What I learned from reading 50 books in a year

Edric Subur
23 min readJan 14, 2019

A year ago, I set a challenge for myself to read 50 books in 2018. That is a 10x jump from the average of 5 books I read per year. That bold step stemmed from the cognizance of how little I still knew of the world. At one point, I decided to start using my time seriously to make a meaningful mark in the world. But I knew I won’t be able to do that with the knowledge and mentality I had then. I knew there’s more to life and my potential that are fenced in somewhere. I need to unlock it.

It’s like driving with a broken GPS. You can continue driving faster only to get to the wrong destination sooner. So before I start racing, I decided to first upgrade my GPS. Before I embark on the bumpy transformational journey, I wanted to first equip myself with the right armors for the game called life. I figured there’s no better way to do that than absorbing the wisdom from people who have dedicated their life into the subjects and do it as many times as possible, from as many experts as possible to completely upgrade my mindset in a year.

Just two days before the end of 2018, I did it. I completed 50 books and diligently posted my takeaways for each book on social media.

Finishing the challenge made me feel bad-ass, but the comments that came from the challenge were even more gratifying. There was a lot of kind encouragements, and many asked about book recommendations, what I’ve learned and tips to do the same. Because of that, I’m dedicating this post to all my friends out there, hoping that the lessons will spark meaningful ideas just they certainly have in my life.

I will break down the rest of the post to 3 sections: summary of lessons from the 50 books that I read, reflection on the impact of finishing the challenge and the strategy that I used to complete the challenge.

Lessons from 50 Books

This is a hard question to answer because I took away a lot of things from different aspects of life. Saying one thing will not do justice to the many things that I have learned. And that’s intended. I put a concerted effort to diversify the books that I read in this challenge. Almost all the books that I read previously were either on self-development or start-ups. In the spirit of widening my horizon, this time I…