The Year that I read 50 Books

Books

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.

Books

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.
Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to all Creation

One of my favorite quotes from the book that I read in 2019:

“Our species doesn’t operate by reality. It operates by stories. Cities are a story. Money is a story. Space was a story, once. A king tells us a story about who we are and why we’re great, and that story is enough to make us go kill people who tell a different story. Or maybe the people kill the king because they don’t like his story and have begun to tell themselves a different one.”

― Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few

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.

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.

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!

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