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2018 Reading Challenge

2017 was not my year.

Towards the end of the year I knew that something was wrong and I couldn't quite figure it out, so I began to examine what I was (or wasn't) doing that made me feel that way. This introspective search yielded many results. One thing I found was that I was hardly reading at all. In 2017, I read maybe five books (one was Atlas Shrugged so I was happy with that one). I enjoy reading and decided that, for 2018, I wanted to do more of it. So, I came up with my 2018 Reading challenge.

The goal?

To read 50 books. 

That's a pretty big jump from 2017's number, 10 times more...

I started 2018 going pretty strong, I managed to read six books by the end of January. This period was when I was on winter break, so I had the first 3 weeks of January completely free. I filled my days bundled up inside with a book in my hands. January was when I explored the world(s) of mythology with Jospeh Campbell. It was a rather enjoyable month. I felt good knowing I was making good progess towards my goal and I was learning along the way. 

Unfortunately, January proved to be an outlier. Once I was back at school, my reading took a steady decline. I managed to stay strong, at first. The first month or so back, my apartment was undergoing renovations and workers would be in early in the moring crowding my kitchen and making the noise you'd expect a construction crew to make (no hate towards them, they did a good job). So, in order to escape the noise, I began waking up early and heading to campus to find a nice quiet place to read. This worked well for the first couple weeks back because I didn't really have any assignments to do. However, reading took a backseat to the schoolwork towards the end of February. 

So, despite the early start, I am currently at 16 books for the year, and we are almost to the halfway point. There are 201 days left in the year, I need to read 34 books to reach my goal. So I need to be reading at a rate of roughly one book every five days. It's definitley possible, but I'm going to have to refocus my efforts. 

Now, Let's take a look at what books I've completed (in the order I completed them):

  1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  2. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  3. Conversations On The Plurality of Worlds by Fontenelle
  4. The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  5. The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
  6. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. The Flight Of The Wild Gander by Joseph Campbell
  8. 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  9. Phaedrus by Plato
  10. Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  11. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  12. The Handbook by Epictetus
  13. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  14. Existentialism is a Humanism by Sartre
  15. Tao Te Ching
  16. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


As you can see, I've been all over the place in my reading. I find that my tastes are constant (I like philosphy, mythology, classics, etc.) but my day to day mood determines what I can read in the moment. Which is why I went from reading the fundamental text of Taoism to a thrilling fictional story of island survival. Regardless of what I'm reading, I find that the important thing is that I'm reading. What I've found amazing about this journey is that I have learned from every book that I've read so far this year, even the fiction!  Additionally, reading is a great escape, and I find that, in today's world, having an escape is incredibly important.

So what are you waiting for? GO READ!

disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any book stores or libraries. Half Price Books is my jam though.



Written on 2018-06-14 04:22:56 by Joey Seiler