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Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The A-Z challenge rolls on and now I get to start talking about the original reason for starting my blog. Way back in 2006 I realized that I had not read a single book in years. The last book I remember reading before 2006 was an autobiography of Dennis Rodman. One a video game forum I saw a forum post about a challenge to read a book a week. I immediately decided to join the challenge.

I started out by reading books on poker. That's how the wildpokerman website was born. I read how to play books, how to spot tells, advanced strategies and how to play obscure games. At that time I was also playing online poker and I ended up winning $1200 over the summer.

It took me a year or two before I actually completed the challenge but it felt really good to increase my reading. Last year I finished the most books since I started the challenge with a total of 67 books. For a number of years I would create a post a week about the book I had just completed as a way to keep myself motivated to keep going and to reflect a bit on what I had read. You can see the previous posts in the archives.

Beyond reading I picked up a habit, an unconstrained book buying habit. I now have shelves and boxes full of books all over my house. Here is my "go to" shelf:

The crazy thing about that shelf, is that the books are double layered! That's just the front row and there is an equal number of books in the back. Those books are the sum of aspirations that I have about what type of books I want to read. I hope to read all the books on that shelf before I die.

In storage downstairs I have another two shelves::

Those are the books I will read if I have time. A lot of those are books I have just for the irony like Dow 35000 and a book from the 1970s called Casino which is an action packed adventure romance that I may read in a dentist's office someday. Those are the books I would take on vacation with me because if I left one in the airport I wouldn't cry about it.

Upstairs I have another shelf:

That shelf is full of academic books, journals and moleskines and high literature. Those are the books I would tell people I was reading and where I would say I do my writing if anyone ever asked. Not that the go-to shelf is any slouch with it's David Foster Wallace and Ray Carver on it. It's just that I'd rather just say I'd read Fundamental Theory of Mathematical Economics than to actually read it.

Since the shelves are full, I am surrounded by books all over the place. My cubicle at work is overflowing with books, there are a couple of boxes and stacks of books by my bed. The trunk of my car is even still full of books that I picked up in the library book sale!

So yes, I totally, completely love books! The only feeling better than finishing up a good book and marking it off on my Goodreads list is to start a new one. If any of you are on Goodreads, feel free to come be my friend. Tell me why you love books in the comments or shout out your favorite books to me on twitter @wildpokerman.


  1. Yayy I can comment. Love the look of all those books. I'm finding it had to adapt to reading books on my iPad I'm quite addicted to the whole turning the page thing.

    1. Awesome! Thanks for coming back! I love how books feel too and I write in all the margins and highlight like crazy.

  2. I would have a similar book set-up if I kept all of my books. I don't have the room, so I pass all books that I read onto my mom. However, my kids each have bookshelves, one of which is an entire closet stuffed top to bottom. I buy LOTS of books for them, which we keep for the younger ones to enjoy.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    1. Oh nice! I used to buy a lot of kids books but then they closed the used bookstore in town. $1.35 is much cheaper than $9 so we go to the library a lot now.


Hey I appreciate you leaving your thoughts behind! Be well my friend.