Reading to Build Self Esteem

Amanda Adams
5 min readFeb 16, 2022

2021: The Year I Read a Book a Week (and Then Some!!)

Image from Pixabay

As I’ve shared, I’ve been working to revive my love of reading over the last few years. Initially, I’d set a goal to read 21 books in 2021 but, when I reached that goal pretty early in the year, I decided to aim higher!

I set my sights on reading a book a week for the year — 52 books in total. I figured this was possible (given how quickly I’d hit the first goal) but still a stretch goal given my full-time workload, community commitments, and the ongoing pandemic of it all. This was an arbitrary goal but I found myself gaining self esteem with each completed book. I wasn’t doing it for anyone but myself and the fact that I was meeting this personal goal, one book at a time, was really a boost and reaffirmation of my self control and dedication.

As an “Obliger” (see Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies Framework) my ability to do this without external accountability was huge and I closed out the year feeling proud of my accomplishments. In total, I read 58 books in 2021 — surpassing my revised goal and exceeding my own expectations! Here are some of the best (and worst) books that I read, a few to really get you thinking, and some of my key takeaways from a year of reading extensively.

The Best of…

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab — I’ll be honest, this book took me a while to get into but once I understood the premise and got into the rhythm of the book I was hooked. This was a beautiful story that spans time and history and really makes you think about what matters most in life.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner — This was another book with multiple timelines (I guess that was a theme for me) and follows a historical herbalist and her prodigy along with a modern woman unwrapping their mystery. This book was fast-paced and kept me up late on more than one occasion.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart — This is a children’s book but was so good I can’t omit it. This heartwarming story follows a girl and her Dad on a journey across the states in the bus they call home. With a varied and hilarious cast of characters (including a goat and a cat) I can just see this book on the big screen (hint hint Reese Witherspoon)!

Amanda Adams

Eugene, Oregon — Book Lover, Writer, Philanthropist, and Social Justice Advocate.