16 Books in 15 Weeks
"What's life without a little challenge," I said to myself 15 weeks ago. It was then I decided I ought to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Earlier this week I completed my sixteenth book. It's been a time-consuming mission, much to my wife's chagrin, but not the least bit burdensome. Really it's been thoroughly enjoyable, and a habit I look forward to strengthening. When you break down the numbers, it feels rather impressive. Whether it truly is impressive I don't care.
The list of books finished to date are:
1. Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Gordon Rugg, 304 pp.
2. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, Paul E. Miller, 277 pp.
3. The 4-Hour Work Week, Expanded and Updated, Timothy Ferris, 396 pp.
4. The Weight of Glory and Other Essays, C. S. Lewis, 192 pp.
5. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell, 296 pp.
6. The New Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life, Bill Schultheis, 236 pp.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling, 310 pp.
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling, 341 pp.
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling, 435 pp.
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling, 734 pp.
11. Multiply, Francis Chan, 333 pp.
12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling, 870 pp.
13. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling, 652 pp.
14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling, 759 pp.
15. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 180 pp.
16. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, 288 pp.
I cracked open the first book on November 16, 2014. 103 days later (February 27, 2015), I've read a combined 6,603 pages. For perspective, this would be similar to reading the entire Bible three times; or reading Les Miserables seven times. Like training for a marathon, or building a company from scratch, it's amazing to see what can be done when you work towards something day-in and day-out. In these 15 weeks, I've read an average of 64 pages a day, which, truthfully, does not sound like that many. Traditionally, a published page holds roughly 250 words. So, if I read 64 pages a day, that means I read approximately 16,000 words a day. Which also means I've read approximately 1,648,000 words in the last 15 weeks!
Of course, these numbers only reflect this particular bit of habitual reading. I do marketing and social media for my company, so I'm often reading roughly 2-dozen articles a day in addition to this. Many of you reading this, I'm sure, are in similar positions where you read constantly throughout the day, even if it doesn't fit between formal bindings.
Do you read articles on your phone? Maybe it would be beneficial for you, if you're interested in something similar, to read a certain number of articles a day for an extended period, or to research a particular topic of interest. I think it's always beneficial to take something you have an affinity for and strengthen it. I also believe, because research says so, that in addition to improving mental stamina, reading has a multitude of calming qualities.
A lot of people like and appreciate words, syntax, vocabulary, or something of the sort. If you're someone who wants to learn a new word a day (or five words a day), as many do, try reading instead of studying a dictionary or downloading "word-a-day" apps. Whether it's in a blog, newspaper, novel, or textbook, if you read 16,000 words a day you're bound to find at least one you don't already know!