Personal Growth

Reading Counts

Quoted by Juvoni Beckford (Twitter)

Just crossed 450 books read

The result of Consistency, Focus, Patience, Persistence & deep reading over 10 yrs

The journey started w/ my desire to escape poverty by taking my education into my own hands

Each Decade adds a Column

Thread: 45 lessons on Becoming a (Better) Reader

My first thought on seeing this was that I’ve read twice as many books – not to downplay his accomplishment but to think oh maybe I should also pat myself on the back – but then my next thought was that a lot of people probably wouldn’t be impressed by my romance- and SFF- dominated reading list. But screw that, I don’t need to shit on myself, I can be proud of myself as well as impressed by the more non-fic-weighted list he’s read. (Especially his goal of reading his way out of poverty is awesome.) My key interests in reading (besides enjoyment) are storytelling and emotional growth, so it makes sense that I read more fiction.

From 2011 through today, I’ve read 1,145 books. Go me! I’ll probably get in another 10 by the end of the year.

But I’ve read so many books because reading fiction is my preferred mode of leisure, and I don’t enjoy much TV. I also have the time and energy to read long form fiction, which I know can be challenging for parents and caregivers.

Only counting books read feels good for book readers but is maybe a little silly, most people are reading a lot of words, just in different formats: tweets and facebook posts, articles and blog posts, newsletters and emails. No need for people who don’t enjoy or have the time for long form reading to feel bad about themselves for not “being well read.” (And in fact I don’t really consider myself “well read” because I consider a lot of “literature” to be shitty and full of bad takes and not worth the time so I don’t read it anymore.) We should read what we want (while recognizing the value in reading some things that challenge us).

I think, more than the number of books he’s read, I’m more impressed by the thought he’s put into classifying his types of reading.

I also like his idea about reading different books in different physical locations. I tend to read novels in bed, and art books, comics and cookbooks on the couch since they’re easier to read sitting up. But hadn’t thought about using the locational cue to help in memory for non-fiction.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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