On Reading: 12/18/11
On December 16 I completed the 2011 GoodReads Reading Challenge. The book that did the honor was a picture book called One of Those Days by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Rebecca Doughty. It's fitting that the final book would be a children's book containing only 32 pages as it is typical of my reading this year.
Which brings me to the question I get asked more than anything on this blog: How do you read so much? I hope in this blog post to answer that question. I know it won't keep people from asking me, and I don't mind being asked. The trick to reading a lot is: a matter of location, a matter of habit, and a matter of choice.
Location, Location, Location:
Like an alcoholic who hides her bottles all over the house in case her main stash is found, I have books I'm reading in every major room of my house as well as my purse and my car. Don't worry, I don't read and drive, but I do have an audio book (actually two) in my CD player in my car. I also have an ebook on my computer. So at any given time, I have around six books going: one in my bedroom, one in each bathroom, one in my purse, one on my computer, one in my car and one by my comfy chair.
That way, if I have a spare moment, I usually have a book on hand. A couple pages here and a couple pages there, and soon I am finishing up multiple books in a week. All of these stashed books, though, are either YA or adult — meaning they are full length, being 250 pages or more.
They way to read a lot is, well, to read a lot. By that I mean, in order to finish many books, read frequently. Instead of spending my time playing video games or watching television, I tend instead to read, write, or work on my artistic endeavors: photography and illustration.
My husband is also a reader and he and I realized we prefer to read than watch television. So we gave up cable ten years ago. It's an expense we don't miss. For the little TV and movie watching we do, we watch DVDs or streaming video.
Choice of Book:
Finally, there's my choice of reading material. I have children and I read with them. I count the first time I read a book with them in my reading list, and so does GoodReads. Knowing that roughly half of my time reading is spent reading with them, I doubled my goal from 300 to 600. So now that the challenge is over, let's look at the numbers and how they break down.
The E books are the picture books. Easy books are the level 1, 2, and 3 books like the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. Looking at picture books all the way up to books for jr. high, 60% of the books I read this year were children's books. That leaves the remaining 40% to YA (which does share overlap with the tween books) and adult.
To put it another way, if I had only read YA and adult books, I would have read approximately 240 books.
Comment #1: Sunday, December, 18, 2011 at 18:30:40
this is so interesting! Haha, I read nearly the entire children's section of the library when I was young.
Comment #2: Monday, December 26, 2011 at 23:35:38
I didn't. I wasn't much of a reader a child. I think that's part of why I read so much of it now.
Comment #3: Monday, December, 19, 2011 at 08:03:17
I've always read lots of books with my kids, too, but never posted much about them until the end of this year. But I still don't think I've read as many as you! 360 is a lot of picture books!
Comment #4: Monday, December 26, 2011 at 23:37:20
360 picture books comes down to 30 picture books a month, or roughly one bedtime story a night.
Comment #5: Monday, December, 19, 2011 at 21:33:49
Great post! I try to keep a book with me everywhere I go but since I don't have a person right now, I haven't done it lately. Picture books make up the majority of my reading too.
Comment #6: Monday, December 26, 2011 at 23:40:13
This week though I'm having a reading slump thanks to a cold.
Comment #7: Wednesday, April 04, 2012 at 20:03:32
a lot lol
Comment #8: Sunday, April 08, 2012 at 22:02:00
I'm glad I've entertained you.