Why and How I Read 53 Books Every Year

For the past two years, I've set and met a personal goal to read 53 books. That comes out to one a week, if you round up. Full Reading List

People often ask me questions about this habit. The two most common questions are why I spend so much time on books and how I manage to finish so many. This is my attempt to answer those questions.


Why do I spend so much time on books?

Each day we're bombarded with endless feeds of information, phones exploding with notifications, inboxes overflowing with email and an unreadable amount of writing on every conceivable topic. Books, for me, are a chance to step away from the never-ending supply of short-form content. They're an opportunity to dive into more complicated topics or stories. Books help me focus for hours at a time on things that require more than 500 words to communicate.


How do I complete 53 books each year?

I'm able to finish 53 books each year, because I set a very specific goal; I'm consistent; and I allocate the hours. I spend time each week reading and listening to books, usually more than one at a time, and on average, I finish one every seven days. Full Reading List

Because I have a long driving commute, I listened to about 35 books this year, and I read the other 18 as physical books. (I really tried e-books, but I don't enjoy it as much.)

This ratio will look different for each person. Some of you won't be able to pay attention to audiobooks or don't retain the information well, but for me, audiobooks are a super important part of my learning.

If you've never listened to audiobooks, you should give them a try and take a look at my article from a while back, 'Why & How I Listen to Audiobooks'. Audiobooks can be a wonderful experience if you find the right books and the right readers (the voice actors who read the books).


We each have unique circumstances. I don't expect everyone to read 53 books a year, but I highly recommend making books a larger part of your life in 2018. They’re worth the commitment.

Full Reading List

Photo by Felipe P. Lima Rizo on Unsplash