100 Books in a Year

After reading 77 books in 2018, I set out to read 100 books in 2019 and guess what--I DID IT! It was a tough challenge to complete but I made it to 100 (literally read the 100th book flying back to DC from Seattle on New Year's Eve but that definitely still counts--I even did it while losing 3 hours)!

I loved this challenge and I loved having an excuse to dedicate so much time to reading books that I loved. (I wasn't so great at keeping my blog updated with all the books I read but here are two updates that I did post.) There were definitely some times when I thought that I wouldn't make it to 100 and, not going to lie, I was pretty bummed. I'm a very competitive person (even with myself) so I was worried about not meeting a goal I set for myself. But then I stopped to think about it and remembered that the whole reason I set a reading goal was to remind myself how much I love to read. And this goal definitely helped spark that love even more.

Here are a few ways I helped myself meet this very ambitious goal. The top one was probably the Libby app. I've raved about it before but it's basically Kindle but for library books. You can get ebooks and audiobooks (yes, listening to an audiobook counts as reading, don't be ableist) for free with your library card! I love this app for putting holds on popular books that I'm curious about but not curious enough about to send $25 on the hardback and for trying new genres that I'm not sure I want to commit to 100% right away. Libby is my BFF and I love her, basically.

I also gave myself permission to stop reading a book I wasn't enjoying. I know there are lots of different strategies for how long you should give a book (how many chapters or how many pages) but I ended up coming up with my own system--if I wasn't rooting for at least one of the characters after about 50 pages, I stopped reading it and picked a new book. I find that I have to be interested in the specific characters to be truly invested in a book. 

Finally, The Lounge introduced me to Book of the Month and I'm in love. They curate a list of about 5 books each month--focusing on debut authors, women authors, and authors of color--and you get to pick which beautiful hardcover they send to you! It's about $20 a month but you can skip months if you don't like the books they're offering that month aaaand I have a referral code that will let you get your first month for $5! As much as I love not spending money and still getting to read great books, there's something about holding a book in your hands that I love. Plus, I tend to give books away after I finish them so this subscription lets me gift books to my heart's content!

This year I'm aiming to hit 100 books again and I'm off to a great start with 4 done so far (and currently in the middle of two more)!