Hot Reading Challenge Tips from Pros Who Read More Than 100 Books a Year

Posted by Marie on June 20, 2018
Summer Reading 2018

Summer Reading is sponsored by The Great American Read on PBS.

More than 2.8 million readers have pledged to finish more books in the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge. For those stuck in a midyear slump, we asked avid readers Dan Schwent, Julie Ehlers, Bill Kerwin, and Kathy Habel for advice. These pros have read more than 100 books a year, so of course we asked them for their recommendations as well. Make sure to add their picks to your Want to Read shelf!


Goodreads: How many books did you read last year?

Dan Schwent: In 2017, despite getting married, vacationing in Maine, and remodeling three rooms in my house, I managed to read 137 books.

Goodreads: What tips do you have for someone stuck in a Reading Challenge slump?

DS: One thing I learned the hard way is that there’s no shame in not finishing a book that you’re not enjoying. If there’s one thing you’re definitely in control of, it’s the books you’ll spend time reading! The book-finishing police probably don’t know where you live anyway...

Sometimes, change is good. If your genre of choice isn’t doing it for you anymore, try something else! Switching it up every once in a while is healthy and fun. Or it will be disastrous and you’ll go running back into the comforting arms of your genre of choice. It’s win-win!

Lastly, time is your biggest enemy in your Reading Challenge. If you’re behind on your count, maybe it’s time to look at what else you’re doing and make some changes. Scouring social media* for info on the newest Marvel movie might be fun, but reading about what some curmudgeon in Kansas hates about Avengers: Infinity War isn’t getting you any closer to your reading goals.

*This does not apply to Goodreads, of course.

Goodreads: What Reading Challenge busters do you recommend?

DS: Nothing will bust you out of a reading slump like a fantastic book. Here are a few I enjoyed quite a bit over the last few years:

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Goodreads: How many books did you read last year?

Julie Ehlers: In 2017, I read 141 books (my Reading Challenge goal was 101).

Goodreads: What advice do you have for someone stuck in a Reading Challenge slump?

JE: Follow your bliss! I think sometimes we read particular books because we feel like we should, or we dutifully plow through books we’re not enjoying because we feel bad about setting them aside without finishing them. Don’t do any of this! Read what calls out to you from the shelf. If something’s not working, quit it and don’t feel guilty.

Also, when you have a spare minute, pick up your book instead of scrolling through your phone. Not only will you get more reading done, but you’ll be improving your focus and concentration…and then you can get even more reading done! In my experience, it’s also much more rewarding.

Finally, make sure your goals are realistic! I’ve exceeded my challenge goal every year, but I’m not interested in setting a higher number—I don’t need that kind of pressure. The Reading Challenge should be fun and motivating, not make you want to change your name, move somewhere where nobody knows you, and start your life over again.

Goodreads: What Reading Challenge busters do you recommend?

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JE: This is tough because obviously everybody’s taste is different, but when I think of Reading Challenge busters, I think "funny" and "lively," and nothing embodies those qualities more than David Sedaris’ essay collections. I’ve been enjoying his new one, Calypso, but all of them are great.


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JE: I also think reading something completely different from what you’re used to can get you out of a slump. Lately I’ve been reading novels-in-poems, like Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, for a change of pace.


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JE: A lot of the best graphic novels are kind of dark and disturbing, but a good lighthearted one is Over Easy by Mimi Pond. As a bonus, this and Brown Girl Dreaming can be read pretty quickly, so you can feel an immediate sense of accomplishment.


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JE: Another book that got me out of a recent reading slump is Christopher R. Beha’s novel Arts & Entertainments. I thought it was fun and so interesting, and really unpredictable. Unpredictability is good for keeping the pages turning.


Goodreads: How many books did you read last year?

Bill Kerwin: 240 books.

Goodreads: What advice do you have for someone stuck in a Reading Challenge slump?

BK: Diversify. Read books of different types and genres, lengths, and levels of difficulty. Just make sure they are all from genres you like. Every month I read 18 separate works. The variety is what keeps my interest alive.

