10 Books in 10 Weeks

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

Chattanooga Hikes: Trek 2

“Quintessential Chattanooga.”

That’s the phrase that comes to mind when one walks the Riverwalk at Chickamauga Dam.  Whether you’re riding a bike grabbed from one of the many bike-rental stations around town, or slowly strolling along people watching, this path connecting the Chickamauga Dam to Downtown is magnificently beautiful.

For those that missed Trek 1, my wife Abigail and I have begun a journey to hike Chattanooga’s 40 most beautiful trails during the year 2015.  Our selections are made from Five-Star Trails Chattanooga, Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes, by Johnny Molloy, which was likely our favorite gift from this past December 25th.

The Riverwalk itself is a 3 mile out-and-back concrete path, going from the Dam to the Fishing Park and back again.  If you’re feeling adventurous – which, if you’re reading this, you likely are of the adventurous type – then you might want to make the additional 5.2 miles cruise along the path all the way to the Downtown waterfront.  Better yet, you might want to rent a bike for the day, meander along the Riverwalk, and grab a kayak downtown for a relaxing row around the Tennessee before settling down for a nap in your hammock.

For those walking, look out.  Abigail and I were almost run over by half a dozen bicyclists; not because they were being rude, just because it’s a popular place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, and the pathway’s never more than 6′ wide or so.  It did make for a fun game of “who can hear the bike first,” though!  (We don’t recommend this game if carting children.)

In addition to following the flowing river, we both enjoyed the pieces of art scattered along the trail.  Waterways and public art – quintessential Chattanooga – what’s not to love!

This is a great place to take kids, as well.  At the Fishing Park, the side opposite the Dam, there’s a massive playground, with bathrooms and picnic areas and all. It truly is a solid choice for a family outing.  Take your diapers and charcoal, and enjoy the outdoors away from the downtown hustle and bustle.

We took our jolly sweet time, and the 3 mile round trip took us roughly an hour-and-a-half. As far as hiking goes, this wasn’t much of one.  To be honest, it doesn’t justify writing a post about it aside from making the commitment to write about each of the 40 trails we’ll do.  However, it was still in a book of the 40 most beautiful trails in the Chattanooga area (with an hour-and-a-half radius), so that’s definitely saying it’s worth your time to enjoy.  Trek 3, though, we’ll make sure to break a sweat.


Kenneth D. Burke