth it, but I guess I’m going back to my 12 books a year–goal next year (I might even go with 5), because I want to try another challenge (that I haven’t decided yet). And I want to read for fun again. Just because I want to know about a topic or a story and I happened to meet the right book that might tell me about it.
What I would like to say about setting your reading goals in 2020
If you’re anxious about your reading goals, I suggest you to set a more comfortable goal for your next reading challenge. Just set a low target and read more than that, explore new author or new topic, read each book with your full attention (reread the beautiful quote, think from different perspectives, never put yourself in a situation that requires you to think how many days, how many hours, you need to finish a book — just read it slow, read it fast, read it however you want), and don’t forget to recommend your most favorite book or latest read to someone.
You should share your opinions about a book because it’s sweet, that’s why. And because it could be a start for a very fun discussion, let them learn the vocabularies and ideas first before you two begin to attack each other with predictions and thoughts about the topic.
Happy reading! Don’t forget to recommend me some good books in the comment section! I might read it in 2020!