52 Books In A Year

From Social shield to empowering Travel companion

During our trip to New Zealand in January 2018, after many years of adventure ache from watching photographers and bloggers travelling to this beautiful place, while reading my first book of the year, I set a goal for myself of reading 52 books. That is one per week for 2018.

It should be noted that during 2017 I had read maybe 10 books. In actual fact I don’t think I had read 52 books over the last ten years.

I recalled loving to read as a small boy; sitting on the stairs in my pyjamas with a cup of hot blackcurrant and any Roald Dahl book I could get my hands on. By the age of twelve though, I read only for school. During my early twenties I read only to not look lonely. A mobile phone then couldn’t really do much and you certainly wouldn’t play with it at the dinner table. Sitting alone on Valentines day in 2004 or 2005, (I can’t quite remember) in Reims, France, home to Champagne, at a lovely restaurant eating their Menu Gourmand, I clung to my copy of a Jack Higgins novel and dared not look around the room. Travelling through Canada a year or so later I wouldn’t walk out the door of my motel without a book in my pocket. Shortly after this, it has become clear, that I didn’t read much at all, one book here and there, on a plane or a week away but that was it. Possible reasons as to why; maybe I wasn’t alone so much, maybe I was too busy, maybe there was no fear of getting bored as you could now search the internet with your phone. I don’t know the answer but I knew what I wanted my goal to be.

I head heard that some of the great minds read over 60 books a year and having just completed my own degree in creative writing I wanted to do my research, maybe I had a book in me. So I set my goal for 52 books. Here are my top 10 from 2018.


Top Ten Books of 2018 

1. A Call For Revolution - by Dalai Lama

Everyone should read this, it has a deep and powerful meaning which relates to everything.

‘The twenty-first century will be the century of peace, or humanity will cease to be.’

2. Mastery - by George Leonard

‘The most successful path to mastering anything is to practice for the sake of the practice itself, not for the result’

3. Start With Why + Finding Your Why - by Simon Sinek

‘We are all entitled to feel fulfilled by the work that we do…’

4. Artists Way - by Julia Cameron

‘Do not call procrastination laziness: call it fear’ This book is all about drawing out your creative side.

5. The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober - by Catherine Gray

What happens without booze? I read this after a week long hangover. 

6. Strength and Stillness - by Bob Roth

A look at Transcendental Meditation, what have we forgotten.

7. Blue Zones - by Dan Buettner

Discussing the areas of the world which have the highest percentage of people over 100 years old, how? ‘Eat your vegetables, have a positive outlook, be kind to people and smile’.

8. Black Box Thinking - by Matthew Syed

Don’t be afraid of failing but make sure you learn from your mistakes.

9. Atomic Habits - by James Clear

Make good habits as ‘habits are the compound of self-improvement’

10. Ultra Marathon Man - by Dean Karnazes

‘There is magic in misery. Just ask any runner’.

I didn’t mean to read so many non-fiction books

But I loved them. Self growth has become really important to me over the last few years and I am constantly amazed by the wisdom and comfort you can gain from reading someone else’s words. For the fiction lovers I have compiled a top 5, because there really is nothing like a good story.

Top 5 Fiction Books For 2018

1. Ready Player One - by Ernest Cline

2. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - by Gail Honeyman

3. The Night Manager - by John Le Carre

4. Patrick Melrose Collection - by Edward St Aubyn

5. Gone girl - by Gillian Flynn

53 Books Read | A habit

So in 2018 I read (and listened through audible ) to 53 books. One more than my goal. Although happy with my effort I realised that I hadn’t just read one book a week, I had become a reader. I wonder if this would be the same with other aspects of my life; does doing exercise everyday for a year due to a want to become fit turn you into an athlete? If you write everyday does it turn you into a writer . . .

Now in 2019 I read everyday, regardless, I look forward to it as part of my routine. Audible has made it easier to perform tasks at the same time, however I find that I prefer reading non-fiction and listening to fiction. I like to make notes and that is far easier while reading. So how many am I going to read in 2019? Well the problem is my list keeps getting bigger. At the moment I have over 70 books to read this year. Reading itself can be a cure or an inspiration for adventure ache. Reading about explorers, sailors, mountaineers or a girl and some camels (Tracks by Robyn Davidson, on the list for 2019). From the books I have read I try to learn what I can, so the habit of always having a book to hand can continue no matter what adventure we are on.