Read more than one book at a time. If I’m not in the mood for one book, I quickly shift to another. With four or five books at hand at any time, I can satisfy my reader’s mood, whatever it may be.

Always take a book with you when you leave the house. If the book is small, the inconvenience is, too. Even better: Take your Kindle along. Waiting is always easier when you have a book.

Read books you want to read, not books you think you should. Just because a book is on somebody’s “great list” doesn’t mean it’s the book for you. And if a book doesn’t please you after 50 pages, cut your losses and move on.

Goodreads: What Reading Challenge busters do you recommend?

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BK: A horror/adventure novel featuring a black family in 1950’s Chicago who discover they have an occult family connection to a society of evil wizards on the East Coast.


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BK: A Catholic family from London journeys north to visit a shrine and encounters evil in the countryside.


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BK: This second entry in the series featuring Roxane Weary—Columbus, Ohio’s bisexual, hard-drinking private eye—is just as good as the first book, The Last Place You Look.


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BK: The first and best collection by the master of the English ghost story—a classic not to be missed.


Goodreads: How many books did you read last year?

Kathy Habel: In 2017, I completed my fourth Goodreads Reading Challenge, completing a total of 161 books. I'm hoping to double that number this year!

Goodreads: What tips do you have for someone stuck in a Reading Challenge slump?

KH: Reading slumps are a real thing, especially for an avid reader. Life happens to all of us, and sometimes things get too stressful. I think it's healthy to take a break when it's needed, but if your slump goes on too long, here are a few suggestions to get back to reading:

No required reading. I used to force myself to finish every book I started. However, it's been years since I was in school, so there is no longer any "required reading" in my life. So give yourself permission to only read books you love.

Audiobooks. Try listening to audiobooks. While I love professional narrations and often listen to them through Audible or Overdrive, not every book I want to read has been professionally narrated. I often take advantage of my Kindle Fire's text-to-voice feature. Listening to audio versions of books while driving, exercising, and cleaning helps boost my book count.

Reread. Go back to an old favorite. What's the best book you've ever read? Which book elicited strong emotion when you read it? What is an unforgettable scene that is burned into your memory? Maybe it's time for a reread of an old favorite or maybe try another book written by a favorite author.

Compare books. If you have not yet found trusted friends with similar reading tastes, then choose your favorite book and find someone who has posted a five-star review similar to yours. Go to their profile and use Goodreads' "compare books" feature to see how compatible your reading tastes are.

This feature has led me to find a couple Goodreads friends who I am nearly 100 percent compatible with. Our ratings and reviews on books are so similar, I know that if they give a book five stars, I'm going to love it, too. When I'm in a slump and looking for something to pull me out of it, a great way is to choose a book one of these trusted top friends has raved about.

Goodreads: What Reading Challenge busters do you recommend?

KH: Anything by Amy Harmon (Making Faces, The Law of Moses, and From Sand and Ash are my favorites) and anything narrated by Jim Dale (The Night Circus, Harry Potter, Peter and the Starcatchers). Also, I'm with You by Taylor Dean and The Sidelined Wife by Jennifer Peel.

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Comments Showing 1-50 of 487 (487 new)


message 1: by Anissa (new)

Anissa I have to agree with a lot said about how to get your reading in. I take books everywhere with me via my Kindle & Google Play Books apps. Any time waiting anywhere is reading time. I don't think I've ever had a year I've read more than 100 books but I do usually surpass my GR challenge.

And good on Dan for detailing that a life with a lot of reading doesn't mean an unproductive or unbusy life. We're all alotted the same 24 hours a day and make decisions about what to spend that time on.

I'm in awe of Bill and people like him who can read multiple books at a time. My husband does this and can have five going at once! I stopped doing so after college & more naturally gravitate to one at a time. But I'll definitely move on if a book isn't appealing to me. Life's too short to abide by a book I resent due to boredom.


