“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!” – Or, how I read 110+ books in one year

2017 has been a great year for me in a literary sense. Sure I have to make contingency plans every time I meet up with friends in case a tweet sends us into nuclear war with North Korea, but at least I’ve read enough dystopian novels to properly prepare for the apocalypse.

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Last year my reading goal was 24 books, and I read 38. It’s hard to imagine this, but after I fell out of the habit for reading for fun, it was really hard to get back in to it. I actually would set a timer and force myself to read for 10 minutes a day, five days a week. But, it worked! This year I set a goal of 52 books (the Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge regular list + advanced list) and somehow managed to double that. Well, not “somehow.” I actually know exactly how, and now I’m going to share these secrets with you.

Audiobooks
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I admit, I was a total audiobook snob at the beginning of 2017. Thankfully, though, one of the prompts for the Popsugar challenge was an audiobook, so I gave them a go. Not only are audiobooks a great way for me to work through books that normally would have a hard time holding my attention, THEY TOTALLY STILL COUNT AS REAL BOOKS. Honestly, the biggest downside is that I can’t listen faster, and trying to get to the end of Everything, Everything had me staring blankly at my computer screen at work waiting for everything to resolve. Don’t turn your nose up at them – get a good pair of headphones and get to listening!

Middle-grade and YA novels/Manga
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I can thank Popsugar for this one, too. For the prompt “the first book in a series you haven’t read before,” I chose A Series of Unfortunate Events because the Netflix adaptation had just been announced (watch it), and for “a book with pictures” I picked Death Note, again because of its adapation (don’t watch it). I eventually worked my way through the whole SoUE, which wasn’t hard to do because they’re meant for younger readers. Similarly, the Death Note volumes each take a couple hours depending on how fast you read, and I got through a good number of those before they killed a character I really liked and I moved on. If you want to read more books next year, check out some manga or maybe one of those middle grade or YA series you never got to in your younger years!

Romance/fluff novels (don’t read this part, mom)
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I considered creating a separate Goodreads account for my romance novels in order to hide it from my friends, but why should I? I like reading these books. I read a lot of novels that involve raping, kidnapping, and murdering young women, so I finally figured out that the occasional sweet sappy romance book is good for my mental health. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for reading what you like to read. Sure, none of these books are going to change the world, but not every book has to. The point of reading is that it’s FUN.

So those are my not-so-secret tips for adding more books to your bookshelf in the upcoming year. How many books did you get to this year? Any other tricks or tips to share?

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