It’s been over a week into my 30-day reading challenge. I initially thought of reading 15 pages a day, but decided to bump it up to 20 pages a day because I wanted to make sure I’d finish the first book I would be reading in less than 30 days. But now, it feels like a bit of a hassle.

Sometimes my Kindle miscounts the pages (repeating numbers). I think it’s because I changed the settings of the font text, size, and spacing. Maybe under default settings, the pages would work just fine. But, I adjusted the pages so that I could read the text more smoothly.

A chapter of the book I’m currently reading tends to fall under 20 pages. I find most chapters to be around 15 pages. So if I set the goal to be 15 pages, easy, I’d just read one chapter. But since it’s 20 pages, I have to read more. And, I don’t like to leave myself hanging in the middle of text because it’s like listening to a quarter of a conversation and waiting until the next day to hear the rest. When you do that, you generally have to go back to refresh your mind. It’s better to finish a section at a time, even if it’s longer. So for days, I’ve been reading two chapters at a time. I didn’t mind this at first. But, I guess I’m getting a little bored of what I’m reading. So if it weren’t for me challenging myself to read at least 20 pages, I’d stop after one chapter.

One way to troubleshoot this problem is to just read another book. I do have other books checked out that I had yet to read. I tried this a few days ago. The second book I read was a little strange to me though. Interesting, but weird writing. There are a couple of other books, one I know to be good but never quite finished, and another that I anticipate to be good. I could read one of those texts.

Another solution is to read one chapter in the morning and another chapter in the evening. It might be easier to split the time. Sitting for an hour reading the same text requires some mental effort and concentration. But if it’s for 20-30 minutes at a time, it’s easier to complete.

A combination of both ideas is good too. I could read one book in the morning and another in the evening. I will probably end up doing this. I can read the book I’m currently reading first thing in the morning, and then read a new book in the evening.

Of course if I want to do this, I’d have to make time in the morning. This morning, I woke up earlier than usual. I still felt tired, so I tried to go back to sleep. But I didn’t fall back asleep for some time, so I got up and started researching things on my new tablet. And then, I decided to continue coloring a sheet I printed out a couple days ago. I didn’t really think to maybe read instead. So if I wake up early like this again, I can read.

I guess even if I don’t wake up early, I can read after eating breakfast and changing my clothes for the day. It doesn’t have to be the first thing I do every morning. Though, that would be a nice way to start my day. Sometimes, I don’t feel like getting out of bed. So if I have my tablet next to me, I can just reach for it, sit up and start reading. Then when I am more awake, I can get up.

A couple nights ago, I got into coloring. I don’t know what sparked the idea. I just remember searching for markers on Amazon and looking up adult coloring sheets one day. So far, it’s pretty fun and relaxing. I decided to add this as part of the 30-day challenge: read, then color (in the evenings). I started getting into the more “difficult” parts to color on this one sheet I’m working on, so I don’t know that will go. They’re really two separate challenges going on, but it’s just easier for me to extend the reading challenge and finish both by the end of the month. And then, I can decide if I want to continue both habits. I guess it’s still early to tell, but I think that I’ll continue these two habits.

There’s only one other person I know who is doing the reading challenge with me. Though, I believe they decided to wait to start on November 1st. I started early, because well… I had everything set up, and I wanted to do something to distract me from hearing voices, so I thought why not.

It’s nice to have an accountability partner. I check-in with them about my reading habits. I sometimes tell them about what I’m reading. Or, I learn about books they’re interested in. I can share my thoughts about the challenge with that person, and we can encourage each other to continue reading.

I also know of someone else who is doing a 30-day writing challenge. It’s with NaNoWriMo. He’s writing his first novel. He’s also been doing a 365-day blogging challenge since the end of last year. So, that’s also encouraging for me. When I see him making progress on his challenge, I think that I can also progress in my own challenge.

That reminds me, there used to be an app called Lift. It’s now called Coach.Me. I tried looking it up, only to discover that it’s not compatible with my current phone… boo. The reason I liked this app was that you could find other people who were completing similar habits, or you could see your friends’ progress and check in with each other. I think it’d be nice to do something like this again with my reading habit. It might motivate me to see myself completing a 10-day streak, and then a 15-day streak, 20-day streak, etc. I’ll have to find another app to use since I can’t use it. Maybe in the meantime though, I could print out a November calendar and keep track for now. I could mark it with a big red X for reading, and a big blue O for coloring. 😁

I think it’s still too early to feel the benefits of reading 20 pages of a book daily. I guess the major benefit is that I don’t have to focus on hearing voices. And also, reading on a tablet seems to be helpful. There’s something about a screen that allows you to take the focus off hearing voices and tune into what’s in front of you.

I guess also, the book I’m currently reading has inspired a new idea for me., which is working for a crisis helpline. I found out there were volunteer opportunities for just a few hours a week. I think that’s pretty doable and easy. I can see if I enjoy it, and think about getting paid for it if I do. It can also give me some experience later if I decide to coach people virtually.

I’ve deliberately avoided naming the books I’m reading. I only want to name them after I’ve finished reading them and can for certain say that they were enjoyable books. And also, if I were to recommend them, I’d have to think about applying for Amazon’s affiliate program again so I could get a commission. 😂 (I’ve never made any money through that program even though I’ve tried in three times in the past, just a disclaimer… I guess not enough traffic or interest.)

I remember when I was reading books back when I was living in Korea, I would take notes. I would write down thought-provoking quotes or outline the main ideas. I didn’t do that with this particular book. There’s a highlight/note feature on my tablet, but I haven’t used it. I think if I were reading a book with a certain purpose (e.g. improving my success with habits), I’d use the feature. But, the book I’m reading now is simply an autobiography. If I’ve learned anything particularly useful, it’s already in my head through story.

I haven’t really thought about the long-term effects of reading daily, other than I can finally say, “I’ve read X books (since Y / this year / over my lifetime).” I don’t know how many books I’ve actually finished before this reading challenge. I can remember some, like certain book series, or ones from a particular author. And then, there are the many books I’ve read in my childhood. So I guess if I’m going to keep track, I’m going to count it from now on. Maybe I’ll save a list on my computer. (In fact, I created a spreadsheet for this just now.)

I didn’t read this morning, so I’ll probably read two different books tonight. I hope it goes well. I have had trouble completing 30-day challenges in the past. Starting late this summer, I’ve succeeded at two other informal 30-day challenges. So, I’d like to stick to this challenge too.

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