I Read 101 Books in 2020

So yeah, 2020 was a sucky year. But at least I was able to read a lot. Not that there was much else to do being inside all the time. I wanted to read 50 books this year. Last year I read 38 books and I was like: hmmm, maybe this year I’ll be able to read a book a week. I didn’t know then that I would end 2020 having read 101 books, even having some time to spare. Yes, this is a bit of boasting, since I’m proud that I accomplished this. But it also came with a dark side. I started asking myself: what was it all for?

            Reading has continued to change my life. Every book, even the ones that I believed sucked, influenced my life in a certain way. Either by giving me an idea of something positive, an idea to believe in. Or by giving me a negative idea, an idea I didn’t think I should believe in. Some new insights came and went. No book was a waste of my time. If it was then I simply just stopped reading it.

            And so, the books I read in 2020 made an impact on me. It changed the ways I viewed the world. A good amount of Nietzsche made sure of that. But some Plato made sure that I again fell in love with ancient Greece. The Witcher series helped fuel my passion for writing fantasy myself and the Plague by Albert Camus made me get down with reality.

            But I like to be practical. I consider myself rather a pragmatist, in philosophy and outside. So, the books need to have a reason. I need to have a reason to read books, because otherwise what’s the point? That’s the whole reason I started this blog. Although I wasn’t consistent with it (I will do better in the future), it made sure that reading those books had a point. Not only that but reviewing those books actually helped me in understanding the books better. I had to reread certain parts of the books or look at my notes which I made about the book. That way I had another way to internalize the content of the book. For fiction novels this isn’t really necessary because the story kind of keeps getting stuck in your head, which is the whole point of a fiction novel. But non-fiction is different, and it certainly helped reviewing key parts of the book.

            Now, this year I want to do things a little bit different. In 2020 I kind of just reviewed the books that I read, not even all of them because I quit halfway through. I want to have some system in what I post here. So, I’ll keep posting book reviews or thoughts about books. It’ll just be about books which I think are worth mentioning. This year I read a lot of Plato for example but with every review of one of Plato’s books I felt that I was writing the same things. The same goes for Nietzsche. I want to focus more on ideas this year. I feel confident enough now to talk about philosophical ideas. Which I plan to do diligently.

            I want to post at least twice every week. That’s the goal I’m setting. Starting from 2021 I want to post every Sunday and Thursday. I think those are the days when I will have the most time to do these things, so yeah. Holding myself accountable. Even if it is just something small and stupid, I have to enforce myself to write. Only then will I improve. This way I can’t just review books but now I also have to implement them, use them. That way they’ll stick better in my head. I’ll be able to make connection through the books that I’ve read, and I’ll come to a better world view all-round.

            Yeah, book-wise 2020 was a great year for me. I didn’t think I was capable of reading that much. Time will tell if it’s only because of the coronavirus or because I’ve actually improved. I hope it’s the latter. Reading is a passion and the more books I am able to read, the more I get to enjoy the books. The best feeling I have, personally, when reading books is that ‘aha’ moment. Where something just clicks in your head and you finally just understand what it’s all about. The more books you read the more you have that ‘aha’ moment.

            I look forward to 2021. Looks like a good year. But I’m no longer focused on results. I’m focused on action. And hopefully I’ll be able to persevere in this action. I still have a lot of ideas of what I want to do. Start a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, write my own novel, who knows what else. But it all starts with action.

By elenchusphilosophy

Philosophy student from Ghent, Belgium. I write about what I find interesting which is about nearly anything. Though my guiding question in life is how to be a good person.

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