40 books

One of the things I tried this year is to set a target for my reading and figure how I did. It sounded easy to do and the target of 40 books seemed a little low at first. What I learnt through the year to keep going is definitely worth writing about.

I buy a lot of books and read at will most of them. Comparatively the number of books that I've but not read is probably in the single digits. The reason being that I take my time to buy a book. I do not invest if I don't know for sure that I am not gonna read it. I try to do my research and make sure it falls within the ambit of my interests before deciding to buy it.

The problem with that is that I take a lot of time to finalize a book that I want to read. This complicated things a bit. If I've to read 40 books I've to average at least 3 every month and read 1 more at least for 4 months. Sounded easy but the time I took to start reading meant that I fall back on the target real fast.

I also read multiple books at a time. I start on more than 2-3 books and keep going based on the time I've. This meant that there are longer intervals before I can update on the progress and again it means I kept falling back on schedule.

One of the things I learnt long back when I was a kid is that if you don't like a book, there is no need to keep reading it. Just skip it and move on to something else. This also meant that the time spent reading the first 50 or 100 pages are not going to help in the challenge.

Last year I started on the e-books. I found it easier to carry and read during the wait times or during the breaks, lunch etc and helped a lot in achieving the aim. I bought a bigger, newer phone which helps in reading at a reasonable pace.

Some time in the middle of the year, I started on '1Q84' and despite its length, got mesmerized into reading it. I spent about 2 months of elapsed time to complete it and felt actually to re-read the same. Probably the best book I've read this year.

That is, if I can discount Flashman. Flashman has become one of my favorite heroes or is it villain?. Nothing gives joy than the Flashman books and I am keeping the 12th one unread for fear that that will mean that there will be no more Flashman to read.

So by the middle of the year, I was only 30% through the challenge and decided to spruce it up a bit. It just happened that I became member of the British council library again after a few years and that meant that I've a constant supply of books with a deadline to return them. The best thing that happened to me in the year. This accelerated the reading and the number of books kept tumbling down.

However, by November, I still had 3 more books to go with no hope of making it. Then the Chennai floods happened. It meant that I was stuck at home with no electricity, no phones, no computer.

It was a lesson in humility for me but overall I was able to complete 42 books for the year. Looking into 2016, I think may be I will try to increase the number of books...


King Viswa said...

Will it be possible to list out the 42 books?

Muthu Prakash Ravindran said...

The target is 42 books. I have no idea what those are going to be as I will be choosing books as and when I finish reading one. So there is no fixed list to go by. But you can check what I am reading now in the currently reading widget (though it includes books I stopped reading a while back)

Muthu Prakash Ravindran said...

Think I misunderstood. Follow the below link for the list. Includes 2 books updated by my daughter as well.


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