The 130 Challenge!

I was going through the list of my books to read on Goodreads and I discovered that there’s more on that list than the ‘books I have read‘ list! I felt ashamed and felt that I had to do something about it, so I decided to read all of those books, all 130 of them (127 + 3 that I’m currently reading), in 2014.

Yes, you read that right. 130 books in one year. Now, I’ve heard of people doing the 52 challenge, wherein they read one book every week for one year. They say that it is really hard and that 90% of the people quit by the 4th or 5th week. So, when I decided that I will do 130 books, I sort of knew what I was getting myself into.

Now, had I kept it to myself and secretly done this, it would have been okay. But being the fearless one, I decided to go one step further and declared it on the Facebook group for my book club – Bookhad (they have an awesome blog that you must check out).

What happened next? Well, almost everyone, save a few who believed in me (love you guys!), chimed in on that post with ‘It’s impossible, dude!’ and ‘Bah! You can’t do it.’ and ‘You’re so brave! I love you Aamil!’ (okay that last one didn’t happen, but you get the drift).

Most of the people were saying that it is impossible. One person suggested that I do the Julie Powell Challenge, saying that would be easier than this! Someone even used arithmetic to calculate the number of days per book and came up with a figure of 3 days/book (that brilliant fellow is the loquacious scribbler at this blog).

If that was not all, these ruthless people started betting! One even offered to ‘eat his head’ if I did it (yeah you guessed it right, the loquacious scribbler strikes again).

So there I was, all dejected and sad that I won’t be able to do it after all, when suddenly I went into Super Saiyan mode and all those taunts started looking like challenges that I just had to demolish by the sheer power of my will (and get a lot of publicity for my blog in the process, hehehe).

And then, the final push came from  Amarllyis amarllyis, (never spell amarllyis with a capital A – amarllyis) when she declared –

Nahi re. This is impossible,with a day job. If he does it, next Christmas i buy him an expensive gift. – amarllyis

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I now have motivation and incentive to do this challenge. Without even realizing it, when I read that comment, I immediately posed like this –

Challenge accepted pose with beard

Beard added to show that I mean business.

Well, bring it on! I am going to devour each one of those little books like the bookhad that I am and to prove that I did it, I am going to document my journey by reviewing each book that I read and changing my Facebook cover to a pretty picture with a quote from that book, until I finish the next book and so on. You will find these reviews under Devoured on the navigation, filed under 130 Challenge.

I have also compiled all the 130 books into a list (nice story behind it) that can be found under 130 Challenge on the navigation menu, aptly titled To gobble. I will be striking out the names of the books that I finish, so the list will be a great way to track my progress. It also doubles up as my wish list. *wink*

Wish me luck, people! Hopefully by this time next year, I will have taken my expensive gift (from amarllyis no less, hehehe), read 130 books and earned the right to call myself well read. Right guys? Right? Guys…


  1. Tejas Harad · · Reply

    I love your enthusiasm. Good luck, bro! :P


    1. Thank you Tejas :)

      After all, an expensive gift is at stake :P


  2. Haha I loved this!! You’re so brave. I love you Aamil!!!! Wolf whistle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew I wasn’t imagining it when I said that I heard someone say ‘I love you Aamil!’ :P

      Thanks a lot!


  3. Good Luck with your reading!


    1. Thank you Aman! :)


  4. Siju Somarajan · · Reply

    Lovely piece of writing.But its very much possible.A friend I know used to finish one book in 2 days.So good luck!


    1. Thanks a ton Siju! Thanks for your kind words of encouragement :)


  5. Haha… Trust me I WILL eat my head if you succeed AND keep your job :-D

    Also, “I’ll eat my head” is taken from Dickens’ Oliver Twist where a Mr. Grimwig keeps saying it. FYI.

    Good luck! I like this list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll make sure that you do :P

      Thanks! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. amarllyis · · Reply

    Oh ho! I feel so important. I see I have galvanized your whim. :-) See you on the other side my friend. Good luck. evil laugh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! See you. serene smile of determination

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Anish Vyavahare · · Reply

    Super cool! I already feel exhausted! This is hardcore. You are totally going to attempt book porn. Best of luck! Take up BR Ambedkar’s inspiration. He was the ultimate reader. Don’t forget to take care of your eyes – blink often, give them rest by looking far away outside the window in between reading sessions. Don’t drink too much coffee. Say goodbye to social life. And please publicise this more. Take up a twitter account too. And post about the 130 challenge. I am sure you are going to find a lot of fellow reader-followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anish Vyavahare · · Reply

      And just to sweeten the challenge a little more, you will get a totally non-book movie treat from me when you reach half way and then another one when you finish it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woohoo! The stakes are getting higher by the day :D

        Thanks man! I’m gonna take that treat, come what may :)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Anish! That is some hardcore practical advice :)

      Ah yes, Ambedkar. The man who knew every line of every book he ever read. Sashtang Namaskar to him.

      I am on twitter @AamilTheCamel. I don’t really get it so, I don’t tweet much. But I will do that this time. And yes, I am trying to publicize this as much as I can, I need to have someone to do it with, this will be a real challenge.

      And I don’t really have a social life to say good bye to, so that’s that (hehehe).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good luck. I wish you well. May the force be with you.
    And may your brain not turn to a mushy soup of prose and punctuation by the end of it!
    If you make it through (and my well wishes for it), I suspect 2015 will be spent ignoring any and all text – even the one on a computer screen! :P


    1. Haha.. yes. I’m planning a 365 recipe cook-off or a sabbatical to travel all year long for 2015. Let’s see.


  9. Reading 130 books is hard, but not as hard as eating your own head!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hear hear! Fayesal Siddiqui.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement? :P

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lol. True true! It is hard!

      How far have you gotten so far, Camel?


      1. I know why you’re asking :(


  10. Truly impressive list, unlike some who fill their Cannonballs with bodice-rippers and the like. You can do it! … Except, well, you might want to replace War and Peace with something more “gobble-able.” My husband read it this year, along with lots of other classics by Balzac, Hugo, Dickens, Kafka, Chaucer, etc., etc.) and it took quite a while to plow through it. In any case, maybe not expensive gifts but certainly lots of kudos are heading your way. :) Best of luck!


    1. Thanks for stopping by! Your comment is a rare encouraging one.

      I agree with your comment about ‘War and Peace’. There’s also ‘Atlas Shrugged’ that will be a heavy read. But I’ve retained them because I needed to have some substance in my list. In an case, if it comes down to just these two books and my challenge, I’ll replace them with lighter titles so that I get the challenge done.

      Thank you for the kudos. I appreciate it :-)


  11. You’re done with 27% of your target. Although it’s far away from 130 titles but your effort is commendable.

    Say, your address in Kochi hasn’t changed, right?
    3rd floor, Tejomaya Building thingy, right?


    1. It has changed! It is now 2nd Floor, TCS center instead of 3rd Floor, Tejomaya Building. Rest is same.

      Thank you!


  12. I came to know about your blogging from knome. I like reading your blogs. All the best for 130 challenge. I’m sure you will complete it brilliantly :) . Have you left TCS ?


    1. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes I have quit TCS. I couldn’t complete the 130 Challenge, it was supposed to be completed last year and I managed only 52 books out of 130, as previously decided.

      Liked by 1 person

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