8 Observations – Halfway through the 100 Book Challenge

8 Observations – Halfway through the 100 Book Challenge

I’ll admit, when Dan Rossi and I started discussing this idea of reading 100 books in 2017 it was New Years Eve and we were on the second bottle of wine!

I had read a recent post of from Brian Sanders Medium post that had read 200 books in a year. That seemed like such a massive number and yet inspiring. Dan and I were estimating about how many books we read a year on average – when you don’t have a goal you’re not thinking about it. And we were speculating if we could read 100 in a year. Challenge accepted! I think our wives just shook their heads.

Here’s some observations as I wrap up H1 2017 and have completed my first 50 books – if you want to follow along you can find the list in it’s entirety on GoodReads with rankings.

8 Observations

  1. People’s general  reaction when the see the challenge on Facebook or it comes up in conversation is “wow, that’s a cool goal, how’s it going” or that it’s inspiring. I always like personal development and I believe in being a lifelong learner. Setting goals is important at every career and life stage. Without goals I don’t push myself to achieve them. This was a good goal because I had to think about it nearly every day.
  2. The strange reactions are more funny, sometimes bizarre – they included the slightly condescending tone and comment “you clearly have more time then I do” and the “with that quantity you must not be retaining anything, you should do a book report.”  To answer the second group of commenters – no, we both only have 24 hours in a day, but I elect to use my time differently than you do. My 50th book was Carol Dweck’s Mindset, (5 Star) she would describe this group of people as having a Fixed  vs Growth Mindset!
  3. I’ve learned that listening on Audible at 1.5x speed is totally the best way to “listen” to a book – and yes, I count that as reading 🙂 To hit this goal I used audio, physical and kindle books.  I generally have a book in my backpack in case an appointment is late or I have a gap in my calendar when I’m not doing email.
  4. I’ve learned that I like historic fiction as a genre. I hadn’t given it much thought before this, but books like the true story of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and All the Light We Cannot See were great reads. Lincoln on the Bardo was the most creative in the category.
  5. I did do a theme section on big data, analytics and forecasting… so here’s some of the data:
    1. Fiction 16, Non-Fiction 3.
    2. Total Pages 18,505, Average 370.1
    3. Longest 751 John Adams, Shortest 222 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (as billed)
  6. Two credits a month on Audible isn’t enough to be a big lift when you’re reading two books a week – consider using Overdrive and your local library – you can hold books on your list and it’s FREE. Price is no longer an excuse to the challenge
  7. Some books are tough to finish – some you shouldn’t even start. There were some books that were “thick” and slow reads even though the didn’t have a lot of pages. I like Sci-Fi, but it’s a slower read for me. You just have to know what you like and don’t like – or in that case what you Grok!
  8. Sourcing books is best when you ask people about their favorite genre’s and books. I started just asking about favorite books and quickly realized I needed to filter on genre first – I’m not a big romance novel guy and how come every cover has a dude with six pack abs!


I like to read for knowledge an inspiration. You should read for your own reasons – don’t just read to get to the target of 100. We talked at one point about a series Dan was interesting in reading – but they were thick – the conclusion is read what you love.

Do you have a book you love? Add it to comments below or message me on Facebook! I need 50 more for the next six months. Want to join in? Just get started, public goals are best, but you can just tell me if you prefer.