How to read 100 books in a year.
I won’t be able to teach you how to speed read.
I won’t be able to do that because I don’t know how.
What I do know how to do is read 100 books in a year, so that’s what we’re going to talk about.
You’ve got a lot of fun reading to do, so let’s not beat around the bush.
Step 1: Expand your definition of what counts.
The first time I shared online that I read a graphic novel as part of my plan, someone said, “Do graphic novels count?”
That’s an interesting question because it forces you to define what counts. Or better yet, it forces you to decide who gets to choose what counts.
This isn’t an official challenge you’re completing for college credit. This isn’t a summer reading list someone handed you in high school full of moody books about moody teenagers you’re supposed to relate to. No one is checking up on you or reviewing your list of books to see if you’re reading the proper ones. Why? Because there are no proper ones.
We make the rules. If I want to read a Batman graphic novel, guess what? That counts. If I want to read a 30-page children’s book full of pictures, guess what? That counts. If I want to listen to an audio book, guess what? That counts.
If you want to read a travel book about Iceland that has a lot of photos of snow and Bjork, that counts. If you want to read 100 Amish romance novels, that counts.
You’ll have to constantly remind yourself that the definition of what counts is gigantic. Perfectionism will ask you to narrowly define what counts, but the larger the definition, the more likely you’ll actually hit your goal.
If you find yourself getting too strict, remember, this is a personal challenge. There’s no committee judging what you’re reading. It’s on you. The whole thing. You get to choose.
Today’s only challenge is simple, write down as many genres or types of books that you want to read during this 100-book challenge.
My list would look like this:
1. Graphic Novels
2. Jason Bourne Spy Shoots People Type Books
3. Children’s Books like “Ish” or “The Dot.”
4. Business books focused on social media
5. Self-help books with a huge range of topics
6. Audio book versions of the classics, like “Great Expectations.”
7. Young Adult books my kids are into, like “Percy Jackson”
8. Favorites I’ve read a long time ago
9. Health books
10. Bestsellers in genres I want to write books in someday
It took me about three minutes to come up with that list.
If you get stuck, pop over to Amazon and browse for a minute or look at books you’ve ordered in the past.
Play it fast and loose with this.
We’re not aiming for perfect, we’re aiming for finished.
STEP 2 – DON’T CREATE A LIST OF 100 BOOKS
People often hope that the first step to reading 100 books is to pick out the 100 they’re going to read.
They hope this because forming a list a great place to hide from actually reading.
You could spend a month perfectly picking out 100 titles to read.
Think of all the ways you could shape this list. Do you mix up the genres? Do you read a bunch of books in one genre and then move on to a different genre? Do you actually try to match what you read to seasons of the year? For instance, should you plan beach books for July?
What a waste of time.
Also, what a great way to eliminate the new recommendations friends will make and the fresh titles that will come out this year.
At most, I think you should have a rough sense of the next 5-10 books you’ll read.
Why so few? Because it’s going to change.
You’ll read one spy novel, love it and then want to read three more. Awesome, go for it.
That’s what happened to me when I posted that I read a Mitch Rapp book. Rapp is a spy, so naturally someone recommended I read the Gray Man series next.
New books are going to find you like this. You’ll walk through an airport and see something that looks good. Rather than adding it to the end of the list, read it next.
The key to a goal like this is flexibility and if you lock yourself in with a list you have to obey, you’ll be stuck before you even start.
If you’ve already got 30 in mind, that’s fine.
But don’t wait on a list to start. Just start.
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