ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Games, Toys, and Hobbies»
  • Hobbies

The 26 Book Challenge: Can You Read 26 Books in One Year?

Updated on June 21, 2017
Source


Recently, my husband introduced someone to me and told me the man reads 26 books per year. I didn't have much of an outward reaction to that fact. Honestly, when he first said it, I didn't think it was much of an accomplishment. What's the big deal about reading 26 books in a year? That's one book every two weeks, right? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that in this busy and technically overloaded period in history, reading one book every two weeks is quite an accomplishment. Especially for the parent with a job and children. Or the businessman who is a workaholic. Or the entrepreneur who is a jack of all trades while getting his/her business underway. But, it is a goal that can be accomplished. One only need to recognize it as a goal and keep it posted somewhere it will be seen daily, to keep it at the forefront of one's life and accomplish that goal.

But, it is a goal that can be accomplished. One only need to recognize it as a goal and keep it posted somewhere it will be seen daily, to keep it at the forefront of one's life and accomplish that goal.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to try this challenge over the next year:

Keep a List of What You've Read

* Keep a list somewhere easily accessible so when you finish reading one book, you can write it down as number 1, and then number 2, etc. and see yourself actually accomplishing your goal. Keep it on a notebook next to your bed, or on a list on your computer, or in your daily calendar. Part of the fun in completing a challenge such as this is to be able to write it down and look back it. Maybe by the end of the year, you will read more than 26 books. Or you will read only 20 books. But chances are if you don't write your completed books down, you won't read as many and your goal will get lost among the many play dates you drop your children off at, the trips to the grocery store, the Ebay sales you have made, the articles you are busy writing, or the business meetings you have to attend.

Make a List of What you Want to Read

* Make a list of books you want to read. No one says these have to be the longest and deepest books ever written. Do you have a list of books that you have always wanted to read in the back of your mind somewhere? Write your list on a piece of paper, then find your books. The first one should be easy to locate. Maybe you already have it on a shelf somewhere, just waiting for the time when you have time to read it. That time is now. Just get it and start. But keep your list with you. When you happen to be near a Goodwill store some day and have a few extra minutes, stop in and see if they have one or two of the books on your list. Or make a sojourn to a second-hand bookstore near you. Or peruse Amazon.com or half.com for books on your list. It is always good to have one or two books waiting for you. If you finish a book and don't have another one to start right away, you might drop the ball for awhile and miss a couple of weeks of reading. That could put you way behind schedule. Always be prepared...to read.

Involve Your Children

* Read aloud to your children. You can pick your own books for this project. Do you have a teen aged daughter who is romantic? Read Wuthering Heights to her aloud each night before one of you goes to bed. Do you have middle school kids that love books about history? Read a Laura Ingalls Wilder book to them before they go to bed. Even though it's simple reading, it's enjoyable to read about the simple pleasures of living in that time period and great for a family to read aloud together.

The Books You Read Can be Short or Long

* Short or long, you get to decide. One of my favorite books is a small little book called, 'Christmas Joy" by Susan Branch. It's a 5 inch by 5-inch book that I like to read each Christmas season because it gets me in the holiday spirit. It's not a novel, but I keep it near my bed and read a few pages every night before I go to bed. It brings me a great deal of joy and is still a book so would count as a book to read out of my 26. I also have another five by 5-inch book about happy couples who have been married for over 50 years. They give great advice on how to keep a marriage happy.It's called, " Married For Life." It is small but it is powerful, and I read an excerpt to my husband in the mornings after breakfast. Again, a small book that adds a lot of meaning to my life, and so don't forgo small books thinking they aren't worthy of your list.


Keep Your Book Handy

* Keep a book with you at all times. Or if you have a Nook or a Kindle, keep that with you wherever you go. It's surprising how many pages you can read while...waiting to pick up your child from an after school practice, waiting to pick someone up from work, waiting for them to change the oil in your car, or even waiting in line at the grocery store. Keeping a book with you helps you to make better use of your time, and will keep you on your 26 books in one-year goal.

Houston, We Have Liftoff...

Personally, I just completed the book, 'Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell that my college-aged daughter had recommended. I didn't think I would like it, but it really opened my eyes to a new way of looking at things. Malcolm Gladwell is one of my daughter's favorite authors. I can see why now that I have read Ouliers. This author really makes you stop and think!

I have started another one now called, 'Working" by Studs Terkel. I read it in college and found it very interesting to read about what people do for a living and whether or not they like their work. The ones who are stuck in dead-end jobs and don't like their work are rather sad to read about. I have decided that February 1st will be my one-year goal, and I have started to write down my books already. As soon as I finish this one, my husband has a book I have wanted to read, so there's my third one. I am looking forward to a great year full of reading and also full of some enlightenment from the good books I will be reading. I will let you know how I did on February 1st, 2014. I warn you; I am an overachiever, so I am secretly going to try for a minimum of 30 books in this upcoming year. Good luck to you if you decide to try your own 26 books in the next year. Please let me know how you do!

