Finally!! It is done!!
I’m proud to announce that I have successfully achieved my goal for the year! I read 104 books in 2019!!
Okay, so lots of people read a hundred books a year, there are some who read over 300 too. But for me, personally, this is a huge accomplishment.
If you want to know how I did it, here it is!
Reading has always been a passion. But as you know, life took over, and I hadn’t been able to read as much as I’ve wanted to over the years. It was last year in 2018, that I felt like I had begun to have more time in my hands. My son was older and I only had a part time job. So on a whim, I headed to the magnificent Qatar National Library and picked up a few books.
There wasn’t any goal when I began, but I was surprised to find out I had read over 10 books in a month! I began tracking the number of books I read every month after that. By the end of the year I had read 60 books!!
That’s what got me thinking about having reading goals in 2019. I gave myself a personal goal of 100 books by the end of the year. Besides, I had a lot of time to spare, maybe I would even read more?
January started off really well with me reading 10 books! February was good too with 9. By this time, I was confident and happy about my streak that I began relaxing a bit. March saw me reading 7 books. May and June went by with 6 books each.
I was halfway through the year and I had read only 44 books! I was behind by 6. Well, all things considered, I didn’t think it was a big gap and I thought I’d make it up in the next couple of months.
Then came two months of summer holidays! Days that should have gotten me way ahead of my numbers. But it wasn’t to be. It was our annual family trip down to India. Reading took a back seat and I had only managed to read 5 books in July and 4 in August!!
When we got back to Qatar in September, I sat down and did the math because I was determined to finish the job I started! I had four months left and I still had 47 books to finish!
- I was also starting a full time job.
- I was part of organic gardening groups and had an organic garden that constantly required my attention. And being part of the group meant I had to attend meetings and classes.
- I had joined Toastmasters in March. Every fortnight there was a meeting to attend. Only saving grace was that I didn’t have a speech to write too!
- I’m also part of another company whose general body meetings I have to attend once in a while.
- There is Bookstagram too. Even though I love being a part of it, taking photos, posting regularly and engaging takes time.
- All of that, plus, the daily household chores, family time, and outings.
In short, I was panicking! I began doubting if I would ever reach 100 books by the end of the year!
But I wasn’t giving up just yet. All I needed was a new plan, if I was going to achieve this goal.
That is when I began listening to Audiobooks. I listened to it during my commute to and from work, which was around 45 minutes to 1 hour a day. It wasn’t much, but I still managed to finish an audiobook in about ten days. But Audiobooks was one of the best decisions I made that helped me reach my goal eventually!
With new determination, I had read over 11 books in September, 13 in October and 11 in November. That left 12 books for December.
Halfway into December, I went back to my list of books that I read during the year and realized I had unknowingly counted the only book that I had not finished this year!! That meant I had to add another book to reach 100!
Up until last week – I think I even had nightmares – I was literally looking at the clock ticking away!
If you had asked me last year, whether I could do it, I would have said no. Even halfway through this year, I was not sure. But the rest is history as they say!
The best decision I made was announce my goal to anyone and everyone who was willing to listen. Most of my friends followed me through my reading journey. Every time I posted about finishing a book, my friends would message, asking how many books were left to read. Their messages kept me motivated! I have also got messages saying I have inspired them to restart on their reading. I cannot tell you how happy I am to receive messages like this.
Being on Bookstagram helped a lot too! I got some good friends with whom I could discuss books and the best part are the great recommendations that you guys give. I was introduced to so many new authors and genres that I might not have tried if it wasn’t for you guys.
Some of them have been waiting for this announcement of “100 books a year” to celebrate with me!! I’m so happy and blessed to have such great friends! Thanks, you guys!
On a side note, I’d like to tell you that reading a 100 books a year is not difficult to do. I did not stop doing anything in my life to get to this goal. I have my job. I still have my garden. We go out as a family every week. I did not even give up on my sleep – always slept by 9.30 or 10 in the night.
Also, contrary to what one maybe thinking, I did not rush through any book. I enjoyed all my reads. There were some great books and some not so great ones too, but I did not read any book just for the sake of reaching my goal. Getting through the challenge without compromising on anything else is what I’m most proud of.
This has been an incredible journey for me!! Even more so because of you guys who kept me motivated. I hope I can motivate at least a few of you to rekindle your passion for reading and set a goal that will challenge yourself.
2019 has been so fulfilling for me mainly because I got to read and explore such great books. Of course it also means that my TBR list is starting to get out of control. As they say, so many books so little time!
Now, what should my reading goals for 2020 be?!