52 Books, 52 Weeks

October 23, 2015

I like challenges. I’ve been in a lifelong love affair with books. I have an obsession with quotes. I don’t read as often as I want to. I buy more books than I actually read. I need a reason to commute to work instead of driving. Given all this, I presume that you understand why I’m jumping on this challenge. Now, 52 weeks is a really long time. I don’t know where I’ll be exactly a year from now, but I know I won’t be less of a person for being well-read. Honestly, this will probably make me a more conscious, cultured, and wiser person with a better vocabulary. Julien Smith read a book a week for five years and posted a Medium article about it. That along with this was inspiration enough. I’m going to read a book a week, for the next 52 weeks.

“It feels awesome. It gives you an amazing amount of ideas. It helps you think more thoroughly. It’s better than TV and even the internet. It makes you understand the world more. It is a building block towards a habit of completion.” – Julien Smith

Choosing Books

I have an embarrassing collection of books I’ve never read. Books on my windowsill (pictured above), books in boxes, books scattered around the homes I’ve lived in, books on my Kindle – some read, some half-read, some which still smell like the bookstores I bought them from. So, I’ll be tackling those first. After those, I’ll peruse through the OneNote page I have of books I want to read and the random places on the internet I’ve bookmarked reading lists.

What I’ll Be Reading

Right now (and probably for the rest of my life) I’m infatuated with all things related to Africa, blackness, tech, and self-improvement. I’ll be reading books that cover those topics, books by authors of color, books of poetry, books by rich old men who know the secrets of wall street, books about coding, books about unrequited love, books about requited love, books about a lot of things.

When I’ll Be Reading

There’s this nifty shuttle that takes me straight to work in the morning and evening, so I’ll be making use of my ~25 minute commute by reading. I’ll start each book on Sunday and use Saturdays to play catch up if I need to. I’ll be reading on flights if I don’t need to catch up on sleep. People who have completed this strongly recommend reading in the morning because otherwise you end up putting it off. If I can find a way to make my mornings less rushed, then morning reading time it is.

Can I Actually Do This?

Right now, I’m pretty excited. I’ve read fast my entire life, getting through trilogies faster than I can binge watch 3 seasons of any show. But, quite honestly, this is the biggest consistency challenge I’ve ever done. My one week social media fast was pretty intense, this is requiring commitment from me for a year. I’ll make it though, especially since I just wrote this entire essay on the internet for a few thousand accountability partners to read.

I haven’t decided how I’ll be keeping track of my progress and what I read. Maybe, maybe Goodreads, perhaps I’ll post a photo of the book every week on Instagram, or tweet it. Honestly, maybe all four for different reasons. Stay tuned, and if you’re interested, please join me!

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