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Nolan I have three books on the go at the moment. One I am reading on my kindle, one I am reading at work during my break and one I am reading before I go to bed.


message 3: by NN (new)

NN Whatever happened to quality over quantity?


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda It's rare that I read only one book at once. Right now, I'm reading five: Two audiobooks - one for work commutes (3 hours a day), one for working out, Two eBooks - one at home and one at work, and one physical book that I read at home and alternate between it and the ebook. Usually I just have two or three going.

In 2015, I only read thirteen books and felt just as accomplished as other years when I've read over a hundred. I just spent my time differently that year (I learned to whitewater kayak and that took up almost all my free time) but now I'm at a really good balance point, especially since I started listening to audiobooks!


message 5: by Natasha (new)

Natasha While I am nowhere near the status of these featured super readers, I agree that their methods work. After reading a Goodreads article a few years ago about multi-reading (poly-reading??) I decided to give it a go. I have a purse book, an audiobook in the car, and a home book. This has boosted my numbers and helped give me the courage to branch out into "risky" books. (The risk being I might not like it) I've also come to terms with the idea of quitting a book that isn't working for me. It hurts, but there are too many books out there to read to waste my time on something that isn't worth it. Sometimes I hate the book and sometimes it just isn't the right time for it. Both are okay. Life is short, read what you like.


message 6: by Elyse (new)

Elyse I always have 3 books going at once; e-book, audio, and physical. Usually they're different genres so as to not get them confused. I'm up to 127 books read so far this year.


message 7: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"
That's why they suggest that you put down the books you are no longer enjoying and that you don't read something just because you think you have to.


message 8: by Catka (new)

Catka Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"
this is exactly my first thought. I don't really understand the point of the challenges of the type read-as-many-books/pages-as-possible.
I have recently joined the summer challenge and I am also doing the reading challenge for the year, and so far I am glad they helped me to read more and it is fun, which I enjoy. However, as soon as I would feel obliged to read more books than is comfortable for me, I would stop. Reading should be fun not a duty.


Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V. Love this post! My current reading challenge is only 75, but I tend to look at my pages read more than how many books I read. And more often than not I end up reading over 100 books a year. I like what Julie said about keeping your goals realistic and not making them so difficult to obtain that it stresses you out. Reading should be enjoyable. It shouldn't feel like you're writing your dissertation for school. I'm also all about poly-reading. I keep a physical book in my purse and usually read multiple genres so that I'm not forced to read something I may not be feeling in that moment. Usually non-fiction, an anthology, a sci-fi, and an arc.


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Carlson My goal is to read 40 books but I will likely get near 50. I don’t like audio so I read physical books. I sometimes read two books at a time. One fiction and one non fiction to keep a balance (and to prep for a possible 4th major in history). I utilize the library so that I don’t have to worry about buying all the books. Also when I find an author I like I try to read all their books. So far that’s Ellen Marie Wiseman and John green and Jodi poccoult because I find it’s easier to read if your already used to their way of writing.


message 11: by Meep (new)

Meep Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

An integration with amazon and desire for more money!

Sarcasm aside I agree, though I'd define 'quality' as 'enjoyment' rather than literary aspirations.


message 12: by Oneofthefoxes (new)

Oneofthefoxes I think the most reason why I read often more than 100 Book a Year (which you can't see here at goodreads cause I started only last year with challenging and this had been a bad reading year for me) is that I read really fast. Thats the reason why I have no problems with reading a lot. An I use a lot of free Time like waiting on the bus and riding by the Underground for reading.
But thats for me and other readers are different and so, for me it only helps that I have fun and like reading.^^


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Villarreal So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?


message 14: by Dana (new)

Dana Some good tips in here. However, I have one minor (pedantic) peeve:

Listening to audiobooks is not reading. You get a completely different experience reading something than you do from listening to it. If you're doing a reading challenge, your eyes (or your fingers if you're blind) have to be involved.

I'm not saying don't include audiobooks in your count. But you're not doing a reading challenge. Call it what it actually is -- a book challenge.

