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The Book A Fortnight Update

January 23, 2012 2 comments

books on a chair

Thought I would do some thoughts on reading and this 26 Books A Year or Book A Fortnight Challenge for 2012. You remember, the one inspired by Dave Fleet & Erin Bury I mentioned in a previous post a few weeks back.

I have read a  large number of books already putting me well ahead of schedule but the bulk have been novels. The books I have read thus far are:

  1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. TimeRiders: Day of the Predator by Alex Scarrow
  3. The War That Came Early: West and East by Harry Turtledove
  4. TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow
  5. The War That Came Early: The Big Switch by Harry Turtledove

I have already begun a sixth book but I am finding myself wanting to stick to novels more and more. I can say it is because they are all parts of series which makes it more desirable to do but I really have to push myself for more mentally stimulating reading in my opinion. Problem with that, of course, is it is way, way harder! One thing I am really finding out though is the massive amount of importance there is for the more hard data kind of books, or books that make you think, it is all the more important that you find the author with the right writing style. Then again, maybe that’s just me. Have you found this yourselves?

This is the end, beautiful friends. @PostADay 2011’s 365th Post. Beginning A New Challenge For 2012…

January 3, 2012 7 comments

Writing pad of paper and pen

January 3rd 2012. This is, as Jim Morrison of The Doors sang, The End. Not the end of this blog, no, this is the end of the 2011 Post A Day Challenge which I started on January 4th 2011 with this post, exactly 365 days ago.

I was proud to have the badge that said I was part of the Challenge which you can see below and on the right hand side of the page but didn’t know when I put it up if I would be able to do it justice. I am happy – and somewhat relieved to say that I made it and I did do it justice. I remember when I started the Challenge being told by other bloggers – specifically Casie Stewart comes to mind right now – how amazing it is and how it is a great diary when you want to look back on your year. As I look back on my year it amazes me some of the things I wrote and how I wrote them and a lot of the stuff brings a smile to my face. If I wasn’t working with the post per day deadline I probably would have tried to be more of a perfectionist and not gotten nearly as much content out there. Indeed, when I look back at some of my posts I realize I really, really need someone to proofread for me (I think we all do!) but I guess that simple mistakes a proofreader would find comes with the territory of writing a personal blog and writing it daily. If ever you see a simple error – like I mess up and write “it’s” instead of “its” please feel free to call me out on it via email.

postaday-badge-big

What a wild ride it has been since I started this blog. My traffic grew at a pretty constant rate as you can see in the chart below…well constant except for the post I wrote in April about a certain French Canadian high school secretary who was moonlighting in pornographic movies and then got caught which drew A LOT of extra traffic (in retrospect this is not a big surprise). Finishing this challenge just gives me such a sense of accomplishment I cannot begin to describe it. It is just one of the most fantastic feelings in the world to be done something that was my idea (well, for me to take part in it), my commitment, and had no discernible benefit at its end in terms of reward.

LevyNewsNetwork Traffic chart

In that vein, I think my challenge for this year – aside from my silly New Year’s Resolution of living past December 21, 2012 – will be inspired by my friend Erin Bury‘s resolution for 2011 which was in turn inspired by another friend, Dave Fleet‘s, resolution for 2010: Read 26 books over the course of the year (this means a book every 2 weeks).

As I began writing this I thought I was already off to a great start in finishing John Varley’s “Rolling Thunder” and it is only January 3rd as I thought I had read the bulk of it New Year’s Day but looking back through my GetGlue history it seems I did the bulk of my reading of that book on December 31 so I cannot count it. Good thing I already started reading a new book – Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”. I’ve already made a 90 page dent in it too so I am happy. Looks like it is a good thing I started stocking up on books from the library and I will now get to embody – once again – what I wrote about a couple of days back. Writing this also reminds me I never have gotten to the Steve Jobs book just yet probably because of all the books I just got from the library.

The below is the method I am going to endeavor to employ through this task and is taken from Dave Fleet’s blog post about his own challenge in 2010.

26 books per year… how?

How do you go about reading a book every two weeks, all year?

It’s simple – 20 pages per day.

That equates to 140 pages per week, or 280 every two weeks – roughly the length of the average book. For me, I fit in 10 pages on my commute to work, and another 10 on the way home. You might prefer instead to read for 30 minutes in the evenings, or do all your reading over coffee in the morning. Either way, once you break it down like this, it’s not so bad.

I guess I sort of have a head start in that I have already read, as mentioned above, 90 pages of Gladwell’s book, but realistically I don’t have that much of one because we are already 3 days into 2012 which means I should be 60 pages into the book anyway – so I am only 30 pages ahead of schedule.

I am very excited for this new endeavor and look forward to how it develops. I think I may need a new tag for it too and am spitballing some ideas as I sit here. Right now I am thinking BookAFortnight or maybe 26Books or maybe just Books. I think I am going to follow in Dave’s lead and just stick with ‘Books’ because it is just simpler. (I hope you enjoyed that little stream of consciousness moment in my writing…that was all completely legitimate and I decided to leave it there as is.)

So it is time to go on to my next challenge. Are you trying out anything new this year? Setting any challenges for yourself? No matter how minute I would love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below.

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