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?