24 Books a Year: Goal Completed
Last year, I set a goal for myself: to read 24 books in 2016 (two books a month). Why did I set this goal? Well, for a few reasons, really…
- I love to read and want to consume more unread books in our library.
- Reading is one of the best ways to learn how to write better.
- Reading is great for inspiration.
- I love a good challenge.
There were times where I fit three books in a month and there were times where I was up until midnight finishing the book for the month. It wasn’t always easy, but I did it just in the nick of time, finishing my last book on New Year’s Eve. I actually did it! This year was a really busy year (we got married, the Olympics happened, we moved, my commute got longer and I was no longer able to read on the bus), but I still stared the challenge in the face and defeated it! Now, this isn’t including audiobooks–if I included those it would be at least 36! This is sit down, read paper books.
Although my most popular genre was fantasy, I also dipped into sci-fi, mystery, historical fiction, and biographies. Some books were 120 pages, some were over 600–all were read! I learned a lot–I got inspired by ideas, I immersed myself in new worlds, I learned how to write better, I discovered new phrases and ways of saying things, I learned better setting and story development. Reading makes you a better writer, period.
Highlight (and lowlight reel)
- I discovered a new series: The Runelords. It’s a fantasy series based around elemental magic (for the most part) with really cool plot points. It’s also a lowlight in my year because I stopped after the sixth book because it lacked the caliber it once started with. Still, I’m very grateful for discovering the series.
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear—wow, what a motivational book. I remember waiting to read this one after our wedding because I “didn’t want get inspired while I was too busy to do anything with it.” This book is from the author of Eat, Pray, Love (a book I’ve never read) and it was all about following your creativity. Working towards your dreams, your goals, and squeezing all you have from yourself into your projects. It got me amped up and I bought it for several other of my creative peoples.
- George R.R. Martin’s recent ASOIAF contribution, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms—was so great to get back into his writing. Can’t wait for the next book!
- Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, wrote a great book, Belgravia–a historical novel set in 1840s London that keeps you hooked until the end. Could use more of these books!
I’m really proud of what I accomplished. I also have set the goal for this year at 12 books. What!? That’s half! I have lots of goals, and they’re not just reading. I have a lot of creative projects going and although I realize that reading is important (which is why I’m still doing 12 at least), I don’t want it to get in the way of other goals. I want it to work with the other goals! So this year, I will read at least twelve books and hopefully accomplish some of my creative goals as well.
So, what did you read last year? Did you have any books you loved and some that you could’ve done without? Comment below and tell us! And as always, stay hungry and fit!