The first Thursday of January is here and that means time to share…anything, really. My purpose for this once-a-month feature is to share some fun topics about what’s going on with me or what life in my corner looks like. Whether it’s tips on how I make life work for me, begging for help from the crowd, of just me prattling on about nothing, look for this every first Thursday. Here is the schedule for the year.
Let’s get going on January.
What’s a book challenge? I asked that same question a couple of weeks ago when I saw people referring to meeting 2017 book challenges and getting ready for 2018. I was briefly confused. I mean, you read a book and after you finish, read another, right? It turns out, book reading challenges are a fantastic rabbit hole to explore.
There are many weeks that go by and I do not read a new book. When school starts, I stay buried in school work and grab a book off the shelf that I’ve read many times if I need a bath book. I just do not take the time to find new books. I spent many summers in a used bookstore that my grandmother owned. I always had my nose in a book. Now, I’m glued to school or social media.
The only 2 exceptions to this is anything released by Kristen Ashley or J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts pen name for her futuristic Eve Dallas series). I buy those on release day and usually finish them in 1-2 days. Those become my frantic “need a quick book” re-reads until the holidays. I cram a lot of new reading into my long breaks and summer. That’s no way to lead a fulfilled literary life. My momma and grandmother taught me better than that.
This whole reading thing actually started the week before Christmas. I saw something on facebook about an Icelandic tradition of exchanging gifts of books on Christmas Eve. Then, people spend the night eating chocolate (or other holiday treat) and reading books. How cool is that? This Christmas Book Flood coincides with publishing houses releasing the the new books for the year around Christmas.
I had never heard of this, but it really caught my interest. I had a few days to think about which book I wanted to buy (yes, buy. I love holding a paper book). I didn’t have much time to let Stephen in on this new tradition so I was going to gift myself for this first time. I explored the lists on Goodreads after I dusted off my account. I finally settled on a new fantasy series that has great reviews. I also hoarded a pack of Kinder chocolates. That stuff is so rich and decadent. I read about 2 hours and felt like a little kid waiting on Santa Clause. And the book was so good, I’ve bought the 2 others in this series.
After that, I began noticing the book challenge references on social media. I knew it was time to get in on this. And what better way to have some accountability than to post about it here? I’m not only posting about it, I’m making a book review post each month. I’ll review a few books here during the last week of the month. I signed up for the Goodreads challenge and my goal is 75 books. That seems like a lot, but in all reality, it’s only 7 books a month, average. I am aiming high.
Finally, I needed a book journal and I found exactly what I wanted. Nothing fancy. It’s a leather traveler’s notebook with 3 different refills—lined, grid, and blank—and put in some journaling pages to keep track of what I’m reading, wish to read, the challenge pages, etc. It’s messy already and that’s ok. This first year, this room-to-grow notebook is all I need. Now, it’s time to do some reading.