How I Will Read 50 Books In 2016

One of my goals this year is to finish 50 books.

Why? Reading books is still one of the best way to emerge yourself deeply in a topic. Read three books on any given topic of your interest. You will be usually much better informed than browsing countless blog posts and short articles.

Plus, books can be life changing. Some of the books I read in the past, contributed to quitting my job and starting a business. One of them was The Fountainhead which I found extremely powerful. You should give a try (it’s long though).

I always enjoyed all kinds of books, but read far too little in the past. When I was still working in Germany, it was hard to find the time between full time work, site projects and other hobbies.

Now here in Thailand, things are different. Though still quite busy, I can schedule my own time freely.

So I started to develop some good habits that enabled me to read on average a book a week so far:

  • For some reason, my sleeping times are really early here in Thailand. I sleep far before 11 pm and usually wake up 6 am. I never use an alarm. I read a book until 7 am.
  • Then I go swimming in a pool for one hour. I listen to an audio book while going there and back home.
  • During swimming I continue to listen to the audiobook! Yes, this is possible. I use a Sony water proof mp3 player.
  • I listen to audiobooks at least on double speed. Probably I will be able to increase that speed soon when my ears got used to the double speed.
  • I didn’t count the pages, but that makes at least 100 pages every day before 8:30 am. Throughout the day I don’t read books at all.

How to make sure that I don’t run out of new cool stuff to read? Whenever I discover an interesting book, I put the title into my Goodreads account. Goodreads is a huge database containing almost every book ever written.

The cool thing is, you can also track your goals, and it’s all free.

How To Find Great New Books

To find new good books is a challenge. With thousands of books published every day worldwide, there is an abundance to choose from. Here’s what I use:

  1. Ratings: Search a topic or an author of your choice on Goodreads or Amazon, and check the average rating of the book. I prefer Goodreads as it tends to be visited by more avid readers than amazon. If it’s > 4 stars, it’s a good sign. A word of caution though: I used to view ratings as the holy grail of book search. Not anymore. Ratings are often highly biased. For example, one of the best books I read, Kafka’s Metamorphosis got a mediocre average rating. This is probably because students are forced to read it in school and hate it. One of the worse books I read, Collins’ The Mockingbird, got incredibly high ratings on Goodreads, probably because it was hyped by a Hollywood movie that thus rated by leisure readers that are easier to impress.
  2. Reviews: So you shouldn’t trust rankings alone. Read some reviews to a highly ranked book. If you like those as well, probably it will be a good pick.
  3. Lists of people you follow: If I discover that I strongly agree with the book taste of someone, I follow what other books they recommend. E.g. I love this list by Thomas Carter. I read most of those books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Other good lists I found are on Github and Simple Programmer. Also, you can check out what successful people read, e.g. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett who reportedly spends 80% of his waking time reading.
  4. Other lists: Pulitzer Winners, Forbes, Goodreads Best Of, A List Of Books
  5. Finally, talk to your friends. Many of them will be avid readers, and will be happy to share their secrets with you.

I will write about the books I’ve read this year so far in a future post.

How many books will you read in 2016? What books have you read we shouldn’t miss? Let us know!

Originally published at on April 27, 2016.

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