As I worked on my 2019 fave books post, I realized I'm reading way, way more than I was four years ago. I've nearly tripled the number of books I finish in a year, which made me wonder what has changed.
I now quit books I don't love. This helps in two ways: I don't spend that precious limited reading time on bad books, but I also don't lose reading momentum. Before, even a mediocre book would be so discouraging that it would suck up weeks of bedtime reading as I read a page or two at a time. Life is too short for mediocre books.
Now that my momentum is up, I feel antsy when I don't know what I'm reading. I've started reading poetry in the morning instead of playing on my phone, which has been an A+ life improvement.
This year I also went to a ton of independent bookstores. As I've traveled more for work, I've also told myself I would always find a local bookstore and I've mostly been able to achieve it.
Albuquerque: Bookworks, Page One, Red Planet, Organic Books
Bay Area: City Lights, Pegasus Books
Denver: Tattered Cover
Seattle: Left Bank Books
New Orleans: Faulkner House Books, Garden District Book Shop
Brussels: Evasions: Librairie de seconde-main
(Not to mention the various game stores, nurseries, museums and more where I picked up a book or two.)
Shopping at an independent bookstore is such a pleasure--book-minded folks, unexpected finds, and just a moment of peace to browse and imagine where your mind will linger next. It's been a wonderful investment.
Next year I'm hoping to increase my reading by another 10% to 60 books. Wish me luck!