In 2017 I set up myself with a challenge to read 100 books. This came about when I realized that I didn’t dedicate enough time to read in the past few years, I love reading, but I didn’t prioritize it and therefore didn’t do it. So 2017 became the year that I put reading a book up high on my priority list. I’m glad to have achieved this goal and read 100 books in 2017.
I’m still processing and discovering what I learned from the challenge, and writing about my experience fully will take time and a much longer post!
To start, here are what helped me read 100 books, top books I read, and books I was pleasantly surprised to have read.
This is how I read 100 books in a year.
Made reading a priority
Reading wasn’t something I did when I had time, no it was what I was doing. Watching TV, browsing social media, unnecessary social events took a back step to create time to read. On the days that I had a lot to catch up with I even skipped my movement practice. On the other hand, on the days that I knew I could spare few hours from reading, I watched useless TV and YouTube videos. It is all about priority!
Read more than one book at a time
Some of the books I wanted to read are complex and take a long time to read and comprehend, others needed concentration and focus, and I couldn’t read them in the car, airplane or at bedtime. The solution was to read two or more books at a time. I read novels and memoirs while reading complex books like Bioenergetics and The Body Keeps the Score. Choosing a book for different settings and moods ensure that I keep reading no matter where I am or how I feel.
Always had a book close by
Everywhere I went I made sure I have my Kindle or a book, there are always chances to read a page or two, and if I’m waiting for prayers or at a clinic may be a chapter!
Stayed open to book suggestions
I didn’t have a list of 100 books to read; I was going with the flow of my instinct and curiosity. I stayed open to book references in books I’m reading or in conversations, looked around bookstores and gift shops, and inspirations from places I went to. One of my favorite books was The Elephant Whisperer; I found that in the gift shop of the hotel we were at in Nairobi during our summer vacation.
Shared my goal and challenge with others and in Social Media
I posted my intention to read 100 books in a post here; I also posted my progress on Instagram. This helped me stay accountable to my goal and stick to it. Having people follow my progress, cheer me on, and finding inspiration in it gave me tremendous motivation to complete the challenge and celebrate at the end.
Listened to Audio Books
From the beginning, I was debating, with myself, whether listening to an audiobook can count as reading and be included in the 100 books. Then I found my self in a car on a bumpy road in Kenya! Reading would’ve been disastrous, so I open the Audible app and found a book I can listen to and enjoy. Later as the weather got nice, it gave me a reason to walk without taking time from reading.
Chose wisely towards the end
In September I was falling behind schedule and wasn’t sure how I would be able to finish! Accordingly, my choice of which book to read was influenced by how much time left. I wanted to stay true to reading books that attract my attention and curiosity, but with a new rule, only books less than 250 pages! That lead me to read a Manga and a poetry book. It became a joke among friends who suggested I read The Cat in The Hat and Goodnight Moon.
My choice for top 10 books I read in 2017
Top 10 Memoir and Biographies