A Year of Books: Ripping Off Mark Z’s Challenge

By now you probably think I’m a total rip off of other people’s ideas. And I am, without doubt or shame.

After creating my Life Goals Template, which was inspired by Chris Guillebeau, one of my major goals for the year was also stolen from Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books.  In 2015, Mark announced that he has challenged himself to read a new book every other week. And was like, whaaattt? [insert crazy gif here] I remember thinking, how the hell will he juggle that with his CEO work to connect the entire world and all the philantrophy shizzle and Max and yadada?!

I was initially thinking of setting my challenge to just 12 books, but then I realized how absurdly un-bold that is. So in line with my 2018 theme to be bold as f*ck, I must struggle to finish 24 books this year. Mind you, my previous pace was probably less than half of that. It is definitely a stretch goal, especially placed side by side with all others I am pushing for.

There are two reasons why I’m stretching it this far:

The first is that in the past years, I’ve occasionally fasted from social media for 30 days straight (see blog posts from 2012 and 2014). On both times, I’ve learned that by taking time off scrolling down news feeds, I gain a lot of time reading real books (among other things). If we’re talking about the average social network user, that time translates to about 135 minutes a day, according to Statista. While I may not fall under the average category, my time spent per day is probably still considerable. Giving myself the tough challenge of reading a bunch of material will (hopefully) pull me away from the social blackhole and hide in my own hole instead.

The second reason can be summed up by this quote from Haruki Murakami’s book, Norwegian Wood:

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

More books means I get to broaden my range of knowledge, and possibly get out of the bubble I contain myself in when I decide to read only about my favorite things in the world. Of course it makes sense to read only on topics I like, but what if there are other things out there that I didn’t know I’d like because I was never introduced to it?

As my home for the challenge (in case any other human out there is interested to do the challenge with me) is Good Reads. They have a nifty feature called “Reading Challenge” which allows you to set a goal for the year and track all the books you have read so far. I know a couple of friends have their own challenges. (Add me if you’re taking it too!)

 

I am currently in the process of filling my list of 24 books and opening myself up to entirely different genres. I would love to read (or at least attempt to read) any type of book under the sun: fiction or non-fiction, biography, science, history, spiritual, tech, life, business, finance, movement, art, poetry, yoga, politics, dogs, travel, romance, nature, etc.

Open to recommendations! What is the one book you would swear by and that I must not miss in my entire life?

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