I walked to go get my patient from the waiting room.  It was his second visit and his initial evaluation had gone well from a treatment perspective, but not from one of social connection.  After we talked about the weather, we had struggled to reach any common ground for communication.  He didn’t watch sports, I didn’t hunt.  He didn’t like cooking, I didn’t like cars.  It was one dead-end conversation to another.

As I called his name, he looked up from The Lean Startup.  I felt a wave of relief as I realized we might have something to talk about after all.  I had read the book five weeks earlier and was eager to share my opinion.  As I mobilized his shoulder, we discussed the book.  We talked about its concepts, the things we liked, and the things we didn’t.  His face lit up as he described the companies he had started and how he wished he had read the book earlier.  Before I knew it, we were writing his home exercise program and the session had passed quickly and enjoyably.  From that session forward, we never had difficulty finding something to talk about.

How did you you read 52 books in a year? is a question I hear frequently.  It is a question I would have asked myself a few years ago.  But, it is not the correct first question to ask.  If you’re really interested in how I read 52 books in a year, the better question is why.  Why did I read 52 books in 52 weeks?


How To Read 52 Books In One Year

1. Connect the goal with your values– Answer Why.

The first two years I tried to read fifty-two books, I came up short.  I initially was just trying to do it to say I did it.  If I’m honest with you, I thought it would sound impressive.  So, it shouldn’t be a surprise when that reason didn’t sustain me over the course of the year.

In 2017, reading became a way to get to know myself more.  I chose books to challenge my beliefs, inspire me, and teach me something new.  Stories, research, and lessons stayed with me long after I closed the book.  

The other reason I stuck to my goal was because I saw reading as a way of strengthening relationships.  I have more to talk about, can relate on a deeper level, and feel more comfortable in new social situations.  It allows me to connect with patients and new acquaintances easier.

2. Tell people

Tell close to you know about the goal.  In the beginning of 2017, I found myself a few books behind.  The more people that asked how the goal was going, the more the goal was in the forefront of my mind.  The more I thought about it, the more I read.  Telling people also has the benefit of sharing what you read.  

3.  Set aside time

No secret exists that I can share with you on how to read more.  Truthfully, there is no way I would have hit the mark if I had not scheduled time.  I figured I needed to read about forty minutes a day in order to hit the goal.  This varied depending on the book and the week, but for me this is an average of how long it took.  

4. Keep track

Goodreads is awesome.  I should be a spokesperson because I absolutely love the site/app.  It is social media for the reader.  You can see what friends are reading and how they rate what they have read.  It also has a yearly goal that will track your progress and show the percentage of goal as you go.  Adding a completed book to the list gives me more satisfaction than I’d like to admit. (Add Me)

5. Get ready

Whether it is getting a library card, budgeting for book purchases, or joining audible make sure that you are prepared to get access to all the books you’re going to read.  For me, it was a combination of the the three.

How many books will you read this year?

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