I’m not a big reader, I get distracted entirely too easily. I have good intentions for reading and I LOVE books, it’s just that I slack when it comes to actually reading them. I can easily spend hours wandering bookstores, perusing covers, shuffling through best-seller tables and reading samples of the hundreds of titles on display. Once I get them home though, something strange happens and they get put in the now growing library of well-intentioned future reads, not touched for years, gathering dust…and since we’re in the caribbean, mildew.
Friday I was going through some of my clutter and decided to weed through my pile ‘o’ books with the intention of getting rid of the ones I really just don’t want to read. Problem is, there are 11 books that I do want to read from that pile (plus another stack of 10 general self-help & new-age-ey books that I’m not even going to go into now).
I wondered how long it would take me to read all 11. Keeping in mind that I’m not a big reader, I set a goal for myself of 20 pages minimum per day. Having done all the math for each book, I have factored that it will take me precisely 6 months maximum to polish these bad boys off.
Deconstructing my task a step more, I’ve put post-it notes on the front of each, indicating number of pages & time allotment to finish. Adding yet another step to the process, inside the book I’m currently reading I have a week’s worth of pink post-its marked with each day of the week in 20 page increments, plus a yellow post-it for my actual place so I can keep track of where I am and when.
My friends think I’m nuts, and I’ve taken more than my fair share of ribbing, calling me a combination of OCD, ADD & ruined by my job (in which everything must be carefully documented and orderly at all times). They may be right, I may be some or all of these things, but I look at it this way: Big Goal and Small Goals. The Big Goal is to finish a minimum of 11 books in 6 months. The Small Goals are: first, to get through 20 pages minimum each day, and second, get through each book on or ahead of schedule. I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.
My friends also say I’ve taken the joy out of reading. I say doing it this way keeps me on track every day with small accomplishments & I can be proud of myself if/when I get ahead of schedule, plus crack down when I get behind; because I know I am going to lapse at some point in my reading every single day for 6 monthss.
So here I go. Television, I’m sorry, you’re going to be neglected for a while. I get the feeling you’ll get over it though.
- Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
- The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
- Caribbean High by Gary E Brown
- The Dog Walker by Leslie Schnur
- Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
- Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
- Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner
- Inside of a Dog by ALexandra Horowitz
- La Bonne Table by Ludwig Bemelmans
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave.
- The Trouble with France by Alain Peyrefiitte
- To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron. (BONUS book that I’d started before my goal of the 11 above, I’ve decided to squeeze it in too so that makes 12 book in 6 months.)