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How I Read 13 Books Over the Last Year (So Far)

Reading 13 books over a year isn’t a massive amount, especially when it’s easy to find other people boasting about finishing dozens more. But, those 13 represent an important goal.

Around March, I started tracking my reading habits, setting out to read a few minutes a day, every day (and no, news articles and Reddit threads didn’t count).

I quickly finished a book that had been on my virtual shelf for at least a year: David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me, which I highly recommend. Then I tackled one that I had purchased long before that, Steven Pressfield’s, The War of Art.

Then I kept going, adding in audiobooks to Apple Books for long drives or when I felt like relaxing. Speaking of Apple devices — reading on my iPad and iPhone made everything much more enjoyable and convenient.

While the younger me loved buying books and growing my personal “library,” the older me — who has moved a few times and needed to make the most out of the space inside a small apartment — can’t log around dozens of bulky books anymore (save a few special ones).

Reading on a tablet and Kindle allowed me to read in bed at night or in the morning, and eliminated the need to switch on a light or stand up for anything else. There was little friction between me and the book, which helped me want to read.

Three of the books I finished were audiobooks — General Hospital star Maurice Bernard’s Nothing General About It, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and Neil Strauss’ The Game. This was my first time listening to audiobooks, and one thing I learned is it’s not like listening to music. Instead, you need to give it your undivided attention, just as you would a traditional book.

I also relied on my two library cards and the app Libby, which lets you borrow ebooks from your local library, similar to a physical one. You can read them from the Libby app or transfer them to your Kindle or Kindle app. I’ll still be using it into the future.

While I’m proud to have read more books than I ever have in a year, when it comes down to it, the number doesn’t matter. If you’d like to read, I’d suggest picking up anything that you feel could bring value to your life and teach you something new either about yourself or about the world, regardless if it takes a week or a month to finish it. Reading slowly is better than not at all.