There is nothing more amazing than reading for pleasure, and to have its creamy words relax your brain and nerves after a long day. There is also the motivation that comes with reading power books. Couple those together, and you have an super reading year.
2019 was such a great year for me because I achieved my goal of reading at least 20 books. I definitely read more books than 20, but I just thought it would be so helpful to share with my dear readers the tips I used to achieve this goal.
1. Designate 1 book for each month
If you designate one book for each month, you have 12 designated books. That leaves 8 books out of 20 undesignated. But because you have set a target, you would be more likely to finish reading that one book before the month is over. If you are able to finish a book within 3 weeks, you have one additional week each month for a new book. Multiply 1 week by 12 and divide by 4, you have 3 additional books, making it 15 in your schedule for the year. If you stick to 3 weeks, that would be 4 additional books, making 16 designations.
2. Make use of transit and lunch times
Reading in a car if you are being driven or on a bus makes perfect sense. You should be careful in transit though, so you don’t miss your bus stop. I had a hilarious 2 minute incident on a bus once, while I was reading, and I talked about it in this post and I talked about it in this post. With regard to lunch, eat and read. Even if you are engaged in a conversation, redirect the convo to the book you are reading or a book you want to read, and you would be more likely to continue reading the book that day.
3. Pick authors you actually like
I am a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s books, but I did not read Half of a Yellow Sun until last year. So weird I know, right? ( And I think it’s the best of her books- that is how I feel right now). But because her books are so interesting and engaging and speak to relevant issues, I re-read Purple Hibiscus and Americanah. I think my family members were tired of my talking about these books. Lol. So, if you read an author you like, you are more likely to finish your book in less than 3 weeks.
4. Do not be afraid to try out newer authors
I remember I saw the ‘coming soon’ poster for Oyinkan Braithwaite’s ‘My Sister the Serial Killer’, and I made a mental note to get it, and I did. It was very funny actually, and it felt like the Lagos I know. I still would have wanted more depth, but it was cool enough. Read my review here. Because this book was funny and relatable to Nigeria for the young person, I finished it in like 2-3 days.
5. Same goes for genres; give new genres a try
This year, I got Tomi Adeyemi’s ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ on kindle and was so excited. But…it was a tug of war. Yes, it’s YA fantasy, and I watched the Last Air Bender, I think, so I saw some correlations. But it wasn’t really it for me sha. Even though the places in the book are supposed to be of a fantastical Orisha, the references to Lagos seemed like actual Lagos, Nigeria (Zelie mentioned ‘the slums of Lagos’, and I was like ‘okay’). But then again, the writer didn’t seem like she understood Nigeria or pre-Nigeria so well, so things were a bit off with character names, folklore, geography and time. It seemed like a medley of different Western and some Nigerian culture wrapped in creamy English. I felt a bit bad because I had even taken pictures and all. I wanted to say awesome things about this book. But Tomi Adeyemi writes excellently; I must give her that. And also, fantasy gives you the liberty to write your stories as you deem fit. But I think it reinforced my conviction of the need for more stories that are told from the authentically Nigerian/African perspective.
You could try other genres if you are more adventurous than I am, and if you’re lucky, you would read it faster and add it to your 20 books for the year. But if you are not really feeling it, you could just move on to another book.
6. Pick bestseller books
There’s a lot of motivation with bestseller books. I read Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, as well as Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’, and I can tell you, these are two of the best books I have read. You know those books that have you completely engrossed and saying yes to great things.(Yes, a pun on Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes’)
7. Audio books also count
You might not agree, but I do think that audio books could count in your numbers if you are pressed for time to read the remaining 5/4 books. I listened to Ayobami Adebayo’s ‘Stay With Me’ by audio, voiced by Adjoah Andoh. I thought her Nigerian accent was hilarious but not exactly accurate. Stay with me is such an amazing book, and I might do a review of it later. Shonda Rhimes recorded her own audio for ‘Year of Yes’ and it was great. Books come alive when they are audio and the person voicing puts a lot of theatrics. I remember I started listening to Gail Honeyman’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, but I stopped because the voice did not grab my attention. So when you are picking an audio book, make sure to check out who is reading the book.
So with these few points of mine, I hope I have been able to convince you that you can read at least 20 books in one year.
I would love to hear your comments.