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What happened when I (tried to) read 30 books in 30 days

As a kid, I was a voracious reader. The library was my favorite place, and I always had my nose buried in a book, especially the Nancy Drew series. Eventually college, career, and kids came along, and reading was moved to the back burner. If I did pick up a book, it was usually a mystery or nonfiction title on productivity, and it would take me weeks to complete it.

I thought I didn’t have time to read, but I know (having read Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think) that’s not true. The “don’t have time” excuse really means “it’s not a priority.” If that doesn’t feel good, then do something about it, she advises.

So I did. I set a goal to read 30 books in 30 days. Sounds impressive, but I failed. I read 12 books, which falls far short, but that number is more than the total of books I read in all of 2017 and 2016, and maybe even 2015, too.

While I didn’t hit my goal, I should be proud of my accomplishment, says Neil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything. “Twelve books [in a month] is 144 books a year, 25 times the average person,” he says.

Related: 5 books to read when you’re considering making a big change

Pasricha is passionate about reading. In April, he launched the podcast, 3 Books with Neil Pasricha, to encourage people to do it more often. On each episode, he speaks to inspiring individuals, such as Gretchen Rubin, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume, and asks them to share their three most formative books.

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