Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Read 12 Novels a Year in Your Spare Time

According to a 2008 news article reporting on a survey by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) , reading in America is on the rise. The article explained that a NEA survey found a reversal of a 2002  trend stating that adults are were reading less literature.  From
Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Paperback - Mar. 5, 2002))

...nearly 47% of all adults in the U.S. read a work of fiction not required for work or school in 2008, with the number of Americans who read a book growing by 3.5 million...

This is an encouraging sign, because a 2004 article from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) website explained the results of a 2002 survey found adults reading less.

I've been taking my own unscientific, informal, seat-of-the-pants survey for the past several weeks.  My results turned out somewhat different than the NEA findings. The co-workers, family members, and friends I talked to almost unanimously agreed that they'd like to read more novel length works, but they find it hard to find the spare time to do so. After thinking about it for a while, I think I've found a solution.

Suppose you have goal of reading 12 novels in the next 12 months.  This is a modest goal for some, but a challenging goal for others.  I'm personally somewhere in the middle - sure it's possible but I'm unsure that I can make the personal commitment to make it happen. That's why I've developed a strategy that will virtually insure that I do it and it boils down to a simple goal:  Read 12 pages per day.

Sounds simple right?  Here's how it works:

Goal12 novels in the next 12 months
Average novel length350 pages
Total pages in 12 average length novels: 4,200
365 days divided by 4,200 pages = 12 pages per day

I hear you.  You're saying, "I don't have time to read 12 pages every day."  Sure you do. It's easy.

Do you watch the local news?  Well, if you skip the local news and spend the time reading a book you can find hidden time that you didn't know you had.

How about lunch?  If your lunch break is 60 minutes long, simply eat lunch for 24 minutes and read for 36. See I told CAN do it.

And if you're looking a list of books to read, I've got that covered too. Well, actually Amanda does. Books of Amanda Land, a Florida book blog, provides reviews and summaries of popular books in a series of regular blog posts.  Amanda recently wrote an entry about 50 Books to Read Before You Die, the theme of a book mark she purchased from Barnes & Noble.  It's possible that you've read some of the books already (I've read 5), but I'm guessing you will find enough books that you haven't already read to keep you busy for the next 2 or 3 years.

I've already got The Lord of the Flies and The Catcher in the Rye on my nightstand.  How about you?

Lord of the Flies, Educational EditionThe Catcher in the Rye

1 comment:

  1. Brian, thanks so much for the shout out to me and my blog! My personal goal is a chapter a day, it's my "no thinking, clear mind, just me" time and I love it! I think everyone should do it for their own sanity..

    The current novel I'm reading is a little bit harder to get through. Very complex in areas, but I hope to have a review up soon along with a book giveaway!

    Great blog!