I have decided that February 1st will be my one-year goal, and I have started to write down my books already. As soon as I finish this one, my husband has a book I have wanted to read, so there's my third one. I am looking forward to a great year full of reading and also full of some enlightenment from the good books I will be reading. I will let you know how I did on February 1st, 2014. I warn you; I am an overachiever, so I am secretly going to try for a minimum of 30 books in this upcoming year. Good luck to you if you decide to try your own 26 books in the next year. Please let me know how you do!


Update: I only read 7 books in this year because we spent a lot of time getting ready to put our home on the market to sell it and move south. Oh well. It turned out that magazine reading worked better for me since I could read an article quickly and then put the magazine down without being in the middle of a chapter and having to remember where I left off. I do think reading 1 book every 2 weeks is still a good goal though.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      It's March 21st...I hope you are all reading your books for this month? I found out when I went to purchase a book to download on my Nook, that there are a whole bunch of FREE ones I can download from BarnesandNoble.com I was so excited I downloaded 8 of them to read on an upcoming trip my husband and I are taking. Of course I have no idea if they are any good. I will let you know. Does anyone else know about free Nook books and why they are free???

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      The second one about Making Money from your hobby is about a woman named Martha Pullen, who had a sewing business that she took international. She talks about the struggles she and her family went through as she struggled to keep her business afloat, but how as a Christian, her business flourished when she gave the business over to God. Youc an google the name Martha Pullen today and read all about her business, and her sewing magazine, "Sew Beautiful!"

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I'm working on it...you know me...late to the game but ready to slide in, literally, with seconds to spare. LOL! Congratulations on finishing those three books. You are such an overachiever! : ) All three sound interesting, but right now, I'm gravitating towards the second one. Tell me a little about that one when you have time. Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Okay, in the month of February, I have completed 3 books: Outliers, You Can Make Money From Your Hobby, and Father and Son. Anyone else read this month as part of the 26 books in one year challenge?

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hawaiianodysseus,

      Okay, you're on. I will be looking forward to your monthly update. That was quite a goals list you had for 2013. I am still amazed that you are keeping up with it all.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Karen, I'd be honored to accept your challenge. I will present my titles to you once each month in this comments section and email you the entire list on February 1, 2014. I'll have to do a little catching up with you, but you already know I'm a firstborn overachiever, too! Besides, it'll be a great addition to my goals for 2014. : )

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      stephanieb27,

      That sounds interesting. What's the name of the blog that you are following?

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      GlimmerTwinFan,

      A day for a book? Wow, just think how many books you could read in a year if you put your mind to it. Report back in a year if you decide to do this. I am curious to know just how many you are capable of reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Love the list idea. I can finish off a good book in a day if I put my mind to it and I have the time. Hmmm....need to start thinking about my list now.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I got the idea to make a book list for the year from a blog that I follow. I finally made my 2013 must-read list last week. I am super excited to read all of the books! I always take my book with me when I'm the passenger in the car and when we have to sit in the pick-up line to grab my oldest son from school (helps me squeeze in some reading time.) Great hub! :)

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      truthfornow,

      Thanks for this information about goodreads. I have never heard of it before but its worth checking out. Good luck to you with your goal of 50.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      PaoloJpm,

      Hey, a book is a book and as long as you are enjoying it, it has value. Thanks for commenting.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      thebiologyofleah,

      Well, thanks so much for that information. I have never heard of the website Goodreads before. I will definitely be checking that out.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      thebiologyofleah 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub, this is good motivation, 26 is a lot in one year but in general keeping track and trying to maintain or exceed the number in a given year is a great idea.

      You touched upon the realities of why we don't always read as much as we liked as time goes on and we take on more responsibilities with family, work, etc.

      I too was going to make the suggestion of the website Goodreads, it's a great resource for finding out what your friends are reading but it also allows you to make a to-read list and then stores the books you have read when you change their status as you complete them. It would really help with your challenge- Good Luck!

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      I am currently reading a shortened encyclopedia but I think it's really fun to do

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You can go online to goodreads and track the books you read for the year and set goals. I set a goal of 50, so let's see if I can make it. I am on number 8 so I have a long way to go . . .

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Faith reaper,

      Thanks. It's going to be fun. If I hadn't been part of the 10 Hubs in 10 Days challenge, it would not have occurred to me to even make this challenge to myself, so writing hubs has helped me in so many ways, including increasing my reading time. Hub Pages is such a creative outlet and inspiration!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Man you are something...are you still writing a hub a day on top of it??? I think I will call you a bookaholic AND a Hubaholic!!! Good for you though. Someday when I work for myself and have more freedom over my time I would love to join you on both counts!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Honestly, Karen, I don't even need to keep score. I read two books a week on average. You might call me a bookaholic. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent hub on writing down your goals and keeping them, and I do so hope you enjoy your year reading such amazing books, of your choice dear!

      Thanks for a great hub here!

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper