In January I set a goal on Goodreads of reading 50 books over the course of the year. I guess I’ll make my goal because as of the end of June – the halfway point – Goodreads tells me that I am “18 books ahead of schedule.” I have read 42 books so far in 2015.
I’m not overly surprised. Last year I set a goal of 50 books, then raised that to 75 when it was clear I would pass it, before finishing out the year at 84 books read (which I documented in Reading is Fundamental). The idea behind limiting it to 50 this year was because I planned to read less and write more. It turns out I was doing more of both.
The reading can be split into a few separate genres, the most prolific being books about Abraham Lincoln. I’ve read 15 books so far that look specifically at different aspects of Lincoln’s life and the Civil War. Included in this group are books about his character (Philosopher Statesman), law cases (Lincoln’s Greatest Case), and interactions with the press (Lincoln and the Power of the Press). I also tossed in a book about my home town’s soldiers (Ipswich in the Civil War) and insights from the Smithsonian (The Civil War Out My Window).
This year I also had a new focus – Thomas Edison. My publisher has me writing a book on Edison as the second in a series of books that started with my Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity. I finished reading three previous biographies and have a few more that I’m using as resources. My Edison book is due out in early 2016.
One of my goals this year was to read books off a “100 books to read before you die” list on Facebook, with the plan to read at least one per month. I also have been trying to read at least one book per month off my own shelves (in an effort to free up space for more Lincoln books). The first list is all fiction and the second is about half and half, so this is reflected in the fact that I’ve read 13 fiction and 11 assorted non-fiction (excluding Lincoln and Edison) books.
Not bad for a half-year of reading. Meanwhile, I’ve been busy writing the Edison book, writing a “Lincoln and Tesla Connections” ebook (due out this summer), and continuing research for my forthcoming Lincoln tome. Somewhere in there I’ve squeezed in some science traveling.
The second half of the year promises to be just as busy with more reading, more writing, more traveling, and more of whatever else I can pencil onto the calendar.
Check out my author page on Goodreads for more on my reading challenge, and happy reading!
David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (Fall River Press) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is about Thomas Edison, due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.