Last year I had a New Year’s resolution of reading a book a week. That sounds like a lot to some people, but I live with someone who reads a book a day. I saw how much Paul was learning from non-fiction or reveling in fiction all year and knew I had to do better. I got super behind during Chairman Mom’s launch, but managed to squeak across the finish line a few days before the end of the year.
So, of course, this year, I upped it to 60 books. And again, I was off to a raging start, thanks to welcoming in the New Year in a sleepy Mexican village with a massive used book store. With no work and no kids and no itinerary, I started the year doing Paul’s book-a-day diet, going on a hike, jumping in the ocean, and then eating face-numbingly spicy fish tacos.
But then—again—the chaos of spring and early summer de-railed me. So now I’ve gotta read five books a month through the end of the year to hit my goal. The temptation is to look for slim books of essays, a new play, or poetry to try to rack up the count. But I’m not letting myself off that easy: I decided to take on Moby Dick next. Partially because my mom is one of the country’s foremost Moby Dick scholars and I have never read it. That’s kinda rude not to even try out something your parent devoted so much of her life to, right?
But also because when I tell people I read 52 or 60 books in a year, they always ask if I read a bunch of short, easy books. It sounds a lot better to say, “I read 60 books last year, including Moby Dick.” You can’t phone in Moby Dick.
People have asked me how I manage to cram them in while running a company and raising two kids. I am always listening to a book and reading a book. And I listen to it everywhere I go. On walks, on runs, in the grocery store, while I’m cooking dinner. I can always get at least an hour of listening in. Meantime, I try to steal time to sit and read 50 pages a day. One hour listening and reading fifty pages daily adds up. It’s really more about discipline than it is time. I could have easily found 30 minutes to an hour a day during my chaotic spring and summer. I just didn’t.
(For recommendations or to share what you are reading/watching, here’s an amazing thread.)
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom: