Jeff Ryan, like a lot of professional writers, spends a lot of time reading. He made a demanding resolution for last year: to read an average of one book per day. Since 2012 was a leap year, that meant 366 books. Ryan was appareantly successful--and not by reading only very short books. Here's how:
No, my prime directive was: no min-maxing. In Dungeons and Dragons, “min-maxing” is focusing on one character attribute to the exclusion of everything else. (Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is an excellent example of someone who min-maxes intelligence, stealing points from charisma and dexterity.) If you’ve ever been in a team sport, school play, or med school, you know how that commitment supersedes all others. Parties are missed, sleep is skipped, emails go unreturned. “I can’t—I have practice/rehearsal/a corpse to dissect.” [...]
But for every period behind the eight ball, I had weeks when I was days or even weeks ahead of schedule. A slack day at work, an hour doing yard work with the iPod, a solo plane ride or overnight stay—these were my moments, and I seized them. Believe it or not, I grew so far ahead of my pace that I successfully read all 1,016 pages of George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons. It took me three full weeks, but I slew that Dragon.
I did have to give up some things. I listened to audiobooks exclusively—no music for me. I gave up video games, which wasn’t as big a deal for me as I expected it would be. Mainly, though, I decided that Starship Troopers 2, Lost Boys 3, and Saws V-VII weren’t worth the midnight oil I was expending on them. Yes, you, too, can read a book a day, just by giving up direct-to-DVD horror films!
Here's his reading list. Read more about Ryan's methods at the link.
My favorite read of 2012 was the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. What was your favorite book to read last year?