What Happened In My Year of Reading 100 Books

imagesA couple of people have asked me how my goal of reading 100 books in a year went. I found it to be an interesting experiment. Let go ahead and give you a spoiler alert – I did not reach my goal. I finished the year at 83. That was still more than I normally read in a year. I had some unexpected things happen this year. We swapped some responsibilities around at work and there was some adjustment there. My father, who had Alzheimer’s, began to go down and passed away the week before Christmas. There are always things going on in everyone’s life, but these were mine.

What Worked? Again I read more books this year than I have in previous years. That was a good thing. I started to make some choices about how to use my time. Instead of turning on the TV, I would sit and read for a while. I also used small pockets of time such as waiting at the Dr.’s Office, or waiting on someone to show for a meeting. This gave me some headway.

What did not work?  When time ran short that week I found myself picking shorter books so I could meet my goal. Not exactly what I wanted. There were books I wanted to read that I did not because they were going to be too long. For example my daughter gave me a nice leather bound copy of “Crime and Punishment” for Christmas this year. My goal is to read it this year. That would have thrown my goal way off. I also found that it cut into some other activities that I wanted to do. I am also writing more short stories and I could not work both in at the level that I felt I needed to. I found myself towards the end of the year not enjoying reading as much as I did before.

I do feel like this was something that I needed to do for one year to learn how to read more. However, I will not be reading that many this year. I am thinking somewhere in the area of 50 books this year. I want to put more emphasis on my writing and that is a long process for me. That is the thing about goals. You can sometimes learn as much when you do not meet them as you do when you are successful.

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About Mark LaGrone

Discipleship and Assimilation Pastor at Collierville First Baptist Church outside of Memphis, TN.
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