Friday, January 4, 2013 In Copy | trackback

Last year resolution

2012: How I came to read 28 of 52 books

When last year started, my new-year-resolution (or one of them anyway) was to read a book of 250 pages a week. I got to this number by calculating the number of pages I could read in 15 minute blocks, it turned out to be roughly 5 pages. If I could save eight 15-minute slots in a day, I could read 40 pages a day. In 7 days that would add up to roughly 280 pages. So 250 pages is a good guess (taken into consideration Hommos day!). That means I should be able to read 52 books in a whole year. Averaging on the number of pages books come by, it would be more like 40 to 45 books. Well, 2012 is over, and I have read (or tried to read) 28 books! So what’s going on?

Diary

In the beginning, and as usual, I was excited, full of energy, knowing I can do it, and not having to convince myself of it. I did get on with a bunch of books and kept on target. I had a lot of books on the shelf and it was easy to choose the next one. Come June, and as I expected, my interest, my thrill, my passion started to die down. I knew this was going to happen, but I usually stay sharp by convincing myself that I can do it, and I usually do it. But what made things worse was that the number of available books was becoming less.

On the other hand, because I knew my drive was destined to die down, I kept the more interesting books for later. So I still had something to go on with until… August. And what happened in August? Ramadan! I thought I could do it, but my time schedule looked absolutely different. I woke up earlier than usual, had to rest a bit before heading to work, then napped during the day to keep my head straight. At 6 PM, the only thing you would be thinking about is how to prepare breakfast. Problem is, you eat throughout the year and it doesn’t take you more than 5 minutes to prepare your meal and 5 minutes to eat it. But when your whole family decide to gather for one meal, it becomes more like 6 individuals times 5 minutes, thirty minutes to prepare. Add “friction,” that becomes one hour. After breakfast, you have to help in cleaning up and “folding back the dinner table!” Then we spent like one hour to rest, drink tea, and watch television before we headed to the mosque.

After 10 PM, that was a little TV, and bed time. No, there was no time for reading before bed, I would be already consumed.

So I came to realize that August was not the month for reading books, and I would have been okay with it. But being the easily-distracted person I am, I knew it was going to take a while to get back on track after Ramadan. And it did… I haven’t picked a book to read until late October.

Having a lot of work to do on my freelance job always kept my head buzzing and looking for some rest inside books. Having a pretty busy schedule always meant I could find time to do one extra thing. I am a pressure-cooker! I blossom under pressure. Unfortunately, work is not always around the corner. By November, I had so little work to do, I spent days doing nothing but stare at the ceiling. Had no urge to read more books, nor do anything really. So I read less books than I was supposed to.

So I guess, with that, I must know what limits me in terms of reading as many books as I could during a year:

– Choose boring books first
– Have a list of mystery novels, just in case passion really dies down (incredible lifters).
– Stop during Ramadan
– Don’t expect much on low-pressure days

Notes

I decided early on, that I should gather the notes of every book and keep them on my EverNote account for public use. That way, I can at least remember what I read a year ago. My brain suffers from a memory leakage, or may be it is a selective memory. Whatever it is, I found myself on many occasions having to read the book again, just to remind myself what it was about. These notes are here: https://www.evernote.com/pub/ayyash/booksof2012.

I hope in the coming weeks I would be able to blog about each book – the ones I read and finished anyway, in a serious attempt to keep that information in a safe place in my damaged memory, but I won’t make a commitment to that, not because I am not serious, but because some of these books are not worth keeping!

The chart

I am going to rate these books once I am done re-remembering them to know which comes first, and which sucked! But off the top of my head, my most favorite book on that list is oddly an oldie:

The Peter Principle, a gem!

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