Words matter, after all.


message 15: by JAB (new)

JAB I love to listen to audio-books when I'm in a reading slump. That way I can get through a book and also play a video game or clean my apartment at the same time.


message 16: by Yaaresse (new)

Yaaresse Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

Doesn't look good on social media, which is the only reason for ever doing anything anymore. Quantity has the benefit of letting people complain about how overwhelmed and busy they are while simultaneously bragging about how much they "accomplished." You can't rack up Facebook "likes" humble-bragging about reading a good book. (Damn, I really need a sarcasm font.)


message 17: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"

Absolutely! Because you are still taking time to listen, even if you're multi-tasking. Reading is reading no matter the format!


message 18: by Aqua (last edited Jun 20, 2018 08:22AM) (new)

Aqua Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

It's not about fitting in more books regardless of quality trying to beat other people. It's about setting a personal goal to spend more time reading books you enjoy because it's something you want to do. Personally I think it's fun keeping track of how many books I have read, but ultimately I did it because I wanted to fit more reading into my life because it's something I enjoy. Whether it's a long or a short book, as long as I'm enjoying it I don't care about how long it takes to add one more book to my list (sometimes great long books take less time to read than boring short ones!)

Sometimes it is hard for people to read as much as they want, even for people who really enjoy reading, because it's easy to get distracted by other things in life and stress can make focusing on reading hard. So reading is something many people have to consciously make an effort to do. As the people interviewed in this article have mentioned, I have found engaging in goodreads, listening to audiobooks while driving/doing chores, reading multiple books at once, and carrying a kindle everywhere I go to be great ways to fit more reading into my life. This has helped me replace time spent doing things I personally don't find meaningful (mindlessly browsing the internet/watching TV) with things I do (more reading).

Long story short, it's not about quantity over quality, it's about making a conscious effort to fit more quality into your life because it's something that you want.


message 19: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Wonderer wrote: "I've been averaging 110 audiobooks a year since 2011. I've always loved reading, and having instant access to audiobooks on an iPod means there's never a dull moment! The trade-off is that I can't ..."

Once you train your ear, it's easy to listen at 1.5x+ the speed! My husband just hears gibberish. lol


message 20: by Yaaresse (new)

Yaaresse What makes or a reading "pro"? Just reading 100 books in a year?
Hell, I've been a "pro" for years and didn't even know it. Where's my paycheck?

I've done the annual reading challenge each year simply because I was curious how much I read in a year, and that seemed like the most convenient way to track it. I do like that nifty "your year in reading" graphic at the end of the year.

It's not a competition. At least it shouldn't be a competition. Unless there's a class grade hinging on reading a specific book by a specific time, there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to read. There's only ways that work for you and ways that don't. Personally, I quit a book that isn't working for me after 49 pages or 10% of the book, whichever is longest. It's got nothing to do with meeting some number by the end of the year. It's just that there are a lot of really mediocre books out there, and I don't want to spend my time on them when I could be spending that time really enjoying what I'm reading. It's not a job; it's a hobby.

OTOH, I did find it interesting to learn how GR counts "pages" for audio books. Apparently, the "page count" for an audio book is only the number of hours rounded up. For example, Ron Chernow's Washington: A life" is 948 pages in print, but counts for only 42 pages for the audio book (which has a reading time of 41 hours, 57 minutes.) So, if you do care about the numbers, that's something to keep in mind.


message 21: by Katherine (new)

Katherine I always have more than one book going. One I read at home, one I read at work when I'm on lunch, an audiobook in the car for my work commute (2hrs a day) & an ebook for nighttime or travel.
Also I definitely believe you shouldn't continue to read a book you're not "feeling". I will give a book around 50 pgs then set it aside to possibly go back to later (or not). There are way too many awesome books out there to waste your time on one that's not.


message 22: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

I agree with you. When I had a set number of books to read every year I found that I was more worried about the number rather than immersing myself in reading. It stressed me out and took away my joy for reading. I now set my reading goal for each year at 1 and whatever number I end up with then so be it. Happy reading!


message 23: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Dana wrote: "Some good tips in here. However, I have one minor (pedantic) peeve:

Listening to audiobooks is not reading. You get a completely different experience reading something than you do from listening t..."

