Book 8 of 50 – Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (not an affiliate link) fascinated me to no end. Everybody knows the story of how Caesar died and what the Ides of March is, but I had no idea Caesar dies in the middle of the book.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

I wondered, “What is in the rest of the book?” It turns out, plenty. Shakespeare is brilliant, as always, to pace the story in such a way that the climax happens in the middle of the book. Then, he can clearly show the outcome and all the consequences of the conspirators’ actions.

Another observation: it took me about 50 pages before I got used to Shakespeare’s language (out of 78 total). As such, reading this play felt like a struggle, but I persevered. Now that my brain found that Shakespeare realm, I might want to read a few more of his plays.

The footnotes in the Dover Thrift Edition, which I own, came in handy. We all need help understanding William Shakespeare and just glancing at the bottom of the page was a lot easier than having to turn to Google.

By now, I think you are getting the picture of how I can finish one book in one week. I stick to short books like Steinbeck’s novellas or a Shakespearean play, which was, in this case, 78 pages. Easy.

This is where reading Atomic Habits gave me a powerful tip: keep new habits short. Don’t overwhelm yourself with 30 minutes at the gym. Just go for 5 minutes. When it comes to reading, don’t start reading 400-page books. Just stick to books under 200 pages. As you flex that reading muscle, you can increase the size of your books without even realizing. It will not be a struggle.

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