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137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading

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This booklet is a practical guide to reading a lot. It's about falling in love with books again and discovering the habits to help you read more. Author Kevin D. Hendricks read 137 books in 2012 without giving up TV, a day job or becoming completely antisocial. He shares what worked for him, including carrying a book everywhere (including church), reclaiming idle moments (software loading), and not being ashamed of genre (he's partial to post-apocalyptic sci-fi).

It's a quick read so you can absorb the ideas, figure out what might work for you and fall in love with reading again.

93 pages, Paperback

First published January 19, 2013

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About the author

Kevin D. Hendricks

20 books27 followers
Kevin D. Hendricks lives in St. Paul, Minn., with his wife, two kids and two dogs. He does freelance writing and editing through his company Monkey Outta Nowhere.

He's been blogging since 1998 and has published a number of books, including NaNoWriMo novels, personal and professional projects and a children's book with his daughter.

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5 stars
28 (17%)
4 stars
64 (40%)
3 stars
50 (31%)
2 stars
16 (10%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Kevin.
Author 20 books27 followers
January 25, 2013
Is it fair to rate and review my own book? Probably not, but I'm going to do it anyway! ;-)

Thanks for checking out my book. I hope it helps you rediscover the joy of reading.

You can read more about the book on my site.
Profile Image for Blake Atwood.
Author 8 books36 followers
February 6, 2013
An easy-to-read read about reading. Hendricks doesn't come off as "readier-than-thou." Rather, he shares a few tips he learned along the way to devouring 137 books. I love that he includes his list and apologizes to everyone who's helped him move books. I owe such apologies to many friends.

Maybe the best piece of advice he gives [SPOILER ALERT] is something I've just this year begun to strictly incorporate into my own reading: Read what you like. If you're bored and you're 20 percent through the book (my percentage, not his), give it up for something better. Fortunately for Hendricks, I read past 20 percent.

I'll also be reading much more L'Engle this year!
Profile Image for tiff.
71 reviews24 followers
January 19, 2019
Practical advice is practical.

He failed to mention audiobooks in the heart of the book, instead adding it to the Appendix. I thought it was worth more of an exposè. Considering this book was written in 2013 or so, I'm pretty certain Audible was an Amazon company by then and audiobooks were more mainstream.

In any case, the advice was solid, the book didn't cost a lot. Decent read.
Profile Image for Graham Heslop.
211 reviews7 followers
August 29, 2014
If tearing through book after book means you love books then I guess I don't. I found myself quite underwhelmed by this book, not to mention a little misled. For while Hendricks stated purpose is to cultivate a passion for literature and reading, and he is adamant that tally of books read is not in focus, I struggled to escape the implicit idea that the mark of good reading is voluminous. This first criticism is tied to a second: reading is treated by the author as almost entirely recreational; and I am weary of this view of literature, which is indistinguishable from the way TV has brought up to see entertainment, as disengaged consumerism. I have unpacked these criticisms and offered some corrections in a blog post, here
128 reviews
November 27, 2016
Phwoar. So, the tips (to reading more) are meh - I mean, they are what they are, I do most of them anyway - although I love that the author also included, as part of the appendix, a different point of view on reading more, but the recommended books, scattered throughout the book, are unexpected. My "to read" list has just gotten exponentially longer... The author suggested having a stack of books waiting (so you don't lose momentum by finishing one book and having to wait to start the next) but I can't do stacks - there's just too much pressure to get to them. Anyhoo. This was a super easy, fun read :D Yay to more reading!
Profile Image for Shelley.
281 reviews
January 25, 2013
Just what I needed to read to get myself excited about reading again, logging this in as my first completed book of the new year! I read it over the course of 2 days, employing some of the techniques described in the book, such as keeping the PDF open on my computer screen so i could read whenever I had a few free minutes (i.e. waiting on hold on the phone). I also appreciated the references of so many books throughout, adding more and more to my "to-read" shelf (I already have a couple "next books" picked out!) Great job Kevin!
Profile Image for Adam Shields.
1,634 reviews79 followers
January 23, 2013
Short Review: This is a great little book about re-discovering the joy of reading and the simple steps to read more. It is less Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book and more Alan Jacob's the Pleasures of Reading.

