2019 Reading Goal

This morning, I took a tour of the Hemingway House in Key West, FL. I have deeply enjoyed reading and re-reading many of Hemingway’s works. It was meaningful to see his writing studio and learn that it was the room in which he completed Green Hills of Africa, Death in the Afternoon, To Have and Have Not, Snows of Kilimanjaro, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

I began reading as an adult in 2011. In this self-motivated pursuit, I went on to read more in one year read more than in the previous five (of reading only books as academic assignments). As of the time of writing this, I have read about 265 books as an adult. I track the books I’ve begun and the dates I started reading them in Evernote. Each time I complete one, I move it to the list of completed books with the date and then add the book to Goodreads as ‘read’. If there are quotes from the book worth sharing, I will put them in the review.

I push myself to read broadly and prolifically. In 2012, I set the goal of 35 books for the year and met it. In 2013, I set the goal of 104 books (2 books per week) and settled by years end for 53 books (1 book per week + 1). In November of that year, I found myself consciously targeting the shortest interesting books I could find to be sure I would clear the measure of 1 book per week. Ever since, I have read without a specific book count as a goal and averaged 29 books per year.

Book count makes for an inaccurate gauge of total reading. As one illustration of this, compare the page count of the 53 books I completed in 2013 to the 42 books I completed in 2016.

Despite reading 11 more books in 2013, I completed more total pages in 2016.

For 2019, my reading goal is to complete 20,000 pages. This averages to about 55 pages per day (ppd) for the entire year. I set the goal in early February and had read about 45 ppd as of that point. I first brought my ppd for the year above 55 on April 8th when I completed Cryptonomicon.

To track page count, I am using Goodreads. Unfortunately, even page count isn’t a perfect measure. For a large book, the paperback and hard cover editions of the same content can vary by hundreds of pages (not to mention large print editions that stretch to even higher page counts). Many of the books I read are on audiobook, and I need to pick the edition that best reflects the true page count read.

To see what books I have completed so far this year, the list is available on Goodreads.

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