The 100 Book Reading Challenge and How it Has Changed Me

For those of you following along, you know that I took up the challenge to read 100 books this past year.  I made my page number goal and then some but missed my book goal by 18.  Never-the-less I’m confident that I have read more in the past year than I have in any single year prior.

It’s difficult to asses all the changes that attempting such a goal has had on me.  Yet as I reflect on the past year and dream about the future I cannot help but notice that I have changed as a result of becoming a more disciplined reader. I am different than I was a year ago and here is how:

1. I don’t waste as much time (though I still have the ability).  I thought I was busy before and didn’t have enough time to read more, but I found out that by eliminating or reducing a few small pleasures (like late night TV, facebook stalking,  spending time with my wife and children… Ok! I was kidding on that last one.) that I have more time than I thought I did and can spend it in more productive ways like reading.

2. I’m a faster reader now. I didn’t set out to increase the rate at which I read or even comprehend what I read, but as a result of reading more often it just happened. I read faster now and comprehend better than I ever have (but I’m still not a speed reader by any stretch of the imagination).

3. I’m a more discerning reader.  I’ve learned that the quality of the books you read is more important than the quantity of books you read. My goal next year is not to read more books, but to read better books.

4. My Daughter is a better reader. She’s five and she’s advanced from just knowing the sounds that letters make to reading on a first grade level in the past year. (Technically if you count all the books I’ve read to her I’m well over double my 100 book goal.)

5. I’m actively and intentionally encouraging others to read. This past year I volunteered to mentor a couple of kids at our local junior high and have been impressed to see them start reading at and above their grade level. I’m also involved at my daughters elementary school helping her peers learn their sight words.

I’m sure I’ve changed in other ways as well. These are just the 5 that jumped out at me.  I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks about my goals for next year! And I’ve got some big ones.  How about you? What are you thinking about challenging yourself to next year?


12 thoughts on “The 100 Book Reading Challenge and How it Has Changed Me

  1. I got a kindle for Christmas last year, and it has helped my reading pick up by leaps and bounds. I haven’t read as much as I do now since I was a kid (I was one of THOSE.) And it’s been wonderful.

    I also completely agree with your points, I find myself constantly harping on people to read more, and recommending books that the “non-readers” could start with…


  2. The 100 book reading challenge sounds great, I’ll have to give it a try this upcoming year. Even if I don’t make it, it would be interesting to put a number on the amount of books that I do read


  3. Aura

    Well done, there is nothing more powerful than reading…if only my Jersey Shore addicted generation would realise that.

    Poeple think I’m weird for reading alot, I just say ‘excuse me, you probably waste several hours a day watching TV and you’re ragging on me for reading!’

    Good luck with your challenge next year, I’m going for 110 books 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the best side benefits of going into business reselling books is that the pile by my bed NEVER is empty. After each huge library sale when I buy maybe 300 books, at least 30 end up on my reading pile. They all don;t get finished. I hold my 7th grade teacher’s advice to heart: if a book does not grab me by page 50, put it down. I love to read and it feels like a treasure chest each and every time.


  5. i love to read also…im not sure how many books i read a year but I’m always reading something..when i travel on buses, trains,planes and even automobiles (as a passenger of course)..time is never wasted and it has the power to transport you anywhere you want to go..


  6. emiklio

    You’ve inspired me to try this 100 Book Reading Challenge in the new year, or at least something like it. I had a goal as a kid to read every single book in the children’s library. Didn’t make it very far…but I had fun trying 🙂


  7. I read about 100 books a year every year in high school…I’m blessed to be a quick reader! Since then, though, I’ve tapered off again. This year I read about 60–still pretty good, but I’m aiming for 75 next year. Like you, I am also hoping to read better. I have a tendency to reread old favorites until I’ve nearly memorized them, so I am looking forward to branching into some new shelves of the library in 2012.


  8. I admire you challenge and even more so your reflections on it afterwards. As middle school English teacher, I require my students to read 20 books outside of class plus the four we read in class. The challenge scares most parents into trying to transfer their children from my class, immediately. But for those who stay, the rewards are bountiful. I have seen students who “never read” or “hate reading” become reading fanatics. I have seen parents who said, “We are too busy to read, ” turn reading into a nightly family activity. In a day where the media calls for huge education reforms, something simple like reading more would be easier and would move more mountains. I have seen it happen!


  9. Pingback: 5 Great Tips for Making and Keeping Your New Year Resolution |

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