In 2018 I decided to read 52 books in a year, one every week. In this blog post, I’ll let you know if I recommend this and what I learned during the ‘journey’.

You might be thinking: why?! Well, I like a good challenge, and perhaps so do you. We see all those weird challenges on the internet lately, from taking a cold shower every day to reading 52 books in a year. The latter I accepted. And, spoiler, succeeded at it. Below I’ll continue with the good and the bad.

Was it hard to read 52 books in a year?

At the moment I am working on finishing 52 web designs in 2019, which consumes a lot less time compared to reading books. The average book took me about 10 hours to finish. So if you read 5 hours at the weekend, you have to read 5 hours during the week. Which is not that hard if you take the train to work. Also reading is rather relaxing if it’s fiction while web design really takes some thinking and effort. So if you like reading, all you need it some time. And I believe everyone has time, it just depends on what you spend it on 😉

If you are curious to the 52 read books and the ratings: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/77862385-mark

The downside of reading 52 books in a year

I started the year with a lot of non-fiction, planning on getting a lot smarter and increasing my general knowledge significantly. However, if you read a book in a week, you remember a lot less than I hoped. I even read some books for the second time in 2019 because I knew they were interesting and wanted to make sure the information would stick.

The fact that you remember less than you might hope, is also due to the fact that some books are just a lot less or more interesting than others. Some books I read a year ago I still remember quite well, but others I completely forget. So I guess I also learned that there are loads of books out there that are not that great.

And then there is the time, week in week out, 10 hours of reading, a whole year long, really make it a challenge. At some point I switched to non-fiction, I decided to read 60% non-fiction and 40% fiction. These books read a lot faster even though they might contain more pages, it’s just rather relaxing to read a good story in the evening.

To summarize the downside: you remember a lot less than you think, it takes more time than I hoped, but overall I am happy with the newly gained knowledge.

The positive side of reading a lot

Simple and short: knowledge. Even if you don’t remember everything, you still remember enough to put it to good use every now and then. And if you don’t remember the details, you do know what books to grab if you need a specific piece of knowledge.

Summary

To conclude: it was a nice but hard challenge. You learn a lot from both fiction and non-fiction. But I would not recommend it unless you are very smart and do remember everything. You might wonder why I finished the challenge even though I don’t recommend it (I figured that out after a few months already). Well, whenever I start a challenge, I just have to finish it 🙂

A quick tip for reading 52 books a year

I used Goodreads to keep track of what I am reading, you can view book ratings before buying and you can rate the books yourself. Curious to my list of 52 books: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/77862385-mark

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