My (50) Book Pledge

January 9, 2012 — 12 Comments

This week I learned about something called The 50 Book Pledge. The idea comes from the site, The Savvy Reader, and I think it’s a great one. What does the pledge entail? Well, it’s as simple as it sounds.

I hereby pledge to read 50 books during the calendar year 2012.

Okay, fine, I’ll be honest with you. I am very bad with these sorts of pledges. Very bad. I usually bail out super fast. A pledge that relates specifically to books is even harder for me. I enjoy reading, but I’m not the fastest reader, and my reading habits are terrible. Sometimes I can read a book in two days. Sometimes it takes me five months.

So here’s how this will work. My pledge is going to be a bit more maleable. I’m going to hedge myself. My aim is to get to 50 books. Heck, maybe I’ll try for more than 50. But I don’t think the idea behind the pledge is to stress people out about reaching any particular number. It’s a way to get people like myself to read more. That’s all. So here’s the altered version of my pledge.

I hereby pledge to attempt to read 50 books during the calendar year 2012.

It’s a slight change, but it makes a huge difference. No longer is my pledge about the number, it’s about the attempt. It’s about the idea of the pledge in the first place. I’m going to try to read as much as possible. I’m going to mix it up with fiction and non-fiction. I’m going to aim for the stars (50) and hopefully I’ll reach them, but if I only get to the moon at least I’ll have gotten somewhere.

So here goes My (50) Book Pledge. The first book on the docket? Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

I’ll be using this post as the index for reviews of each book I finish, as well as any potentially related posts I write. Let’s hope it’s nice and long by the end of the year.


1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

2. Blood Meridian

3. The Good, the Bad and the Multiplex

4. It’s Only a Movie

5. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

(coming soon)


12 responses to My (50) Book Pledge


    I admire this resolve, it’s actually been my resolution for the past three years. Guess what? I failed all three. Did that stop me from making the same one this year? Heck no. I go for 52, just because it aligns with the idea of reading a book a week which I think is manageable until I realize I have to spend all of my time reading crappy textbooks which destroy my resolve to read.

    But this year will be different. I’ve already read three books this year and plan to read three more before this week’s end. It will happen!

    Also, great starting title. A long one, but as you know, one of my favorite books of recent years. I tore through the last 700 pages in five days.


      So far I’m really enjoying Jonathan Strange.

      And yeah, the goal is definitely a tough one for me. Particularly since I tend to be a slow reader. The idea of finishing more than one book per week is nearly impossible for me to comprehend. As such I think 50 is a worthy goal. Technically I’m already a bit behind, but if I keep up with one book per week and maybe a couple weeks of two books and a couple weeks of none I should manage it.


    I would never be able to do that for books. Last year I probably read 2 or 3 of them….


      I think last year I read about 4 books for pleasure. The year before I read a few more than that because I did a fast re-read of all seven Harry Potter books before 7.1 came out.


    A great goal. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes for you and, especially, reading about what you’ve read, seeing the new discoveries you make.

    I read, for sure, only 12 books a year, one per month for my group. I read a good bit of short fiction and short non-fiction for the classes I teach, of course, but I do wish I was in a place again where I was reading at least a book a week. That’ll happen when the kids are older, I guess!


    This is my third year doing the #50bookpledge! The first year I read 51, and the second year I read 61. But both times my goal was really only to make reading a priority, and to keep a list of what I’ve read so I don’t forget (because i have a bad memory). Good luck – I can’t wait to see how you like it!

    Also – I’m going to look up Jonathan Strange – never heard of it before but looks like some people really liked it!


      Wow! 61 books? That’s practically impossible for me to comprehend. Amazing. I’d like to reach that level at some point. Hopefully this first attempt in 2012 will get me somewhere close.


        Well, the first year that I ‘tracked’ all the books I read – I read 27! So, it really just goes to show that making reading a priority can really change how much you read! I definitely watch a lot less tv now! Although, still a lot….:)


          I can already see reading replacing my TV time. Lately I’ve been watching less TV as it airs anyway. Everything’s been about watching older stuff on DVD. I figure, instead of starting yet another procedural or Britcom I’ll just read books. Can’t say I necessarily prefer one over the other, but reading certainly offers a nice change of pace.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Today in Incompetence: The New York Times Asks, Do Reporters Have a Responsibility to Call Out Lies? « justAtad - January 12, 2012

    […] I was, pleased with my blogging output for the day, ready to continue reading the first book in my 50 Book Pledge, and then I see this tweet from Norm Wilner: The New York Times' public editor wonders whether […]

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