The One Book A Week Goal

My pal Stuart over at Brainmower announced he was setting a goal to read one book each week in 2010. This is an admirable goal, which I completed in 2008 when I read 60 books that year. However, in 2009 I read just 30 books. Guess I slacked off? Or maybe number of books isn’t the best metric to use to measure reading.

Photo Iqra: Read by Swamibu

Last year I read Guns Germs and Steel (512 pages), Collapse (575 pages) and Good Calories, Bad Calories (640 pages). When I had the 1-book-a-week goal, I read quite a few books that were less than 250 pages. It helped me reach my goal, but I never would have tackled Good Calories, Bad Calories in 2008.

So the trick to meeting the 1-book-a-week goal for the first time is load up on short books. Short books to me are like warm up exercises. Once you’ve warmed up enough, take the time to tackle the longer books in your queue.


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  1. Setting a specific number of books to read is unnatural and unnecessary. Reading should be something you enjoy doing and not something you should feel compelled to do by some artificial deadline or quota. Maybe some would find it to be a motivator but not me.

    Having said that I’m 2/3rds done with Good Calories, Bad Calories. Some parts I have savored and read slowly and even re-read some of it. Other parts I’ve skimmed, skipping some sections. It’s really a great book but the guy can be a bit too exhaustive in his historical research!

  2. I heard an interview with Taubes recently where he said the original draft of GCBC was much longer. There were chapters left out, such as one dealing with gout, which is now available online.

    Taubes will be releasing a slimmed down version of GCBC for the general public soon.

  3. I still have to finish GCBC. I got 400 something pages in and then my work life got crazy. It’s a good read, but definitely a slower one…Maybe next week though…

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