How I Do It

I am A Reader, and have been since I learned to read in first grade, with the famous Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff, Mother, and Father reading primers published by Scott Foresman and Company. By fourth grade, I was reading The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire by Howard Pyle. By college, I was pouring over The Riverside Chaucer, the works of Geoffrey Chaucer published in the Middle English language in which he wrote.

I’m well-known within my family for checking out at least eight or ten books from the library at a time – that was back in the days of the Dewey System of index cards in old oak card catalogues and barely audible whispers within the library walls.

It helped a lot to have parents who are readers themselves, and encouraged us kids when we were growing up to read as much as possible.

Then, about five or so years ago, I discovered Goodreads, and for me it became a convenient way to keep track of what I read and what I intend to read, and trends thereof.

Goodreads has a yearly challenge, wherein you mark down how many books you would like to read, and at the end of the year, you can review your statistics. For 2017, I pledged to read 104 books, which meant that I thought I could read two books a week.

Well, that’s not what I did.

As of today, I read 259 books, which is somewhere around five books per week.

How do I do it?

First, I don’t have television, nor am I on Facebook anymore. The time spent on those two inane time-wasters alone would probably prevent me from finishing one book per month.

Second, I read just about everything, so my interests are varied, which leads to an almost infinite choice of material. Conversely, I do shy away from books that are teeming with base vulgarities, so tossing that aside, I read in a wide variety of genres, if the language is not offensive.

Next, the length of a book can be novel or novella length. Since novellas are relatively short, I can usually finish one (or two) within a day, or evening. A book doesn’t have to be the length of The Brothers Karamazov or War and Peace to count as a “book”.

Subsequently, I read during breaks in my day. That includes a little time before bedtime, a few minutes after a meal, and in that quietness, you’d be surprised how many pages you can fly through.

Lastly, I had a job where I barely had any real time-consuming work to do, so I read a few pages here and there – at lunch, during breaks, when I was the only soul in the office.

It helps that my beau also likes to read, and you can often find us sitting together in the front room reading. There are times when, if he isn’t reading and I am, he’ll play his guitar. It makes for nice mood music.

So, I think you get my drift. I didn’t dream that I would finish so many books this year, but I did. It wasn’t a matter of quantity, but a matter of what types (novels, novellas) and of what quality of books that made it to my reading table. I contend that just about anyone can finish reading a stack of books, provided that there are wise choices, interesting genres and topics, and most definitely cutting out the crap of television and Facebook.

I hope this is an inspiration, particularly if you are looking to read more.  You can do it.

That is my methodology.  That is my opinion. That is how I did all that reading this year.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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