One Book Per Week Challenge: Weeks 1 & 2

Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart. Whenever anyone asks me why I love reading so much I always tell them this quote by Oprah. I think she got it spot on!

Books educate us and open our minds up to different opinions, ideas and philosophies. Which is important for us if we want to keep growing and improving ourselves into the best versions we can be. With work and school and life finding time to read can be tricky sometimes. Our schedules keep getting bigger and time seems to slip through our fingers. Finding time to read can fall down on our scale of things to do in a day. I know this happened with me. I seemed to find myself stuck in this loop of procrastination. I would always say in the mornings “I’ll find time to read today” and when evening rolled around I had read zilch. Not even one page.

I realized without a solid reading plan I was going to stay stuck in this circle of procrastination, so I did what I always do when I need to solve a problem, – I went to YouTube. I just searched “Reading Challenges” and went from there. Very early on in my search I stumbled upon a video by this guy John Fish who had done not 1 but 2 videos on a challenge called A Book A Week. ( I’ll link those videos here and here) I was only two minutes into the first video but my motivation was already brewing. I couldn’t wait to start this challenge myself. This was on a Tuesday. That same day I picked a book I hadn’t read of my bookshelf and started on my quest to finish it by the end of the week. That book was The Power of Now and I can proudly say that by the time the week had come to an end I had finished the book in it’s entirety. In 5 days!! And not once during that whole time did I spend 2-3 hour periods doing nothing but reading. I actually used a little trick I learnt that helped me organize the book into sections and that made reading 100 times more productive.

my trick to successfully finishing one book per week

Successfully finishing one book a week does take some planning beforehand. This is a trick I tried at the start of this challenge and it has helped me immensely. So what I do is every Sunday I choose a book for the following week ahead. I usually alternate between novels to biographies to self improvement books, that way I’m reading a bit of everything. Once I’ve chosen a book I grab my calculator (my phones calculator) and some paper clips. I then skip to the last page of my book and see what page number it is. Say for example it’s 290, what I will do is calculate 290 ÷ 7 = the answer is roughly how many pages I need to read a day, which in this example is 41. So I’ll go to page 41 and place a paper clip then I would turn to page 81 and put another paper clip there and so on and so on until I have seven sections. And what this does is it makes the whole idea of reading a whole book in a week less intimating, because it’s all been cut up into small sections. And you don’t even have to read those entire 41 pages in one sitting, you can space it out through your day. You can read 4 pages on your commute to work or school (if your not driving, safety first kids), 2 pages whilst you wait for your lunch order to arrive, 5 pages while you wait in line, you do this and before you know it you’ve finished your pages for the day. And I can’t even begin to tell you just how satisfying it feels to have this mini reading goal and to actually accomplish it. It’s incredible!

If you do this day by day you will without a doubt finish reading your book by the end of the week. If I can do it so can you. And this is coming from a girl that has failed A LOT of reading challenges in her time.

The Power Of Now

by Eckhart Toole – If you want to learn about spirituality, mindset and learning to live your life without the anxieties of the future and sadness and regret of the past, then this book is a must read. You know when people say “I read this book and it completely changed my life..” well that’s this book for me. All throughout the time I was reading it I just kept having these epiphanies. It made everything in my life more clearer and I learnt that more then half my problems were because I was either worried about the future or stuck in the past. I was missing the most important part: being in the present. Accepting it and being grateful for it everyday. With this book it slowly helped me get to that place and train my mindset to stay in the present moment. I’m not going to lie it’s not always easy and there are times when I slip back into thinking about the past or future but I always make sure to not dwell there for long. Because the present is all we have, – the future is a mystery and the past has disappeared.

Buy The Power Of Now here!

Margherita’s Recipes for Love

by Elisabetta Flumeri and Gabriella Giacometti – Romance + food + Tuscany = all the ingredients for the perfect novel. This book is the absolute best to read either curled up in a blanket with a hot chocolate or laying on a beach somewhere, it’s the definition of a feel good read. It has everything passion, love, betrayal, angry ex husband, bohemian father, steamy sex, a furry entourage, heartbreak and mouthwatering food. And if all that hasn’t tempted you to read this book then did I mention it also includes all the recipes mentioned in the novel.

Buy Margherita’s Recipes for Love here!

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HAVE YOU EVER TRIED OUT THE ONE BOOK PER WEEK CHALLENGE?

xo Mirjana Valentin