An image generated by Apple Books which shows three book covers with check marks indicating each has been read. Below the text reads

I’ve ‘read’ 3 books in 2021.

Despite my last post about readng – a social network for book lovers, I must hold my hands up and admit that I am actually terrible at reading books. Put a screen in front of me and I can read news and social media on the internet for hours. Wave an interesting-looking book in my face and I’ll pick up the book, start it, and then never finish it.

My track record is so bad that in an average year I will start reading a handful of books, but am lucky if I finish a single one. In fact, during 2020, I finished just one book – The Last Romeo by Justin Myers. 2019? Zero. 2018? Again, just one – Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone – and I only started reading that because Eli was an old classmate of mine. I’m glad I picked that one up — it turned out to be a really good book.

Turning the page.

I tried to find a solution to my book-reading problem and figured that since I can spend so long reading on a screen, I should get an Apple iPad and use Apple Books. It seemed like a great way to avoid buying physical books that I have to put in a physical book case, only for them to collect dust as they remain unread.

I set a yearly goal of reading 3 books and downloaded three e-books; Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Leading by Alex Ferguson, and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

At the time of writing this, Apple Books tells me I’m about 33% through each of them. With that sort of progress, maybe I should have spent all my time reading just one book, then at least I would have finished one. They’re neatly lined up to continue my inability to finish a book.

Headphones on.

In addition to the more standard e-book, I also purchased an audiobook — If You Should Fail by Joe Moran. I figured that, for a while, I can replace the time I spend listening to podcasts with tuning my ears into a longer-form of recording instead.

This went really well. Within a few days, I had finished my first audiobook and soon picked up a second; Feline Philosophy by John Gray. I started listening more; as I did chores around the house, or as I walked to and fro the supermarket. It didn’t take long before finished my second, then third; How To Avoid A Climate Disaster by Bill Gates.

And with that, I reached my yearly goal on Apple Books of reading three books. Well, listening to three books. I almost feel like it’s cheating.

My goal is to still finish the three initial books that I bought. And at this rate, considering we have just entered March, I could make it through many more audiobooks this year. I’ve upped my goal to six books and we’ll see how it goes.

What are you reading at the moment?

A screenshot of Apple Books' reading goal showing 3 completed slots and 3 empty slots.