Bookworms in Training | Challenge #001

We like to try new things, so in this series, we experiment and challenge ourselves to create new habits, find new hobbies, and learn more about ourselves. Check out our other challenges here.

Prologue by Juliet

One day while cleaning out my room, I noticed that I had so many books that I hadn’t read. The thought of them sitting in my room and collecting dust bothered me so much that I made it one of my goals for 2017 to read them, and then either pass them along to friends or donate them.

But how was I going to find the time and energy to read every day? I get up at around 6:30 am every day, and get home at around 7 pm with very little energy left to spare. So when Annie suggested that we try an experiment of reading a minimum of 10 pages every day, I jumped at the opportunity of forcing myself to read and cleaning out my room.

How did we do?

Books We Read

Reasons for Reading

  • 我和我的狗朋友
  • Myron Bolitar Novels by Harlan Coben
    • Deal Breaker (finished)
    • Drop Shot (finished)
    • Fade Away
  • Improve reading in Chinese
  • Improve writing in English
  • Leisure/hobby
  • What I Told My Daughter: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Woman by Nina Tassler
  • Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
  • D3 textbook for work
  • Rid my room of unnecessary clutter (so unless it’s things I really enjoy, get rid of them!)




In the beginning, I wasn’t able to get into reading because I didn’t put it as a priority and I wasn’t motivated to read. Once I wrote down the reasons I wanted to read, it made it a lot easier for me to pick up a book. The first few days were inconsistent because I was reading a book I didn’t have as big an interest in. Then I started reading Harlan Coben’s mystery novels and that’s when I couldn’t put a book down. I am a fan of Coben’s books, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that I enjoyed reading his other books.

When it comes to novels that draw me in from the beginning, I have a tendency to finish the book in one go (unless I get sleepy) because I want to know what happens next and how the story ends. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I ended up staying up until 5am one day finishing one of Coben’s books. Since I was reading a mystery series, I kept up with reading almost every day because I was interested in the characters and enjoyed reading more about their adventures.

I like reading English fiction novels, but when it comes to Chinese novels I don’t feel as motivated to read even though I know I’m doing it to improve my reading skills. That’s something I’ll have to work on.


I tried to finish a book before moving onto the next one, but I just couldn’t finish What I Told My Daughter. It’s a collection of short essays from successful women around the world (including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Whoopi Goldberg), sharing stories of the best advice they have given their daughters. There were some stories that I felt inspired by, but as the book went along, I found myself wondering at what point was there too many empowerment speeches and not enough action from my part to really feel what these women were saying? So I stopped reading about 50 pages from the end.

On the other hand, Judd Apatow’s Sick in the Head is a book I would pass along to a friend after I finish reading it. It’s a collection of interviews Judd does with comedians, including the cast of Freaks and Geeks, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer. Throughout the interviews, I felt like they talked more about life in general instead of strictly comedy. This book gave me more food for thought than What I Told My Daughter.

I think I’m going to start trying audiobooks in order to get my reading in… after I finish reading the current books! One thing at a time, guys!

-Juliet & Annie

Check out other posts in our Challenges series!

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