For those who haven’t been keeping up with me, 10 weeks ago I set out on a quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks (hence the section of this site titled “52 in 52″). As of last night, I’ve read 10 books in 10 weeks. When you break down the numbers, it’s really quite incredible what a single mind can process. This isn’t just in reference to me – there are ample individuals who read and write more than I do in some form or another. And I’m not even referring to only reading – it’s amazing what a single person can do with a little resilience. Mine, simply, is used towards this reading goal, whereas others’ are used for their specific interests.
The list of books finished to date are as follows (also, only a few pages left in Francis Chan’s Multiply):
1. Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Gordon Rugg, 304 pp.
2. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, Paul E. Miller, 277 pp.
3. The 4-Hour Work Week, Expanded and Updated, Timothy Ferris, 396 pp.
4. The Weight of Glory and Other Essays, C. S. Lewis, 192 pp.
5. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell, 296 pp.
6. The New Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life, Bill Schultheis, 236 pp.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J. K. Rowling, 310 pp.
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling, 341 pp.
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling, 435 pp.
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling, 734 pp.
I began this endeavor on November 16, 2014. Sixty-nine days later (January 23, 2015), I’ve read a combined 3,521 pages. To put this into perspective, this would be similar to reading the entire Bible twice; or reading Les Miserables four times. That’s incredible! Like training for a marathon, or building a company from scratch, it’s amazing to see what can be done when you work towards something day-in and day-out. In these ten weeks, I’ve read an average of 51 pages a day, which, truthfully, does not sound like that many. Historically speaking (though it may have changed), a published page holds roughly 250 words. So, if I read 51 pages a day, that means I read approximately 12,750 words a day. Which also means I’ve read approximately 880,250 words in the last 10 weeks!
A lot of people like and appreciate words, syntax, vocabulary, or something of the sort. If you’re someone who wants to learn a new word a day, or five words a day, which many do, try reading instead of studying a dictionary. Whether it’s in a blog, newspaper, novel, or textbook, if you read over 12,000 words a day you’re bound to find at least one you don’t already know!
I hope you’re not reading this thinking, “Wow, this guy’s kind of arrogant, it’s not even that big of a deal.” I realize I’m not doing anything special. But I do find it amazing how determination and perseverance towards a goal builds over time. Rather than thinking me arrogant, use this as motivation to start working towards something you want to accomplish. Paint a masterpiece, build a race car, create a new business – utilize time and habits to do something you’ve always wanted!
Kenneth D. Burke