PHEW! Happy New Year, all! This past year, I’m proud to announce, I set myself a goal of reading 100 books — and on Dec 30, I hit that goal!
I was initially inspired to set this goal a few years ago, when I read an interview with V. E. Schwab (the link to which I have sadly long since list) in which she said that she reads at least 100 books a year, and has done since 2016. (In fact, according to Goodreads, she read 159 books in 2021 — good God!!) She said that the improvement she noticed in her writing skills was simply too great to ignore, and she’s made a yearly habit ever since.
When I initially read this interview, I was — like most people, I would bet — utterly flabbergasted. Plus, a little bit insecure; I didn’t even read a dozen books this year, how the hell did she manage ten times that! etc. At the time, I was still at college, and such a goal would have been a pure impossibility. This year, however, was my first settled year as an (almost) full-time writer, and thus I finally had the time to set and achieve this same goal myself. I’m also lucky enough to have access to a fantastic library with a wide selection of audiobooks, which probably comprised about 75% of the books I read (i.e. listened to at 1.25x speed) this year. If not for this, and my ADHD Need to listen to audio content At All Times (literally. Even in the bath), then I would never have hit my goal.
I can’t speak yet as to whether this endeavour has improved my writing skills as it did for Schwab, as I’ve largely been in the editing trenches this past year, but I can say that the number and breadth of books I’ve read this year has definitely filled me with motivation and inspiration! I’ve always found reading a good way to get myself out of a writing slump — it’s as if my brain simply ‘runs out of words,’ until I fill it up again with someone else’s and shake it all about like a snow globe until my own sentences come tumbling out. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience this year, and I plan to set the same goal for myself next year.