Friday, October 31, 2014

52 books a year challenge

2 more months before the year 2014 is over.

I still have one last major thing to tick off in my goals for this year. This is something pleasurable - reading 52 books per year. I've been doing this for quite a number of years already, so it's nothing new. However, it's always a challenge because I'm operating at a zone just between the impossible and the just possible, which makes this a really good challenge because there's a good chance it may fail unless I change myself. Challenges like these are very satisfying to complete. It has the Goldilock's standard of not-too-hot-not-too-cold optimization.

52 books a year means 1 book per week, regardless of length or thickness. The intention behind the challenge is not for me to read as many books as possible (thought that will be achieved), but to complete as many books that I started as possible. It's very easy to begin a book but after a few pages, you realised that maybe this book isn't as exciting as it looks in the beginning, so you procrastinate and read lesser and lesser before ditching it for another brand new 'exciting' book. If I do that all the time, I'll never finish my 52 books a yr challenge. To prevent myself from not finishing a book when I started it, I set up the challenge. With that target number always in mind, it'll force me to complete books instead of starting them. And thank goodness I did so, because there's a lot of gems that are boring at first but gets better and better as we go along. Imagine how many gems like these will be thrown aside if I didn't adopt this challenge.

I noticed that if I borrowed books from the library, I also tend to finish them faster. I'll plan my schedule such that I'll have time to read them. Books that I had bought, however, are usually left on the shelf. It's silly, but it seems that if there's a time constraint to reading a book, you'll actually finish them faster. I guess it's psychological - it's like you're rushing against time and thus the pressure to complete them. 52 books a year challenge seeks to replicate that time pressure.

Had a chance encounter with this book at NLB Bishan. Been wanting to read this for 1 yr!

So, how many more books do I need to complete the challenge? I'm currently on book 35 now, which means I have another 17 books to go before 31st December 2014. Let's say I've 20 books to complete in 60 days (2 months). That gives me 3 days to finish reading a book.

Challenge accepted!


B said...


That's a lot of books out there. So a book in 1 week.

I've always wanted to read more books and novels as well but can only do so while commuting to work :(

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

Jia You!! U can do it.

I usually complete only about 50% of the investment books that I read.

When I started off, I used to read form page 1 till the end.

Getting impatient. LOL

la papillion said...

Hi B,

A little contributes to a lot, after one year :) You don't have to do 52 a yr, it's just my challenge ;)

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

That's what I want to prevent!

It's when we're no longer novices that we have to act like novices. Reading something that you already know like you're reading for the first time is really hard!