My full review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/137-books-in-one-yea...
Profile Image for Dan Robles.
6 reviews
February 8, 2013
I picked this up as a freebie for my kindle. It's a quick read with practical tips on how to read more. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm glad the author included his friend Adam as a counterpoint on a different reading style. I've already incorporated a couple of the author's tips. Remember, reading is suppose to be fun. Thanks Kevin!
Profile Image for Thomas Mathie.
1 review4 followers
February 7, 2013
A love-letter to reading. Really helped me to think about my reading & how I could spend more time with one of the loves of my life.
Profile Image for Sara Mutchler.
199 reviews11 followers
July 18, 2017
Great, practical ideas for incorporating more reading into your life--no matter how "busy" you are.
Profile Image for John.
588 reviews19 followers
August 22, 2021
A totally ok book about reading, but it is limited by how the author reads(luckily there is an appendix of how another reader reads!) and limited to only one year of reading. List, in the end, is not needed, it's is there for the links, that sadly for the author does not work on the iPhone Kindle app. I'm glad he touches upon both fiction and nonfiction. My guess is, that now, after a few years of reading more than 137 books, he would have written a slightly different book, and if I may say, a more mature one. The tips here are practical and simple, but they are a bit limiting and most of them are obvious, at least for a reader. Hopefully, it will inspire people to love books and read more!
1 review
August 15, 2017
I got some nice tips out of his book as a reading novice. Though the author reads mostly fiction and Christian books which makes it hard for me to relate to. I'm more interested in building a habit to consistently reading science, biographies, and self-help books. It's easier to get sucked into a novel and read 137 fiction books a year, I don't need advice on this. The real question for me is: how to get sucked into a pure math book and finish 137 of those a year?
Profile Image for Janette Fuller.
216 reviews34 followers
February 15, 2013
Do you wish you had more time for reading?
Is reading a priority in your life?
Do you have an addictive thirst for reading?

This is a how-to manual for reading. It is also the story of a young man's passion for reading and sharing books.

"I enjoy a good movie and I'm addicted to my share of sitcoms. But I still love to curl up with a good book. I still like to discover new worlds at the local library. I still like to get lost in a book, forget what's going on around me and find something new."
Mr. Hendricks explains how he finds time for reading in his hectic schedule. He takes a book everywhere he goes. He advises, "whenever you have an idle moment, instead of reaching for your smart phone, grab your book. Read at every opportunity you get, no matter how small."

The author shares ideas for tracking your reading and sharing reviews with others. The purpose of reading is to learn and grow. He advises readers to think and reflect on the things they read and write down thoughts in a journal or blog.

The last part of this 94-page ebook is an annotated list of the 137 books that Mr. Hendricks read in 2012. He lists a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction and comments on each selection.

This is a wonderful read for all you bookworms. You will understand exactly how this author has developed a habit and passion for reading.

Reading really is a habit that we have to practice and develop. Mr. Hendricks expresses his love and enthusiasm for reading in a delightful manner. It doesn't really matter the number of books you read, the important thing is that you read, read, read!

If you have not experienced the joy of daily reading, this book will inspire and motivate you to get started. Your life will never be the same!
Profile Image for Orin.
59 reviews7 followers
October 27, 2014
Some pretty nice tips. The author doesn't hit you over the head with it. He presents what works for him, and shares some good ideas. Each time giving you the leeway to decide if that will work for you. If not, don't do it! It's motivating me to read more, and read better, which is great!

I've also gotten rid of some habits that I previously had in my system, eg. attempting one book a week, but as the author says about goals, he ended up "gaming the system" and reading shorter books for the numbers. I have done the same, and books I wanted to read started to fill up the unread pile. That daunting stack.

This quote sums it up:

“It's not about following a bunch of rules. It's not about blogging your reading insights. It's not about the number of pages you've read. It's about that experience of loving a good book. That's what you want. The lists and rules and tips are just ways to help you get there.

But the whole point, the purpose, the reason we do it is because we love to read.”

Profile Image for Tim.
1,232 reviews
August 30, 2013
Kevin Henrickes little e-book, 137 Book in One Year: How to Fall in Love with Reading, is preaching to the converted. He is a little too enthusiatic with himself and his year of reading many books. This book is a list of ten ways to build "reading momentum," a phrase I understand but seems a little functional to me. It really is about creating a habit of reading, his tenth point, and that is a worthy goal. Having such a habit already I did not find his advice particularly enlightening (take a book with you, reduce other media). It is absolutely true that lists and reviews help me read more - focus, competition with myself, keeping ideas in memory. He is not a good non-fiction reader, dismisses genre snobs, and cannot handle more than one book at a time. So we do not share as much as we might. He ends praising his friend, Adam Shields (with his good website Bookwise) and listing his books, heavy on sci-fi and young adult. Being a genre snob...
Profile Image for Stephanie.
289 reviews
December 20, 2016
Just Read It!

Ok, so I downloaded this book because a) I am/was in a reading rut and wanted to know why and b) my students seem to always have to be convinced to read even when it's something they don't want to do and yet my 7 year old daughter reads whole books that are 6th grade reading level or 13 books at her reading level in one night!

What's going on?

Seriously, this book simply and easily hits the nail on the head...we must cultivate time for reading and we must make reading a habit.

Read what you love and do it like there is nothing else is one takeaway. But, the best takeaway is that the 10 reasons the author gives on how to read are simple enough that I can take them back to my students to help them cultivate a love of reading...to help them put down their smartphones, turn off their TVs and just read!

Oh, those ideas work for me too. :)
Profile Image for Lily.
113 reviews
April 21, 2013
I read this book mostly out of curiosity. I've been in love with reading since I learned how to read, but as an adult responsibilities have encroached on reading time and reading time has dropped down my priority list. Especially during and immediately after graduate school. :(

This book would be most useful for those wishing to form the habit of reading who don't already love it. There are practical tips for keeping yourself from being overwhelmed, but those don't always apply to every reader's style (like encouraging readers not to read several books at once)

I like that he reminds us that reading is supposed to be fun, and it's okay to put down a book that you just simply can't get int. I struggle with that :)

He also recommends books he enjoyed reading, which is nice.
Profile Image for Cathy.
6 reviews
June 10, 2013
Short but pithy and very practical.

