Of course, this is an arbitrary number. Does it mean I read more than in previous years? What about the average length of books? Consider Saramago and the works of poetry I read. Do I need to count pages? Number of words? But this isn't about nit-picking. It's about setting a goal and reaching it.
I like this reading goal in that it forces me to read wildly and without precision. I can read a wider range of works when I force myself to read 52 books. Having this goal in mind means I read more short poetry works and more works of flash fiction and short story collections. I read more non-fiction this year than I've ever read before. I found that sometimes books had to resonate with how I was feeling at the time. Like Lewis's It Can't Happen Here after Trump won the election or finally reading in the Spring Tender Is the Night, which I had purchased at a book fair over five years ago. Some books I couldn't wait to start as soon as I bought them like Known and Strange Things or Speedboat (although I couldn't get into it at first, it really grew on me).
The White Album, complete with front cover falling off, I found at the Logan Square Arts Fest, the same warm day I listened to Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay and found a reissue of the Beastie Boys first EP on on vinyl. Open Books, where I volunteer, provided many serendipitous findings as well, including Road-Side Dog and Written on the Body. Some books I special ordered, like the poetry collection by Danez Smith after I read a poem of his on Buzzfeed of all places.