Zero to Fifteen in 2018

Coming at you fast and hard with a completely unoriginal habit-building exercise I’ll be adopting for 2018: 15 minutes a day dedicated to building a reading habit. An invisible poll I just conducted of all the humans I’ve ever interacted with says the vast majority want to read more. Many of us have impressive Goodreads book lists we like to maintain a couple times a year in the interest of being intellectual, and who doesn’t wish they had something substantive to say about the Time of Troubles following the demise of Boris Godunov? No?

Anyway, since I’ve developed a nasty habit of wasting at least 15 minutes a day since I was about 15 minutes old, I’m committing to at least countering the habit with 5,475 minutes of reading this year. For me, that should amount to about 1,916,250 words read. Because humans are pack animals, I’m challenging you to do this with me. Mostly so you can comment on this article (web traffic!) with a post (interaction for the stats!) with a few of your reads you plan on tackling (self-serving recommendations for my own list!). I’m deplorable at heart; 15 minutes of daily reading will serve the enviable end of keeping me quietly deplorable that much longer.

Before you get all excited, I also made up a rule dictating that this doesn’t apply to social media, the news, and basically anything else online that isn’t an e-book. Beyond that, you can apply your own restrictions. For example, for me that means non-fiction, non-school related books. Not that I don’t love fiction, but I’m adopting the habit specifically to expand my base of historical, political, scientific, and career-based knowledge; also, because it will be too easy to write off a day spent studying for the LSATs (another 2018 goal).

And to promote a culture of over-sharing, I’ll be listing a few reads on my list and expecting you to do the same in the comments. Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing articles on here and quotes on my social media highlighting what I’m reading, because this is 2018 and if you didn’t post it, I doubt you read it.


I was gifted this for Christmas and am about half-way through the second chapter. Rice was an impeccable, well-researched scholar with solid international policy, and it’s been an informative, well-written analysis of democracy through the lens of various nations and practices so far.

“Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”
Bought this on a whim a couple months ago and had read 4-5 chapters within a couple hours of it arriving in the mail. It’s a fascinating take on narrative journalism: both the final product and the person and process behind the scenes. I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in narrative writing.

One of those things I should have read in high school but didn’t. Read if your life goals involve you developing into a no-nonsense tyrant with no respect for humans, or if you plan on taking on no-nonsense tyrants with no respect for humans.


There’s more in the works, but it’s your turn now. What books will you be dusting off this year?

Naomi Brele

Naomi Brele

In a universe gone nuts and a culture going mad, I believe truth has never been harder to uncover, propagate, and believe. I refuse to watch from the sidelines while others make their own triumphs and train wrecks of our world's ongoing narrative, and so I write. I write to start conversations; I write to be a dissenting voice in a one-way conversation. Follow me here and on Twitter to read about today's social, cultural, and political discussions framed in a perspective that only makes good sense on Tuesdays if I've had breakfast.

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