Oh my gosh, thank you! I have this debate with people all the time- listening and reading are two different verbs! I'm not hating on people who enjoy audiobooks but it isn't the same thing! :)


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

I don't believe the quality vs quantity question is necessarily mutually exclusive. In these interviews, the avid readers are being specifically asked for their ideas of overcoming a reading slump, i.e. one is not reading (quantity) because they aren't finding books to hold their interest (quality).

They also opine that they don't believe it necessary to finish a book once started -- I interpret this that if you don't consider the once-begun-book of quality for your reading tastes, put it down and try another. Don't stick with the sub-quality book for sake of increasing your number of books read for the year.

Furthermore, some interviewees suggest means of finding more "quality", as an issue of personal taste, by looking to new/unexplored sources and options.

Happy reading!!!


message 25: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Laura wrote: "Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

It's not about fitting in more books regardless of quality trying to beat other people. It's about setting a personal goal to spend more..."


Kimberly wrote: "I don't believe the quality vs. quantity question is necessarily mutually exclusive. In these interviews, the avid readers are being specifically asked for their ideas of overcoming a reading slump, i.e., one is not reading (quantity) because they aren't finding books to hold their interest (quality).."

Great posts!


message 26: by Aqua (last edited Jun 20, 2018 09:00AM) (new)

Aqua Maureen wrote: "Dana wrote: "Some good tips in here. However, I have one minor (pedantic) peeve:

Listening to audiobooks is not reading. You get a completely different experience reading something than you do fro..."
Oh my gosh, thank you! I have this debate with people all the time- listening and reading are two different verbs! I'm not hating on people who enjoy audiobooks but it isn't the same thing! :)


At the end of both experiences you have absorbed all the same information contained within the book. How is it not the same thing?

Also, I don't see what the big deal is if people say "reading an audiobook"? The meaning of words changes based on the way people use language. The verb 'to read' is heavily associated with books and thus it's not hard to see why people would prefer to say "to read an audiobook" vs. "to listen".

No one complains that people have turned "friend" or "google" into verbs because of the internet even though they're really nouns.


message 27: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Elyse wrote: "Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"

Absolutely! Because you are still taking t..."


I agree. I may be ironing, walking or washing dishes at the same time, but I am still considering the words written, the drama revealed, trying to solve the mystery, interpreting character relationships and more. When I listen, I believe I am taking in more of the book because, when I read, I often skip from dialogue to dialogue and skip a bunch of the scene/setting bits, which are just as important -- action is just as valuable to understanding the story as the words spoken. Furthermore, and especially in the summertime, when I have access to both the book and the audio, I'll listen during the day and pick up reading in the early morning or before bed.


message 28: by Amber (new)

Amber I definitely check out books that have a good storyline and if I can't finish the book, I put it down and move on to something else because there are other books out there to enjoy. I read two books at a time depending on what they are and this year I am only focusing on books I get from my local library, ebooks library, a few I own and if I get any from publishing companies to read and review. I did a Netgalley one this year too which was the first one I was accepted for since 2016 so I am currently reading my 20th book of the year so far with My Best Friend's Exorcism which is pretty good so far as I do a reading for pleasure book challenge every year to see how many books I read by the end of the year. The most books I've read in a year was I think in 2014 or whatever when I read 100+ books. Don't know how many I'll get to by December 31 though. Reading for pleasure rocks though and I read ebooks, print books, and audiobooks too. I'm also trying to finish some adult coloring books I own that is on my TBR on here too. I do buddy reads sometimes to help get the books read off my TBR too. Planning on doing one of the first Odd Thomas book in July if anyone wants to join me when I get it from the library. I just read for pleasure and write book reviews for all the books I read too. Good luck on everyone's reading for pleasure book challenges!


message 29: by Rouan (new)

Rouan I keep a reading log by my bed and record everything I either listen to or read (and yes, I count listening to an audiobook as reading). I don't record everything I read here as I tend to be more of a private person. My GR log for last year only showed a handful of books but my physical log showed well over 100 books. It was a slower reading year for me as I had some events (like a flood!) to deal with.

