81. Can I read 100 pages every day?

At the beginning of my adult like, I set a goal that I would read 52 books a year for the rest of my life. (Not including picture books, but graphic novels and audiobooks are okay.) And I’ve done it successfully since 2007, when I started keeping track. That’s 14 years and more than 728 books. If I finish this year, I’ll get to 780.

But this year, I’m behind. I’ve used GoodReads to keep track of my reading for quite a few years, and I am 8 books behind schedule. (I was 10 books behind schedule a few days ago, but then I finished two books this week–more on that in a few paragraphs.)

I want to read more, but I’m often reading the internet more than I’m reading books. And I also like television, to be frank, and I’m adult, so I can watch television whenever I want, which takes away from reading.

So I challenged myself: could I read 100 pages every day?

Weeks after setting the goal, I was unsuccessful–I had a few 50 page days, but mostly I was reading somewhere around 15 or 20 pages. Then two days ago, I sat down and I finished The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell and I read quite a bit of The Secret Life of Bees. I read well over 100 pages.

Yesterday, I finished The Secret Life of Bees. My page count was only around 55, but still substantial. And today, it is 10:30 in the morning and I have already read 100 pages: I skimmed over a nonfiction book that did not require in-depth study.

So I have two days where I read 100 pages. When I was young, this would not have been unusual. My daughter regularly reads over 100 pages. But I’ve gotten out of the habit.

I will keep trying. I need to read 19 books between now and the end of the year. There are 71 days remaining. That means I could read 7,100 pages if I did a hundred pages a day–so, hypothetically, I could read 19 books that are 373 pages long.

I don’t think I will be that successful, but it’s good to try.

(And if instead, I read the Animorphs collection on my bookshelf the last week of the year, I won’t feel bad.)

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