Five Years of Reading

Horizontal image of three bookshelves next to each other and filled with books.

Five years ago, on December 3, 2018, I made a decision. That decision was to make reading a habit. More specifically, I decided that I would read every single day for a year. Rain or shine. Sick or well. Two hours or 15 minutes. I would read from a book every day.

And that first year had its ups and downs. Mostly ups. A weeklong battle against the flu nearly derailed me a few months into the challenge, but I was determined.

Once I completed the challenge, I thought, Why stop here?

My challenged evolved into a lifelong one. I wasn’t just determined to extend it to two, five, or ten years. No, I was going to do this for the rest of my life if at all possible.

Five years later, I sit here reflecting over the great stories that I’ve been able to live through. I think of what I started back then as less of a challenge and more of a journey. Daily reading is something that’s simply a part of my life.

I won’t lie and say there weren’t some days that were questionable. There has certainly been a day or two where I’ve simply read a single page because I was so exhausted from the other events of the day.

I don’t know that I have anything particularly revelatory to share from my time reading. There have been a lot of great stories along the way, and I expect more going forward.

Today, I am re-reading The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the second book in the Mistborn series, which was one of my earliest book series in this journey. And Sanderson is without any doubt the author that I’ve read the most of in these last five years. It seems fitting to return to some of the same books that made the original challenge so much fun.

For now, I’ll keep on living new lives.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons