Picking Up Steam (Reading Challenge Week 3)

It was a week of rain in Los Angeles, which made for a lot of time to cozy up and read. A very successful week in all, where I finished reading my first book of 2019 (The Audacity of Hope) and nearly finished the second, another memoir. (FYI, while I’m writing about this challenge here, I’m not going to write about every single book I read. In this public day and age, I still cherish the idea of keeping some things to myself.)

Reading about 20 pages with my morning coffee has become more of a habit now. Where I would usually start perusing news and political Twitter, I’m now trying to leave that for a bit later in the day as I bite off a chunk of this reading first thing. It’s made for a less stressful start to the day. It also means that by the time I’m up and starting my day, I’ve only got about 40 or so pages left to read for the quota, which feels a lot less daunting than 60+. My schedule isn’t as busy now as it will be later this year, so I like the idea of instilling this habit now while it’s easier to do.

It feels really, really great to be knocking some of these books off my list. I think there’s a sense of failure or maybe guilt that creeps in when you glance at a shelf full of books that you’ve never read. I tend toward minimalism, and I dislike the idea that I would own things that serve no purpose. I’m also open to the idea of picking up one of these books I bought years ago and deciding not to read it. Some I plan to pass on once I’ve read them for myself. Bookshelves should not be a neglected graveyard, but a well-tended garden of ideas and reference.

There’s a change this week in the posted screenshot of my statistics. (Again, from an app called Persistence that I highly recommend for goal setting.) I took the screenshot at the end of the day Friday rather than after my Saturday morning reading chunk. This will give more accurate daily averages (no partial days) and also allows me to occasionally pre-write this column the night before, as I have some Saturday morning events coming up. Flexibility and fine-tuning are the keys to success with any project like this. The consequences of this one may not be dire, but it’s a good mindset to practice for bigger and more crucial life goals.

Stats, end of week 3:

Books completed (total): 1

Books to go: 59

Pages read (total): 744

Pages to go: 22014

Pages per day: 41.33

Pages per day to complete entire goal by end of year: 63.44

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