100 books

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson was the 40th book I've read this year and the 100th since I started my 26 books project in 2006. I'm quite pleased. When I started I was looking for something to motivate me to read more and I thought that aiming to finish a book every two weeks would do it. The target of was always somewhat arbitrary, after all it's easy to meet the total by reading a few short novels. The point was to get myself into a habit and it's worked very well.

I read 26 books in 2006, 34 in 2007 and, so far, I've read 42 in 2008. What's even more satisfying is that this year's total includes three massive books: Tree of Smoke, War and Peace and Infinite Jest. Book 43 is pretty hefty too; hopefully I'll finish it before the end of the year.

The project has taken on a life of its own, with nine other readers taking part this year. What's interesting is that I think I'm the only one who has been motivated to read more simply by having a target. I'm not presenting that as either a good or bad thing, it's just something peculiar to my personality.

A few 26 books bloggers are leaving us this year. We're going to take this opportunity, time permitting, to rethink the site a little. One bit of feedback I've had is that the lack of commenting and community around the site is demotivating for some. I hadn't really thought about that. For me, the blog was simply a motivational tool: if I have to blog about this book then I have to finish it. I get more than enough community at work. Still, that will be something to think about next year.

The other thing bloggers have asked for is more non-review content. Again, this wasn't something I had thought about because it wasn't one of my priorities. I've got other blogging outlets for my thoughts so I had a pretty narrow view of what 26 books would be. We'll be rethinking that too.

Time, as always, is the problem. But I hope 26 books will be a more interesting site by this time next year. And, if I continue to increase my books-per-year, I just might have reached book 150 by then.