How I Read 39 Books in a Year in the Midst of a Crazy Daily Schedule

MARY ABIODUN
7 min readApr 30, 2021

Reading has never been easy especially when you have to juggle it with a crazy daily schedule but I hacked the code. I am ready to show you how I did that.

It was going to be my first time reading as many as 39 books in a year, a mix of hard-cover books and e-books.

I didn’t know that I had gotten to 39 because at a time, I lost count but I took records. With this record, I was able to track how many books I read each month.

Sincerely, there were months that I didn’t read a single book because of tight schedules and deadlines, and in some months, I read so many that I couldn’t believe myself.

Come see how I achieved this feat.

Read books that interest you

I started the year reading books that I have always had in my archive but never got the time to read.

I knew there was something in those books that I needed to know. Their titles were captivating.

There were books I picked up that I never went back to finish. I didn’t have the courage to go back to them. Trying to force myself to finish them would only mean that I was doing it for the sake of reading even if I was not enjoying the book. I was not interested in continuing.

There were also books that I picked up and from the first page, I couldn’t wait to get to the end. With books like this, it didn’t take me so much time to finish them because I was engrossed with their content.

When you find books that pick your interest, it would be easier to read them and read them faster.

Have and update your reading list

A reading list helps you to know what book to read next after you complete a book.

As I read a book on the list, I ticked it off and I included the books that sprang up from time to time.

As you read, you would always find new books springing up from different places. Just add them to your reading list.

You really do not need to allocate a time for when you would read them but as long as they are on that list, you can take one at a time.

With a reading list, you would never run out of book titles to read.

Try to read every day no matter how little

Depending on your reading speed, the font size, and line spacing of the book you’re reading, you would find out that on average, you can read 30 pages of a book in one hour.

The goal here is not to read for one hour at a stretch but to make sure you read every day even if it is just a page of a book. If you read books that interest you, a page could become two, then three, and more.

Reading every day with a busy schedule is not easy. You can decide the times of the day you want to read.

Reading every day no matter how little is a way to achieve consistency with your reading. It doesn’t have to be a page. It could also be a paragraph. Doing this helps you keep the book in mind unlike if you have to read today and not read again in another 3 days.

You would also realize that these little chunks of reading would move you bit by bit to finishing a book. It could take longer than you envisaged but you would have developed the habit of consistency.

Use every free time

Your free times are one of the best times to read. It’s easy for unnecessary tasks to use up this free time but reading is a good way to spend this time that you might never get back.

Some of the free times I used for my reading were commute times on the bus while going out, times when I’m in a queue and nothing is happening, breaks in-between classes, waiting time to see someone, and even those last minutes I get before I close my eyes on the bed (laughs).

You would be amazed how you can channel these little free times you sometimes waste into reading and gaining knowledge. This habit will help you be in control of your time because it would help you recognize the usefulness of short breaks and free time.

Set a time to finish a book

When you pick up a book to read for the first time, size up the book to calculate how long it would take you to finish the book. It could be two days, one week or one month. Have a time you want to finish your book and stick with that.

You would feel energized to read more if you are able to beat your timelines. As you set your reading deadline, try your best to beat it. It would help you read more because the extra time on your hands is a good opportunity for you to pick up a new book.

It’s fine if you do not finish your book within the time limits you set for yourself. This should not discourage you from finishing the book. Crazy schedules are one of those factors that could increase your reading time but it doesn’t change anything.

Take your time and still finish the book at another time.

Have a reading accountability partner

This is the most interesting part for me. You don’t have to be reading the same books with this person before you make them your reading accountability partner.

My accountability partner was one who also wanted to get into the habit of reading. I think this shared vision is enough to find one; someone who also wants to read like you.

Having an accountability partner helped me to gain insights from books I never read and it all felt like I was reading the book too.

The fun times for me was when we decided to make sure that we would give each other a short summary of whatever we read every day. This was not consistent because of crazy schedules but we always managed to catch up and continue from where we stopped. It was also a way to motivate each other to continue reading.

Sharing learnings and key takeaways were moments I always looked forward to having with my accountability partner. We did this through chats and voice notes.

Whether we were reading the same book or different books, we learned something new from each other.

The 39 Books I Read With Authors

1. The Power of Character in Leadership by Myles Munroe

2. Millionaire Writers Blueprint

3. Writer’s Manual

4. The Power of the Pen

5. Book Title Blueprint

6. E-book for Profit

7. 21 Habits of Highly Effective Writers

8. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

9. Getting in Shape for Creativity by Ademola Morebise

10. Tips and Tricks for Success for a Young Entrepreneur by Theresa Newell

11. Fervent byPriscilla Shirer

12. Rule of Work by Richard Templar

13. Destiny by T.D. Jakes

14. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

15. Rebirth by Juliana Olayode

16. Boy Meets Girl byJoshua Harris

17. The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn

18. What I Would Do Differently by Sam Adeyemi

19. Preparing for Marriage by John Piper

20. You Have a Brain by Ben Carson

21. The Big Picture by Ben Carson

22. Take the Risk by Ben Carson

23. The Parable of Dollars by Sam Adeyemi

24. Rediscovering the Kingdom by Myles Munroe

25. 50 Common Money Mistakes by Olumide Emmanuel

26. 50 Things You Should Never Take for Granted by Olumide Emmanuel

27. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann

28. The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

29. Relationship Goals by Michael Todd

30. The Real Money by Sam Adeyemi

31. Power Through Prayer and Fasting by W. F. Kumuyi

32. Your Time or Your Life by Dolapo Tukuru

33. Waiting is Gaining by Tope Ogundipe

34. The Good Student Guide

35. What I Would Do Differently by Sam Adeyemi

36. The Parable of the Dollar by Sam Adeyemi

37. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann

38. Hind’s Feet by Tope Ogundipe

39. The Real Money by Sam Adeyemi

Conclusion

Reading can be fun and tasking at the same time!

By having and updating your reading list, setting timelines to finish a book, and using free times at your disposal to read the books that interest you, you can read as many books as you want if you commit to it.

Do not forget the place of an accountability partner in your reading journey. Walking the reading path with a partner will definitely make it fun and enjoyable. You can also share your reading fears and excitement with your partner and you both can take your reading to unimaginable levels.

I read some 18 books in 2019. You can find them here and probably have or update them on your list of books to read together with the others shared here.

Follow me on Medium and on Twitter @maryabiodun01. I share snippets of what I’m reading over there.

I would also love to know what books you are reading. Let me know in the comments.

Share to other readers you know and let’s share reading moments together.

--

--

MARY ABIODUN

Techie. Writer. Mentor. Teacher. Editor. Entrepreneur. Growth Marketing