A Pandemic Upside

One upside of sheltering-in-place and quarantine during the pandemic? People are reading more. Research compiled by Global English Editing, a writing and proofreading service, 35 percent of people in the world have read more books than usual since the pandemic turned the world inside-out.

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The 50-Book Challenge

With the New Year inspiring new resolutions, one of the most popular choices rears its ugly head every January—tackling the ever-growing, loosely-kept pile of books you’ve been meaning to read.

The Goodreads Reading Challenge keeps people honest about their goals in terms of  conquering their libraries. In 2019, 3 million participants pledged to read an average of 59 books, despite most people falling into the 24-book-per-year tier, according to The Atlantic. This followed a particularly dastardly year in 2018 for reading when just 16 percent of participants completed their personal challenge.

So what makes this challenge so difficult? Just like any New Year’s goal (going to the gym for example), it requires increased structure and dedication. It can be very easy to fall out of a reading routine when all you want to do is turn on the TV, slumped on a couch with a cold beer in hand after a long day’s work.

That’s because creating a habit requires 21 days. Reading just one book over the three-week, habit-forming period, would set the pace for 17 books read for the calendar year. The 50-book challenge does not have to be trounced on your first try, cold turkey. And if a book is not grasping you, leave it behind for another. This is supposed to be an enjoyable challenge.

And it’s never too late to start, even in March.

 

ucsf.edu

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