In 2015, I started a hashtag #fiftybooksayear to start documenting the books I read because roughly I read about a book per week. Not much deliberation was done as to why I choose to name as such for the hashtag.
As the years go by, I wonder the relevance of the quantity of the books we read and if it’s worth the effort of reading and buying to keep the one-book-a-week momentum going. So as four years had passed since #fiftybooksayear started, let’s see if reading a book a week makes you progress or atrophy (yes it’s possible!).
Essentially, you should read one book a week. This is the dosage we were recommended with as school children. That was when we only read story books to extract its lessons in terms of morality to guide us with our livelihood. But that hasn’t changed for adults, has it? As adults, we read less of imaginary storybooks and more complex narratives which requires more willpower, brainpower to build your superpower – or simply book tower? :p
As the books we need to read as adults become more complicated, most of us give up and throw in the towel. We just don’t realise that reading is a battle with your worst enemy. And that worst enemy is yourself. So how do you harness your superpower, willpower and brainpower by defeating your own enemy? Try reading one book a week. Simple as that.
In order to do that, the book must be brought along everywhere and read at any time you have a break to read. A few lines every few hours have a huge impact rather than setting a full two-hour in a day to read two chapters. Reading beautifully edited text gives exponential value to your time compared to reading amateur writers on Social Media.
This habit is hard to cultivate at first. But as time past, your mind will long for the company of the book to entertain your idle mind. Just as a person who is used to gourmet meal, when he sees a packet of chips (akin to amateur writers on Social Media), the chips no longer looks fulfilling or can satisfy a gourmet’s sense of taste.
No doubt, discipline is essential in finishing a book. It is very easy to flip through a few pages then go on with life and decide the book will not have any impact on you. That is the mistake made by many new readers, thinking that the words, the lines, the paragraph, the books they read would have no impact on themselves.
Try picking up another book on the same genre or the same author to see how their craft binds. You might surprise yourself with the insatiable pull a subject has once your eyes and mind have been peeled to ‘see’ it. So picking up another book once you are done with one keeps the mind warm and inviting for fresh new ideas to brew from a book.
The easy way to see the kind of author or genre you are more compelled to read and finish is to ask yourself: Have you ever held a book that carries so much energy in it that you are drawn to read it? Good books do that, the energy put forth by the author on his/her book is carried by their product and is shared to the reader. Have you ever felt so energised, replenished and satisfied after reading a good book? That means the author’s energy had been shared with you.
When you vibe at the same rate as the author or genre, that is the one you should stick to until it no longer does that to you. This way, your goal to #fiftybooksayear looks more promising.
And how would #fiftybooksayear make you atrophy? Well, expect some decline in the quality of time you spend on your phone scrolling aimlessly and reading unimportant news that has no direct impact on you. I promise you, that is the only thing that would reduce in the quality of your life when you #fiftybooksayear.
Personally, I recommend going through fifty books in one year so that you find the author/genre that you love. Keep going at it each week for one year, until you find your gem. Do this for one year.
And after that one year, you will know yourself if you want to keep up with reading as much as fifty books in one year. BUT, give yourself a weekly treat to a book FOR ONE YEAR first.
In conclusion, after four years (or more prior to that) of living #fiftybooksayear I would say that it is only necessary to give yourself a #fiftybooksayear for ONE YEAR and see where that leads you to. This will open you up to a myriad of things/interests you didn’t know about yourself. Also a great opportunity to find out your definition of success in life inspired by the greatest people you read from.
Ask yourself this: Do you want your mind to be influenced by the smartest published authors or by the mediocre posts in Social Media? Do you want to harness the power from the smartest or do you want the negativity on Social Media to leech on you? Do what you future self with thank you for.
If that doesn’t leave you wanting, try this: Imagine getting such powers from the greatest writers, the greatest books, the best business books every week for a year?