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Sorry for more delays! I’m slowly trying to get myself back onto schedule with everything that’s been going on lately, but it’s still a work in progress.

How I Read 50 Books This Year and You Can Too!

  1. Decide on a goal - I initially had the goal to read 24 books in 2018. In the first few months of the year, Goodreads told me I was on pace to read way more than I expected. I decided that I would raise my goal to 52 books - a book a week, which kept me motivated to keep reading throughout the year. I’m almost there! Next year, follow these tips and you can do the same.
  2. Go to the library a lot - Libraries are a great place to just get a bunch of books that you’re interested in! Also, unlike buying books, when you leave them on my desk for weeks unread, you just return them instead of letting them make you feel guilty forever. Plus, you should support libraries because they’re important institutions. They’re what’s left of the American Dream, giving access to knowledge to everyone, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, or education level. But mainly the guilt about books thing. That’s the important bit.
  3. Log your books - As mentioned before, I use Goodreads to log all of my books. This way, not are you gaining the knowledge and enjoyment of reading a book, but you can get online validation and show off to my friends how smart and worldly you are. You can even set up your Goodreads updates to auto-post to other social media platforms so your friends can’t escape them.
  4. End up only reading short books - After some point, your numeric goal will overtake everything else. Everyone knows reading is a numbers game. Because of that beautiful counter on Goodreads, the only number that matters is “books read.” So throw out your Jane Austen and your Leo Tolstoy, and whip out your “Magic Tree House” books because no one will understand what an intellectual you are until you’ve reached triple digits. Plus, it’s not like anyone will look closely at your books read anyways. Who has time to read these days anyway?
  5. Reflect at the end of the year and have a crisis leading to a satirical newsletter - What does reading even mean? Why do I stare at this ink printed onto processed tree carcasses? What is the point of it all? Was it worth it?

Reading is still incredibly worth it to me, helping me to improve my focus and get outside of my head for long periods of time. It connects me to new worlds and every day that I read a lot is a good one. 

What I don’t love is that I turned reading into something that felt like work. Rather than serving as a way for me to escape and grow my mind, I found myself finishing books that I didn’t love (Swing Time by Zadie Smith) and feeling like reading was another productive activity that had to have a successful result. I think I’m done with reading goals.

I’d like to keep track of the books I read, but I don’t intend on having a reading goal in the future. In the past, my reading goals have helped to reinvigorate my love for reading, since I set a higher bar for how I much wanted to read each year, but I think I’m past that now.

Lastly, I definitely don’t regret reading as much as I did in 2018! I read far and wide, and probably read some of the best books I’ve ever read, like The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I think you’ll like them!
Drops of the Week
where I *drop* recommendations of cool things this week
Article
“Why Not This Idea: Dogs Can Talk For 25 Minutes Per Day” by Kelly Conaboy - yes, this is the best article ever written.
Book
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris - I love NPR, so I wanted to check out some of David Sedaris’s writing. It’s bizarre and twisted in a funny way. Definitely a fun read!
Playlist
Old is Gold - this playlist is filled with classic Bollywood songs from my parents’ childhood. It’s been great for helping me to connect with my parents and grandparents these holidays!
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comments/concerns or fan/hate mail for me, you know how to reach me (links below). 

Love,
Nikhil
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Nikhil · 325327 Georgia Tech Station · Atlanta, GA 30332 · USA

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