How Many Books Can You Read in One Year?


**March 9, 2015

Last year I made a list of goals for myself for 2014. Then after the start of the new year I did a status check of how my goals went. Around the end of the year I started thinking of some goals I wanted to set for 2015. My goal is to read 25 “classic” b0oks in one year. Think I can do it? How many books can you read in one year?

I have them down in my head, Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Financial and Experiential, but haven’t written a post on it yet. I have decided on one of the mental goals I have for 2015 however and that is to do more reading, specifically some of the well known works I’d never gotten to or haven’t read in a while. 

When I came across an article titled,The Top 10 Books People Lie about Reading,” it gave me some excellent motivation to add to my “mental” goals for 2015 and cemented my desire. Curiously, from the top 10 books the author mentions, (they are all political in nature), I’ve actually read most of them, at least in part or for school assignments many years ago.

My goal is to read 25 books in 2015 from a list of 50 classics I’ve put together below. “Books” is used in a few instances for lengthy poems or essays, if the piece is something that I’ve deemed as a classic that I think should be read. For the majority of these, I’ve either never read them or just spent a passing glance through them. For some books, I have read them before and am putting them on this list either because it’s been a long time, or because I want to refresh myself on them, or because the book is a personal favorite and I enjoy reading it every year or two, (Atlas Shrugged, which I am currently reading again as I write this, I’ve now read three times).

Whenever possible the version has to be the original and not a shortened or abridged version. For example Moby Dick can be picked up in a 300 page version, but the original as the author intended it to be read is much, much… much longer. This list is in addition to a spiritual goal, to read the Bible from cover to cover, in order, in a year. And while my goal here is lofty (about one book every two weeks to reach 25) I’m looking forward to it.

2015 Mental Goal – Read 25 of the 50 Books Listed

* While I prefer to have physical copies, I may download some via ebooks if I need to.

  1. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  2. Waiting for Gadot – Samuel Beckett
  3. The Wasteland – T.S. Elliot
  4. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  5. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  6. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  7. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
  8. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  9. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – Completed September, 2015
  11. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  12. Arabian Knights aka One Thousand and One Nights – Completed September, 2015
  13. The Trial – Frank Kafka
  14. Democracy in America – Alexis de Tocqueville
  15. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  16. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  17. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  18. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  19. The Brother’s Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  20. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  21. A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking – Completed August, 2016
  22. Steal This Book – Abbie Hoffman 
  23. The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli – Completed mid February, 2015
  24. Other Writings of Machiavelli (less “The Prince”)
  25. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  26. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  27. Slaugterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  28. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  29. The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
  30. The Divine Comedy, Inferno – Dante Alighieri
  31. The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio – Dante Alighieri
  32. The Divine Comedy – Paradiso – Dante Alighieri
  33. The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
  34. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  35. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  36. The Stand – Steven King
  37. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  38. Dune – Frank Herbert
  39. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – Completed November, 2016
  40. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  41. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  42. Ulysses – James Joyce
  43. The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith
  44. 1984 – George Orwell
  45. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – Completed late January, 2015
  46. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  47. The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  48. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  49. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand – Completed early March, 2015
  50. On the Origin of  Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life – Charles Darwin

My goal is 25 of these 50 “books” deemed as classics. This is while I’m traveling the world, and although it’s just a personal preference, I plan on reading physical books (assuming I can find them) though I am not opposed to e-books or versions on the computer if I must. How do you think I’ll be able to do? How many do you think you could read in a year if you set your mind to it?

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