What I Learned from Reading 2 Books Per Week for a Year

Like most of us, I started out 2019 with a list of some detailed goals mixed with vaguely defined ambitions. One of these was a desire to become more of a reader. When I was a kid, I loved reading and read quite a bit. As I have gotten older, I've comforted myself with the notion that I had neither funds to purchase interesting books nor the time to read them. After reading an average of 2 books per week for a year (104 books total), I can honestly say that I was wrong.

Myth #1: Good, New Books are Too Expensive

While reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, I came across this novel idea he invented called a "public library." As it turns out, he started the idea out as a means of sharing literature with some of his colleagues, which then developed into a means of helping to educate the masses who would otherwise never have been able to afford a personal library of any substance. 
Furthermore, the library maintains a collection of some of the newest and best literature, in addition to classics, children's books and everything in between.  Not to mention, they carry eBooks, Audiobooks and traditional paperback versions.  

Go figure, you just continue to pay your taxes (though that's not a requirement) and you can go check out any book that you want for FREE!  Armed with this knowledge, which I had already known but chosen to ignore, I no longer had an excuse that it would be too expensive.

Myth #2: Reading Takes Time & I Don't Have Time

One of the wonderful things that I have become acquainted with in recent years are Audiobooks.  I realize that some traditional diehards may think an Audiobook doesn't count as reading or is the lazy man's route, but I frankly don't really care. :) 

What I can tell you is that I read about 103 more books last year than I probably would have had I not used audiobooks. What are some of the benefits of listening to an audiobook?

  1. You can listen while you do other activities, such as driving, exercising or, if you have a pair of waterproof earbuds like me, while you're in the shower!  Once I started looking for times when I could listen to a book, I found that I had a lot more time to read than I had originally thought!
  2. You can accelerate the reading speed to whatever you are comfortable with - my preference is 2.00x for most books.  This also means that you are able to read books more quickly and cover more ground.
  3. You can have the book with you wherever you go, assuming that you have your phone. Furthermore, if you download it to your device, then you don't have to use any data to listen to it!
In short, you don't need to be wealthy in spare time or money to become a reader. You just need to decide that you want to read and that you are willing to try out some new technology to make it happen. I found it immensely rewarding, learned about a ton of new subjects, and have applied some of what I read (especially in the financial aspect of my life) to improve my life and my family's security.


Thanks so much to those who provided suggestions for me to read!

If you're looking for some suggestions, here's what I read in 2019:




Praiseworthy Pursuits's bookshelf: 2019-read-shelf

Eragon
it was amazing
tagged: fantasy, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
it was amazing
Our story centers around a simple little hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. He is fairly well off, as far as hobbits go, and is thus able to spend much of his time relaxing at home with a good book and his smoking pipe. Although he, like most h...
tagged: fantasy, young-adult-fiction, 2019-read-shelf, and 2020-read-shelf
Hatchet
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The Wild Robot Escapes
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The Wild Robot
it was amazing
tagged: fantasy, kid-books, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
1776
it was amazing
tagged: american-history, history, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Course of Human Events
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
Esperanza Rising
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History
really liked it
tagged: american-history, history, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Outsiders
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
it was amazing
tagged: finances, non-fiction, 2019-read-shelf, and 2020-read-shelf
The Screwtape Letters
really liked it
tagged: religious and 2019-read-shelf
Life Itself
it was ok
Roger Ebert is a talented writer with a candid, casual and yet surprisingly introspective style that makes for easy reading. While I really enjoyed some of the parts about his early life, career in film criticism, his loyalty to the Chic...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, relationships, and 2019-read-shelf
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
it was amazing
tagged: american-history, autobiography, biography, history, and 2019-read-...
Mere Christianity
it was amazing
tagged: non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
To Kill a Mockingbird
liked it
tagged: fiction and 2019-read-shelf
Fahrenheit 451
liked it
Interesting dystopian version of the future, though I could have done without some of the language. It definitely makes you consider how you spend your time. I also appreciate how it describes literature as a means of transferring knowle...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
really liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
Frindle
it was amazing
Absolutely delightful book for young readers! We read it as a family and my daughter kept asking every night at bedtime if we could read another couple of chapters of "Frindle." A simple, clever story that sneaks up on you with some hear...
tagged: kid-books and 2019-read-shelf
The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Eragon
really liked it
tagged: fantasy, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Eldest
really liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Brisingr
really liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Inheritance
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Art of War
liked it
by Sun Tzu
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
The Magician's Nephew
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
Fire of the Covenant: The Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies
really liked it
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Infinite Atonement
it was amazing
tagged: religious and 2019-read-shelf
Insights from a Prophet's Life Russell M. Nelson
it was amazing
tagged: biography, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
really liked it
tagged: autobiography, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Life's Lessons Learned: Personal Reflections
liked it
tagged: autobiography, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson
really liked it
tagged: biography, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
The Power Within Us
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Human Intimacy: Illusion & Reality
liked it
Solid and reliable concepts but a bit bland to read. I preferred "The 5 Love Languages" since it contains more true accounts and metaphors that make the concepts more tangible and interesting. If you're looking for a more scholarly appro...
tagged: non-fiction, relationships, and 2019-read-shelf
The Other Side of Heaven
really liked it
A pleasant and inspirational read with each chapter recounting a new aspect of his adventure to, through and from the Tongan Islands where he served as a missionary. This is very much a narrative and moves along nicely with no real slow ...
tagged: autobiography, non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News
it was amazing
With a teacher's talent for explaining powerful truths in understandable ways, Stephen E. Robinson teaches about topics often misunderstood by Christians. He addresses the distinction between personal perfection and perfection in Christ,...
tagged: non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Jesus the Christ
really liked it
tagged: biography, non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
The Wright Brothers
liked it
tagged: american-history, biography, history, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Brave Companions: Portraits in History
liked it
tagged: american-history, biography, history, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
A Case for the Book of Mormon
it was amazing
tagged: 2019-read-shelf
Jesus of Nazareth
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Fire of Faith: The Memoirs of John H. Groberg
liked it
tagged: autobiography, history, non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
it was amazing
tagged: fantasy, fiction, religious, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty
it was ok
tagged: history, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Horse and His Boy
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Prince Caspian
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Silver Chair
it was ok
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
The Last Battle
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
What I Wish I'd Known in High School 2nd Semester
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction and 2019-read-shelf
Supersonic Saints: Thrilling Stories from LDS Pilots
liked it
tagged: biography, non-fiction, religious, autobiography, military, and 201...
Supersonic Saints 2
it was ok
tagged: autobiography, biography, military, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
Living the Parables
it was amazing
tagged: non-fiction, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
How Do I Know If I Know?
really liked it
tagged: religious and 2019-read-shelf
Norse Mythology
liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
liked it
tagged: finances, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner
liked it
tagged: finances, non-fiction, relationships, and 2019-read-shelf
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, productivity, self-help, and 2019-read-shelf
The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis's Journey to Faith
liked it
tagged: biography, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
really liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring
it was amazing
A terrific read enhanced by frequent and meaningful quotations from Hal Eyring's extensive journal. An inspiring portrait of a man who, though in many ways is very ordinary, has been humble and teachable enough for the Lord to do great t...
tagged: biography, religious, and 2019-read-shelf
The Productivity Revolution: Control your time and get things done!
liked it
tagged: productivity, self-help, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Christopher Columbus: "A Man Among The Gentiles"
it was amazing
tagged: european-history, famous-figures, history, non-fiction, religious, ...
Raising Chickens for Dummies
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-reliance, sustainability, and 2019-read-shelf
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
it was amazing
tagged: non-fiction, self-reliance, sustainability, and 2019-read-shelf
Financial Peace Revisited
liked it
tagged: finances, non-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
A Christmas Carol
it was amazing
tagged: christmas, classics, fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871
really liked it
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
it was ok
tagged: history, kid-books, historical-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
it was ok
tagged: american-history, kid-books, historical-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived: The Shark Attacks Of 1916
liked it
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011
it was amazing
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
liked it
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, kid-books, and 2019-read-shelf
Fablehaven
really liked it
tagged: fantasy, fiction, kid-books, young-adult-fiction, and 2019-read-shelf
Christmas Jars
really liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf and christmas
Snow Cones and Dimes - A Christmas Jar Story
it was amazing
tagged: 2019-read-shelf and christmas
Jacob T. Marley
it was amazing
An absolutely Stupendous story! It perfectly complements and expands upon the beloved "Christmas Carol." While taking nothing from the original story, it lovingly develops its principal themes by enlightening our understanding of true ch...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, fiction, and religious
EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
it was amazing
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, business, finances, and self-help
As a Man Thinketh
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf and self-help
Lieutenant Terry's Christmas Fudge
it was amazing
An easy read and an inspirational wartime tale of courage, kindness and faith. "Christmas Fudge" effectively highlights a few bright spots in a terribly dark time and place. Like fudge, it's sweet in all the right places and leaves you w...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, biography, christmas, history, military, non-ficti...
Shepherds, Why This Jubilee?
it was amazing
Short and insightful. A powerful reminder of not only the reason for the season (Jesus Christ and the love of God) but the realities of mortal life that accompany that wonderful gift.
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, and religious
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
liked it
A simple, comfortable, mystery with no great surprises, but short enough that it's simplicity is not a problem.
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, fiction, and mystery
That Thine Alms May Be In Secret
liked it
Very short, very simple story. Almost too short, if you ask me. As long as you are only expecting a short bedtime story, this will do nicely, though. It effectively demonstrates the power of simple charity, kept hidden by an unselfish de...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf and christmas
The Last Man at the Inn: One Man's Quest to Believe
it was amazing
A delightful story of Christian historical fiction surrounding the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. I especially enjoyed experiencing the perspective of a common Jew who didn't know Christ personally, but only knew of Him, as oppos...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, historical-fiction, and religious
The Christmas Box
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, fiction, and religious
The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, non-fiction, and religious
The 13th Day of Christmas
liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, fiction, and religious
The Autobiography of Santa Claus
liked it
A fun bit of historical fiction, one part history and another part magic. Having done a great deal of research, the author takes us from the origins of the Catholic Bishop Nicholas a few hundred years after Christ through many different ...
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, christmas, and historical-fiction
I Survived the American Revolution, 1776
it was ok
tagged: american-history, historical-fiction, young-adult-fiction, and 2019...
I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888
really liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, american-history, historical-fiction, and young-ad...
I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967
really liked it
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, american-history, historical-fiction, and young-ad...
I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944
it was amazing
Fascinating dive into WWII from the perspective of a young French boy in the days leading up to D-Day. The author clearly did a great deal of research to tell this compelling and historically accurate tale. A great, quick read.
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, historical-fiction, history, military, and young-a...
I Survived The Great Molasses Flood, 1919
it was ok
tagged: 2019-read-shelf, historical-fiction, history, and young-adult-fiction

goodreads.com

Comments