I’m taking of the 50 books challenge in 2012, you’ve heard me talk about it before but I decided it would make more sense and be easier for me to track if I start on January 1st – which is now fast approaching.
I’m both excited and apprehensive because a year is a long time and as my circumstances change, I will have to change tactics in order to complete this challenge.
My depression is going to be another battle to face during this too – with bouts of lack of concentration and sleepiness but I hope I can allow myself enough time to push through.
Of course this is quite a big undertaking for anyone really. Work, education, as well as just day to day life of eating, sleeping, cleaning, washing all have to come first.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking how to tackle the the 50 books challenge, without stressing out, getting majorly behind in it or neglecting to live my life. And I’ve come up with some good advice for myself – and for anyone who might be taking on this challenge.
- Books to read. I know it’s obvious you need books to read, but if you haven’t got a lot of books then you really need to buy or lend a few to start you off, as you need to be reading pretty quickly. Plan you next purchase or what you want to borrow from a friend or the library in advance because time without a book is time ticking away.
- Get a calendar and use it to your advantage. 50 books in a year is a book a week, with 2 weeks spare (there are 52 weeks in a year) in case one should get behind. Plan out your readings like this, using the calendar to keep track and you’ll be much more organised.
- Get a good mixture of books. You don’t want to get bored. Also have some shorter books in your challenge stack, because some weeks/times you won’t have time for that 800 page novel.
- Set aside some “reading time” everyday. Of course you can read at other times, but schedule with yourself some time each day to read. This can be whenever works best for you. For me this will usually be in bed before I go to sleep.
Of course, all that said not everyone is good at being organised, so here’s a few things that might help you out:
- Not sure what to read next? Looking for a new book? Check out Amazon’s Best Books of 2011, BBC’s The Big Read Top 100 or you can find lots of lists of books to suit your taste on Ranker’s Book Page.
- I personally created my own calendar so I can print it off using dateandtime.com as this meant I could add useful things such as week numbers, have space for book names and numbers and highlight the first day of each week to keep me on track. If you’re a bit lost on how to do this you can download mine here (Instructions: download, unzip file and open file named “50 Book Challenge Year 2012 Calendar United Kingdom” in your web browser of choice and print). Mine starts from the 1st January so every Sunday is in red to indicate I should be starting a new book then, each week number is shown on the left and right and there’s space to write. Also make use of marking off days.
Now what about buying books. Chances are if your taking up this challenge you will know where to get the best deals on books but if you don’t here are a few places to check out.
- Amazon in general. Amazon is one of the cheapest places to buy new books and has a range that matches any book store.
- Amazon Kindle free and cheap books. I don’t own a Kindle, but what I do have is Kindle for pc, which is free to download and opens up the world of kindle for you. Kindle has a great lot of cheaper ebooks from indie authors, as well as a bunch of free ebooks available.
- EBay. Yes you do have to be careful if you want books in great condition, but they are out there. Have a look around ebay and see what deals you can find.
- Discount Book Stores. I admit these aren’t always great for finding exactly what you want as they have limited stock, but do go to a store or look at their website and see what they have to offer, there are some gems to be found and it’s worth having a look (for example, I just picked up a hardback Robin Hobb book for 99pence from The Works).
- Charity/Thrift shops. Again you may have to rummage to find something good depending on your taste, but they are definitely worth a look, plus you’ll be helping a charity. You will find that there are some books that always seem to be in charity shops (Dan Brown always seems to be in there), but you will find some treasures too that’s for sure. I’ve had most of my Terry Pratchett books from a charity shop for 50pence each (and 2 for 1 on hardbacks so two for 50pence, win or what?).
And so that’s it, all the help and advice I can give you. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll do my best to help.
I’ve actually found a few friends who are attempting 2012’s challenge, so if you want some support definitely announce your doing the challenge on facebook and twitter.
See you January 1st for the start of my challenge!
Advice and suggestions from others found in comments below:
- Eruwen & butterflydreams24 suggest bookdepository.com and play.com as great places to buy books.
- Cassie (who has a great blog by the way) suggested betterworldbooks.com which is a fantastic organisation, every time you buy a book, they give another book to someone who needs it and all the money you spent on the book you brought goes to help literacy charities (they support quite a few!). And they ship worldwide for free. So definitely check that out.
Got some advice or a suggestion? Comment below, I’ll add it to the post.