Like others here, I frequently have several books going at a time, an audiobook, an e-book and a physical book or two, depending on which room I'm in and what I'm in the mood for.


message 30: by Mary C (last edited Jun 20, 2018 10:23AM) (new)

Mary C I'm surprised only one mentioned audio books. It's the only reason I get more than 100 books in a year with a full time job and active social life. They really make longer drives, yard work and house work more fun.

I have never understood the need to finish every book started. If the book isn't making me want to read it, I drop it and move on to another. Too many books out there and too little time to waste on forced reading.

eta: I count audio books as reading. If a person with vision problems has to listen to books, does that mean they can't say they read? It's still going into the brain, just via a different medium.


message 31: by Judi (new)

Judi Lloyd I have logged in 192 books read so far this year out of 365. I have read more than that but I have a rule of 60 pages minimum to log the book into my Challenge. I average reading 50 pages an hour so I want to enjoy a book as long as possible. I read everywhere, waiting in line at the Wal-Mart checkouts, waiting for the doctor, etc. I love my Nook and Kindle apps on my phone. When I can't find any new books that catch my eye, I re-read a book from a favorite author. It's not a competition against other readers but I like to compete against myself, push myself, strive to do better than the year before. If I don't, that's okay, I don't stress about it. Life happens and I can try again next year.


message 32: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"
I always have. My kid's teachers have always said audiobooks counted towards their reading total. Consequentially my kids have listened to hundreds for audiobooks and have fabulous comprehension. They fall asleep listening to a book every night and listen to books while driving, doing their chores and whenever they are bored.
I had a talk with my boss one day, she always felt like listening to audiobooks was cheating. After some debate, we came to the conclusion that that was a false belief. She gets way more out of listening than reading because she is an auditory learner.


message 33: by Joy (new)

Joy Becker I do the reading challenge every year because I like to challenge myself. However, I'll never read 100 books in a year (40 is about tops for me). While I'm sure there are people out there getting full enjoyment out of each book, I like to savor every bit of a good one and live in that world for a while - think Charlie Bucket taking a small bite of chocolate every day to make it last. I think numbers for the sake of numbers is ridiculous. I'm also in the camp that listening to audiobooks is not reading. I listen to them daily on my commute, but never count them towards my reading challenge. All definitions I've ever seen of reading involve the printed word and listening involves your ears. Every man/woman/child to themselves... just keep the books alive and don't rush through to hit a made up number.


message 34: by Marts (new)

Marts  (Thinker) Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"

Audiobooks must be included. I don't have the space to store too many books so currently I can't buy any new ones, audiobooks are usually my next option apart from 'epubs. Also, when I'm listening believe you me that's all I do since I really like digesting every word...


message 35: by Allison (new)

Allison I don't understand how it is humanly possible to read that many books in a year.


message 36: by Nullifidian (last edited Jun 20, 2018 10:15AM) (new)

Nullifidian The problem with the idea of reading as many books as you can is that you lose the chance to read long, in-depth books. I was once a member of a Goodreads group that did a biannual reading challenge with about 40 books over its many categories, and I was almost always sidelining longer and more complex works, despite wanting to read them, in a rush to try to finish it.

Right now, I've set 75 books as my challenge for the year and I may not even make that, as I'm 12 books behind owing to a period earlier in the year where I felt so depressed that I read nothing. Perhaps I'll make up the backlog, and perhaps I won't. But I don't care. Instead, right now, I'm reading books that are 847 pages long (The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century by Peter Watson), 752 pages (The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek, translated by Cecil Parrott), 720 pages (Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville, as a LibriVox audiobook read by Stewart Wills), 400 pages (Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, translated by P. W. K. Stone), and 360 pages long (Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence). That's an average page length of almost 616 pages. If I were focused solely on whether I'd hit the goal of over a hundred books in a year, I wouldn't be reading half of these — and perhaps not any of them, since even the shorter works demand more of my attention than a breezy work of pop fiction would.


message 37: by Diana (new)

Diana I always have a book with me and audiobooks are amazing to break out of a slump. Find a favorite author and start listening to your favorite book by them. I just had a minor reading slump and going back to a favorite Mercedes Lackey helped break it.


message 38: by Steph (new)

Steph Dana wrote: "Some good tips in here. However, I have one minor (pedantic) peeve:

Listening to audiobooks is not reading. You get a completely different experience reading something than you do from listening t..."


Maybe you should look into the research on audiobooks that shows the same exact parts of the brain for learning lighting up (with fMRI research) with audio and visual reading. with the only difference being the optical vs. visual additional parts of the brain lighting up. But the parts of the brain for memory, learning, etc. are activated in the same way.

Honestly, I take offense to your comment that "audiobooks are not reading." There are many people who have physical disabilities that inhibit their ability to read physical books. and others, like me, who have learning disabilities that make it difficult too.


message 39: by Renee (new)

Renee I agree with all of these too! My best advice is to read several books at a time in different formats and genres to help keep the story lines separate. I listen while I drive, read while I commute on the bus/train, and even read on my phone when I don't have the opportunity to carry one with me. Also, vary the length of your books. As mentioned above, a quick read boosts your reading slump as well as your goal number. I'm really into reading Nancy Drew series, which takes 2 days to read on average (I usually throw this in between longer books to give my brain a break) I have yet to reach 100 books a year (I don't read at home very often), but I'm averaging 80+ currently. I think I may break the 100 mark this year!


message 40: by Natasha (new)

Natasha I try to keep the genres different, too. One month I had two novels about boarding schools in the U.K., that was a confusing time!
I also choose tougher books for my audios, since I am a captive audience while driving. Elyse wrote: "I always have 3 books going at once; e-book, audio, and physical. Usually they're different genres so as to not get them confused. I'm up to 127 books read so far this year."


message 41: by Freya (new)

Freya Paardenvriend I always read about 5 books at a time. At the end of this month I will have read around 70 books so far this year. I love picking up the book that feels right at that time. I just am like that, I even take the coffee mug or the scent of soap that feels right at that moment :’). Reading this many books a year just happens to me naturally, it never feels like an obligation or a chore. I do still have to work on quitting books that aren’t right for me...


message 42: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?" I think it counts. Maybe someone will post a link to a scientific study about how audiobooks improve listening skills in adults.


message 43: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Villarreal Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"

Following up on my own comment, I just finished listening to the audio book of "When They Call You a Terrorist" and I 100% believe that listening to it in the authors own voice left an impact that I would not have gotten by just reading it. I guess it depends on the book. But with this subject matter, hearing it as a 1st hand account of her life was so moving and I cried through most of it. I would have never experienced this just by reading it as my inner "voice" would not have properly expressed the emotion that the author does. It definitely changed my viewpoint because I honestly paid more attention to it in audio than I ever would have by simply reading it. But again, for me it would depend on the book.


message 44: by Tesalonica (new)

Tesalonica There are ups and downs of being in a challenge. You get to read more, but sometimes you feel pressure because you want to meet your challenge. Last year I felt the pressure to finish a couple of books I was not very much into, and I ended up hating the books, and myself for that. There's got to be a healthy balance between the challenge and what one can possibly read without being "forced" to read. I gave up gaming at night in order to read more, I also read on the bus, and on my kindle app whenever I have a spare moment.


message 45: by Aaron (Okuyo) (new)

Aaron (Okuyo) Toponce Wouter wrote: "Whatever happened to quality over quantity?"

This is key. It should be less about the number and more about whether or not you're enjoying yourself, or you are being enlightened, educated, etc.

Goals are fine, when you have a personal attribute that you actually want to improve. But when you're already a master at the attribute, then it's not really goal, as much as a milestone.


message 46: by Lori (last edited Jun 20, 2018 01:15PM) (new)

Lori I have to wonder if people who read over a 100 books a year either (a) don't hold full time jobs or (b) read a lot of graphic novels/chapbooks/poetry. The best reading year I ever had, while holding down a full time job and raising two kids, saw me complete 80+.

Gosh I wish I could make reading books a full time gig : )


message 47: by Monika (new)

Monika Lori wrote: "I have to wonder if people who read over a 100 books a year either (a) don't hold full time jobs or (b) read a lot of graphic novels/chapbooks/poetry. The best reading year I ever had, while holdin..."

Yeah, my first thought was, "How to read 100+ books in a year: Don't have a baby." =P The only opportunity I have to read is during my baby's naps (I can't focus on audiobooks - they just become background noise), and given that, I'm pretty pleased to already be at 21 books for this year!


message 48: by Louis (new)

Louis Dore-Savard I'm gonna have to join the "audiobooks are not reading" bandwagon. I watch TV shows on my phone in my pocket while doing other stuff sometimes and for me, it's the same thing. Fast readers who prefer audiobooks just need to slow down, it's easy. Also, since it happens to me sometimes while reading a real book, I'm pretty sure someone can "zone out" while listening to an audiobook but much more frequently, that makes it poor quality over a physical book. Anyway, I realize we're not fixing this debate today.

For whoever might be interested, I'm going through my first challenge at 35 years old (only 50 but it's going well). Last year in August, I read my first fiction after more than 10 years and it made me happy so I kept going. I like to incorporate graphic novels between long 500-page+ fiction novels. It helps me keep it light. But I would not count comics though, only full-length graphic novels.


message 49: by C I N D L E (last edited Jun 20, 2018 02:22PM) (new)

C I N D L E 137 books, 141 books, 240 books, etc; plus, they want to double their amount next year. So I’m curious: are they retaining any of the plots and or characters they are reading about? Do they ever take time to absorb and or contemplate the layers, lessons learned, and the nuances each book has to offer?

I bet not. I’m not impressed by these numbers as I find them meaningless if nothing is retained over time. Also, not impressed if the books were "read" via an audio format.

Personally, I don’t read in order to be able to boast about an imagined reading prowess, nor to check off a high number that other people can be impressed by. I read to learn, to explore, and to get to know new characters and new places. How much can you possibly retain when you’re breezing through hundreds of books one after the other back to back?

No thanks! My goal of 20 is satisfactory to me and when I’m done, I bet I could give a thorough, multi-page synopsis of each one I read, more than any of the above featured readers could about the titles they’ve read.

Lastly, I'm from the opinion that listening to a book is not reading. You listened to a recording, and now you know about the book. You didn't read it. Seeing and reading the words matter. I also don't consider a book read if it wasn't finished from beginning to end. Half read, abandoned, did not finish, etc, are not read. If you didn't finish it, you didn't read it.

To be clear, since my opinion above will no doubt ruffle some feathers: I don't think there is anything wrong with audio books. If you do books by audio for any particular reason, good for for you. Nonetheless, I don't consider it reading. You are LISTENING to words being repeated by an actor who is (the person actually reading the book) you are not reading it. There is a difference. When someone is in front of you and they are speaking, you are listening to their words, not reading their words. Likewise, when words are printed in front of your eyes and you proceed to understand those words for a meaning, you are in fact now reading, not listening.


message 50: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Williams Jessica wrote: "So do you count audio books as "reading" a book? I never had but if I did, it would for boost my numbers. What is the general consensus?"

They count as a book on Goodreads, so yes! You're still getting all of the information and pleasure...just through your ears rather than your eyes. I "read" over 100 books/year and the vast majority of those are audiobooks.


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