Inevitably, when the calendar turns to a New Year, newspapers and social media are filled with helpful resolutions that one can make to improve oneself by dieting, bullet journaling, clearing clutter, meditating, exercising, etc. etc. If you’re looking for a new twist on the old resolution idea, you might consider accepting a reading challenge for 2019.
What is a reading challenge, you ask? A reading challenge is a year-long plan to push your reading beyond those comfortable genres and authors toward which you always gravitate and to encourage yourself to read differently. Find a new author. Explore a new genre. Download and read a digital book. Join or start a book club. Push yourself just a little bit out of your reading comfort zone.
There are formal challenges complete with checklists and websites to help you track your progress. There are less formal challenges like joining www.Goodreads.com and using it to keep track of the books you’ve read and those you’d like to read. Goodreads is a great place to find good books and new authors and is a place to connect virtually with other book lovers and share opinions about what you’ve read. You can start by seeing what Cook Library staffers are reading by following us at “Cook Memorial Public Library”. I find Goodreads to be one of the most valuable resources I use for finding a good book to read.
Other ways to challenge your reading includes joining a book group. Cook Library has a wide variety of groups, including a Non-Fiction group, a Classic Literature group, a YA for Adults group, a Mystery group and a few groups that read a variety of genres. Here is a link for more information about joining the library’s groups: https://www.cooklib.org/book-clubs/ Don’t worry—they are low-key and informal. Drop into one sometime and check it out.
Another easy reading challenge would be to join this year’s Adult Winter Reading Club whose theme is “UpLit”. To participatate, read two books that are uplifting and make you feel good, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. The Adult Winter Reading Club begins on January 15 and ends March 15. If you’re interested in learning more about this Winter Reading Club for adults and need help finding a book to read, go here: www.cooklib.org/winter-reading-club
Here are just some of the more formal reading challenges which are available for you to try. They are as hard or easy as you want and this is just a small sampling of challenges to be found online.
POPSUGAR is offering its fifth annual reading challenge and it includes a printable checklist and a great list of suggestions, such as read ‘a book you think should be turned into a movie’ or a debut novel or a book written by a musician. They also have a Goodreads group so you can chat virtually with others who are also doing the challenge.
The website BOOKISH has a list of 52 ideas including suggestions like, read a book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read and a book set in a city you’ve visited.
And if neither of these challenges quite suit your fancy, this site has the 2019 Master List of Reading Challenges which claims to show all of the various reading challenges out there!
So if none of the standard New Year’s resolutions appeal to you, try reading differently this year. Remember that we are here at the library to help you get started! You can always begin that diet again next year!