You know that scene where Beast presents Belle with his library and she’s overcome with wondrous amazement? Ever since I saw that moment as a little girl I felt a kinship with Belle – a mutual understanding of just how wonderful it is to get lost in a good book.
Since I don’t have a multi-level library complete with those sliding ladder-thingies to call my own, I get my thrills at the book store. I’m a pretty cheap date. And it’s not even that I’m a typical book nerd who reads all the time, non-stop, because I actually go through periods where I hardly read at all. But even when I don’t have a book on the go, I’m the creepy nerd skulking in the stacks, smelling the books and touching their covers, drawn to certain books based on how they make me feel. I could spend 20 minutes in the journals section just caught up in the beauty that is a leather-covered notebook. I have a thing for stationary too… but no need to get into that here.
Bookstores are basically my candy store. The result is that I buy more books than we have bookshelves for. My dream is to have an entire room where the walls are all bookshelves. You know, I’ve always thought there should be air fresheners with a “new book smell.” Now I’m just getting distracted… where was I?
Yes, goals, right. When I was thinking about my goals and my nerdy tendencies, I decided that I might be encouraged to read more often (and perhaps choose more diverse options) if I were to take on a reading challenge! I was inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s challenge.
So what is a reading challenge, you ask? Well, it’s simply a challenge to read a certain number of books that fit into certain categories within a certain timeframe. This challenges me to read 12 books in a year, which is totally doable, and has the following categories:
- a book you’ve been meaning to read
- a book published this year
- a book in a genre you don’t typically read
- a book from your childhood
- a book your mom loves
- a book that was originally written in a different language
- a book “everyone” has read but you
- a book you chose because of the cover
- a book by a favourite author
- a book recommended by someone with great taste
- a book you should have read in high school
- a book that’s currently on the bestseller list
I liked this challenge because I could see where a few books I already own and haven’t read can fit into this list, which will reassure my husband that I’m not about to break the bank on a trip to Chapters. Not just yet anyways…
In fact I’ve already fulfilled #1! Just after my birthday I started reading a book that I’d had on my wishlist for almost a year, but just hadn’t gotten around to reading. When it was my turn to choose a book for one of by book clubs (we’ll just gloss over the fact that I’m in more than one book club for now, shall we) I figured it was the perfect opportunity to read it!
The book is called Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel and it’s by Kimberly McCreight. I was drawn to the murder-mystery synopsis on the back, and the mother-daughter connection at the heart of the story. It was a really good read, and I couldn’t put it down near the end. There were lots of twists, some of which were predictable but that doesn’t bother me. The story also jumps between points of views and across timelines, which is a little hard to follow at first, but once you get used to it this format keeps things interesting. It was also an important reminder of the potential effects of bullying, particularly on teenagers. I highly recommend this book.
One book down, 11 to go! I think I’ve got this one in the (book)bag.
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