In April I challenged myself to read 30 books in 30 days. Why, you may ask? Well, a lot of people have done it or were doing it and it was always something I wondered I could do. It always seemed crazy to me to be reading this huge amount of books in such a short time, but with the lockdown and all I thought I would never have such an amazing opportunity again to try it. So I did it and I succeeded.
It took me more than a month to finally sit down to write this blog post. It was such a crazy experience that I had a lot to think about. Anyway, here are finally my thoughts on reading 30 books in 30 days.
❥ WHAT THE MONTH LOOKED LIKE
Before jumping into my feelings about this experience I would like to present to you all what April actually looked like.
Despite me being on lockdown I was still teaching online, I had to write my last papers for university and I was still being active on Instagram, YouTube and this blog. It wasn’t like being on summer vacations, it was more like having more time to dedicate to reading while still being busy. Because of it, and despite the fact that this challenge is called “30 books in 30 days” which let you think I read one book per day, there are 2 days during which I didn’t read a single page and 4 days during which I read less than 100 pages. Also, most of the time I would have read a higher number of books compared the the number of the day we were on, only because I would read short ones or graphic novels. So I didn’t have to read one book per day exactly, I only ended up having read 30 books in 30 days as a whole.
To summarize what I read, here are some more infos:
In all of that I read:
This challenge asked for a lot of organisation, so by the end of the month I included “Having read said book and having read this many pages of said book” in my daily to-do lists.
❥ THE PERKS
Reading 30 books in 30 days makes you, obviously, happy and proud. Obviously reading isn’t a race and you are a reader, no matter if you read one book per year or 30 books in one month. But also, you cannot tell me you feel a little bit happy when you read more than usual. So, like any normal human being, I was extremely happy when I was done with this challenge. I often doubted myself, often thought of giving up but I did it and it’s all that mattered at that time.
So as you may have guessed, reading 30 books in 30 days comes with perks. First of all, it felt great to see at the end of April that I have now read 70 books in 2020. To put this differently, in 2015 I read 66 books. That meant that five years later I read more in four months that I have read in an entire year. I was always impressed at how many books I have been reading per year, mostly because it keeps growing up, but this was something else. Considering my Goodreads goals for the past few years have been up to 100-120 books, realizing I was close to making it so early in the year, also considering how less I read last year because of my studies, made me really happy and ecstatic.
Second of all, it also pushed me to read, which was good most of the time. I often don’t prioritize reading, and for reasons. I do have my job, I have my studies, I have my Instagram and my blog and my YouTube channel. And next to it I also want to find time to read but also to watch tv shows and to play music and to play video games and to see my friends and to hang out with my family, etc. Life is busy, and mine as well. Having a whole month dedicating to reading, though I still had to work and all that jazz, was liberating and reminded me of summer vacations. It felt good for once to tell myself that it was okay if I was reading, that I’ll watch tv shows later on this year, that right now reading was all that mattered. This may sound dramatic, but sometimes we all need a reading break, and my break was a month long.
Finally, the biggest perk of this was discovering new books and new formats. During April I read so many new releases and ARCs I had, and it was amazing to also fell in love with books I have been meaning to read for the longest time, such as Nocturna and There’s Something About Sweetie. Prioritizing reading finally pushed me to read all those books I had in my TBR for ages. Next to it all, it made me discover graphic novels and a new love for it. Obviously I couldn’t read 500 pages long books every day, so sometimes I would go for graphic novels and it was a blast. I had so much fun discovering this new way of telling stories, and I need to explore it more.
Overall, reading 30 books in 30 days was a great experience. It was great for my ego, obviously, but also to remind myself why I love reading and it was like taking a long break, which was much needed after how awful 2019 was for my reading life. But as you may have seen it coming, it does have lots of disadvantages and as I often told my friends when I was done, “Never. Again.”
❥ THE DISADVANTAGES
The biggest disadvantage to come to my mind right now is how tiring and stressful this challenge was. If you don’t know my friend Roxanne and I started our own “bookclub” during lockdown, so we could talk to each other every week as we couldn’t see each other in real life. So each Wednesday we would update each other on what we read the week before, and so I always ended up with 7 or more books to present her. Every time I would told her how tired and stressed I was because of it. It was tiring to always count how many books I have read, how many books I was behind my goal, what I could read to catch up, how I could catch up according to the numbers of days left in the month, when could I read when I also had to work and to do so many other things. I was constantly thinking about it, and that’s not what reading is about. I never truly pressured myself to read. I always read because I wanted to, because I felt the need to do so, but never because I had to. This, definitely, was the biggest challenge of this experience.
And remember how I told you how great it was that it pushed me to read more? Well, that was tiring too. Sometimes all I wanted was to stay in my bed, scroll through Instagram or watch some YouTube videos. But could I do it? No, because if I didn’t read then I would be behind and it would be even more stressful. As I said, it’s never great to force yourself to read. You can do so every time in a while because you’re in a slump and you want to get back to it, but forcing yourself only because you don’t want to fail a challenge you set for yourself? Would not recommend.
Next to it all I couldn‘t necessary read all the books I truly wanted to, only because they were too long and I knew I wouldn’t have time to read longer books than 400 pages ones. Because of it I had to wait to read my e-ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue for example, and even other amazing e-ARCs I received. I also had to buy books because all the ones left on my TBR were too long and weren’t that interesting to me at that time. Overall it was… a mess, somehow. A happy and stressful mess, but a mess above all.
Finally, it did what I didn’t want it to do: it put me in slump. As I’m writing this I’m slowly getting out of it. But May was the month I read the less amount of pages of 2020, only because I couldn’t put myself to sit down and read. I didn’t want to, so I didn’t do it. Obviously it’s not a tragedy, but it’s always sad and I think that we all hate reading slumps. Somehow I was also still pressuring myself because though I was so well advanced in my year long challenge, I thought… What if I did more? What if 2020 was the year I read 200 books? Well, this won’t be the case but my ambitious mind is not made for those challenges. Despite how unhappy I could have been, I wanted to do even more and so my brain put a stop to it by putting my in a slump.
❥ WILL I DO IT AGAIN?
To be fair, when I was done with it I told myself I would never do it again. But now that time have passed, maybe I would consider doing it again but when I have less work and when I can organise myself better (right from the beginning this time, and not only at the end).
In conclusion, this was an experience I do not regret doing, but which came with a lot of disadvantages which cannot be forgotten. I was very strict with myself and didn’t want more than half of the books read to be graphic novels, but if you want to do it try to be gentler that I was with yourself and consider reading short novels and graphic ones to help you out. Organisation and short books will be your biggest help.
And that’s all!
What is the highest amount of books you read in one month?