I work full-time, try to be a good husband, and am always up for a good game of Pretty Pretty Princess. Mine isn’t a tougher schedule than that of other working parents, but it is tough. So the challenge was to see if a heavy-lifting year of reading could be done almost exclusively in the crumbs of found time in my life. The oil-change can wait, I don’t need those sick days or lunch hours. My test for this was my wife: I didn’t even tell her I was tackling a book a day until six weeks into the project. If she suspected I was slacking—dishes undone, litter box a ruin, laundry growing sentient—then I was failing my prime directive.
If you follow my path and read a book a day in 2013, you’ll find that you truly, truly will not be reading more than usual. Right now, you are probably reading a comparable amount to me—but you’re reading newspapers, Facebook and Twitter, and the work of the fine folks at Slate. I let that stuff go for a year in the interest of making my quota. (Maybe that’s why I liked essay collections so much; they’re like magazines in book format.) I always dreamed that in retirement I might be able to knock off a book a day: Turns out, I didn’t have to wait.