I don't think that many of these tips will be new for lapsed readers, but what is really valuable is having what we know we should do filtered down to a short list of key habits that can help re-establish regular reading patterns.

I like that Hendricks didn't feel the need to pad it out just for the sake of it. Its brevity meant that none of my enthusiasm for getting back into reading had waned by the end of the book - instead, rather the opposite, I signed myself up to a goodreads challenge of reading 52 books for the remainder of this year!

I totally recommend this quick read if you are in need of reigniting your passion for reading.
Profile Image for Phil Sykora.
190 reviews70 followers
July 13, 2014
Worth the three dollars I spent on it. I guess the only way to know if this will help me read more books is to see if I read more books in the next few weeks.

Edited review: Changed to 5 stars because, using this author's tips, I've gone from being behind on my reading goal by 4 books to being ahead by 9.

One thing I would add: when you have a TBR pile, pick whichever book you're most excited about and get started immediately. You don't have to kill yourself trying to read them in the order you happened to stack them in.

Again: whatever you find most interesting, you should begin to read immediately.
Profile Image for Marie.
312 reviews
June 29, 2014
I've been sneaking around this little guide for a while now and finally decided to give it a go today. It's a lovely little manual on how to read more (which you probably had guessed already by the title). For someone who does read quite much already, it might be a little useless but it's an entertaining read and good god, even I never managed 137 books in a year. There's a great list of recs in there as well so that's a little extra, plus every book nerd should be able to munch this up in an hour or so and get entertained by the list of advice. On a personal favourite note, Hendricks loved the work of David Levithan and everybody who does deserves to use some of my time.
Profile Image for Lee.
127 reviews1 follower
February 9, 2013
I read over 100 books in the past 2 years, unknowingly following many of the principles set forth in this book. So I can attest that most of these suggestions for increasing your reading work. This year I haven't even finished 1 book yet (because I'm stuck on a boring non-fiction piece, which Hendricks would suggest I drop immediately), but "137 Books" has renewed my excitement for reading. I'm ready to read up a storm again! I'd recommend this book for any reader. Even if you're already making use of most of his pointers, Henricks' enthusiasm alone will rejuvenate your love for reading.
Profile Image for Ryan.
430 reviews15 followers
January 10, 2014
This is a small book that I read in one sitting—it is only 94 pages long. But it was filled with many good tips for when to read, how to read, and how to read more (and it is not by never watching TV or becoming antisocial). While none of the tips were new or anything more than common sense, having the reminder in a little book like this helps refocus one's attention on the importance of reading and enjoying what we read. While I don't think I'll get through 137 books this year, he did give some helpful tips to help me read more this year. Good little book.
Profile Image for Greg Coates.
20 reviews14 followers
January 11, 2014
This is very short, especially since the last 40% or so is a summary of the 137 books the author read in his year of reading. There are some good tips here, but nothing is too earth-shattering. In fact, I already do a lot of what he suggests, although not quite to the same extreme. Probably the most helpful idea for me was realizing how important habit and building momentum are in reading a lot.

2.5 stars.
4 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2013
Very practical. Lots of good tips on increasing the quantity and quality of what you read. Kevin also just says some encouraging things like don't guilt yourself if you are not into the classics. He suggests to read what you like. I know it's basic. But, how many of us get stuck reading stuff we don't like to impress others by how well-read we are. Really enjoyed this book. Lots of good recommendations as well as far as good books to read.
Profile Image for jim.
120 reviews9 followers
March 2, 2014
I enjoyed this little book and will likely return to it for two things: motivation to read more, and the giant list of books he reviews (and sometimes likes!) at the end. It was one of my first purchases k. my kindle and I honestly think is part of the reason I feel like I'm reading much more than I used to!
Profile Image for Feli.
31 reviews
August 9, 2014
Some great advice and must-read for reading novices but unfortunately didn't really give me any new suggestions, except for reading while exercising.
A good resource of books that Hendricks read including their synopses. I'm sure to go back to his reading list, as we do seem to have similar tastes.
Profile Image for Jessica.
6 reviews1 follower
March 13, 2013
A good book about reading books. The author gives some pretty practical, yet not really thought about, tips to help you increase your yearly totals. I read it in just a few hours, putting into practice some of the author's suggestions.
30 reviews3 followers
January 14, 2014
Nicely compiled volume of tips, tricks, and experiences for reading quantity and quality. Much is common sense, but author delivers well with style. He also provides aa vast list of book recomendations (137+)
Profile Image for Mike.
92 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2013
I like this book for the lists of good books to read. Good advice for increasing your reading capacity and learning how to fall in love with reading.
207 reviews
February 17, 2013
Good tips for getting a lot of books read. Suffers for the sole focus on quantity. Still, I do need to hear it's ok to put down a book when I've lost momentum.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews

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