It’s still the first week of January. Have you made your resolutions for the coming year? Are any of your resolutions about reading? Every year I think about books I’ve read in the past twelve months. I ask myself how many books did I read and am I happy with the choice of books I read?
For the first question, I keep a book journal so that I can remember the titles of the books I’ve read, and give them a simple rating. I counted up the number of books I read in 2014, and well, let’s just say that I think I can do a whole lot better.
Last January I blamed my decrease in reading on the online game Words with Friends. I actually gave it up in 2014 to spend more time reading. Unfortunately, other things crept in gradually to take up that saved time, namely Facebook (love connecting online with friends near and far) and various types of solitaire apps (4-suite Spider is a great challenge). This year, I’m making new resolutions—I’ll check Facebook notifications throughout the day, but limit reading the newsfeed to 15 minutes. One game of Spider a day, but what if I decide to replay a hand? No, no, no, only one hand a day. Look at me being all tough with myself.
After making more time to read, I then set goals for myself. I’ve signed up for the 2015 GoodReads Reading Challenge. My friend Rachel signed up to read 300 books—intimidating, no? She’s a children’s librarian and I know most of her books will be picture books that she previews for story times. Another friend, Elizabeth, pledged to read 150 books. She’s a teen librarian, and those books are usually not too long and can be read fairly fast. I’m being realistic and have signed up to read 50. It’s more than I read in 2014, and I’ll be pushing myself.
As for the second question, a fun, different kind of challenge can improve the diversity of what I choose to read. I’ve decided to try Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge. They list 24 tasks to accomplish that will help me to explore formats, genres and authors I wouldn’t otherwise be drawn to. And the tasks are fun. They challenge me to read:
A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
A collection of short stories (either by one person, or an anthology by many people)
A book published by an indie press
A book by or about someone who identifies as LGBTQ
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)
A book that takes place in Asia
A book by an author from Africa
A collection of poetry
A book that was originally published in another language
A graphic novel
And several more! Check them out at bookriot.com/2014/12/15/book-riot-2015-read-harder-challenge/.
Or try the following link to find The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, Around the World 2015 Challenge, or Monthly Motif Challenge, among others: bookriot.com/2015/01/05/2015-reading-challenge-round/.
There’s no one to be accountable to except yourself. Try one of these challenges, or set your own, and use the San Juan Island Library to help you find your books.
Have fun reading in 2015!
San Juan Island Library
1010 Guard Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
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