Every new year I think that the idea of coming up with a new year's resolution list is a ton of fun. Sometimes I actually write one. More often than not that list gets lost within a couple of months into the year and I never see it again, the poor thing lost among the valleys and mountains of miscellaneous papers and books on and around my desk.
So, obviously, I'm still going to write one for 2020. But with the idea of coming up with a list that centers around one of the things that I love most in this world, I figured I'd give it a bookish theme. I'll create a challenge for myself, rather than an inventory of miscellaneous to-do's which will end up giving me anxiety borne from the pressure of not completing it. I simply cannot start the new year—and the new decade!—in such a stressful manner.
Keeping it down to eight challenges (which is a really random number, I know, but it is the even amount that I decided on) I present to you my little trial. That sounds entertaining and completely none-threatening, right?
You're welcome to try it for yourself, to add or delete as you see fit and complete them at your own pace throughout the year—as I certainly will.
It'll be fun! No pressure.
Read a book published on my birthday month. Ha! Easy. Let's face it, this is a totally self-serving challenge. I've been obsessing over the release of Sarah J. Maas' House of Earth and Blood since I pre-ordered it on Amazon...in April! I've been planning to wait and read it during the couple of days off work I'll take for my birthday, but I can't promise that I'll have the necessary self control to wait so much time after its release to crack open that spine. Just kidding, I'd be loathe to crack a book's spine if I can help it!
Read a book outside. Look, I live in Florida, where the temperature is set to “possible meltdown” no matter the season. We don't even have seasons. It's perpetual heat from January until December. So this one will be a challenge. Just thinking about doing this makes me want to lock myself inside and set the A/C to freezing. But, I want to get out of my comfort zone a little and blah blah blah. I'll stay positive. I'll try.
Donate books. I have piles upon piles of unread books not just stacked atop my bookcases but on the floor. And I love books, I'm obsessed with books, but I know that I am not going to read all of the ones that I currently own. At the very least, not now, and that means that I don't know when I'd get around to them. So I'll donate them to Goodwill—or any other organization/individual that I come across—so that others who may actually enjoy them will have the opportunity to fall in love with them as well.
Buy a book from a used books bookstore. I'm a tiny bit of a snob. I am. I admit it. It's only during the last year that I began to borrow books from the library again, and that's in a digital format. But if I buy books, fancy me needs to make sure that it is new. And if it happens to be a special edition? Oh, man, that's cause for real celebration involving a dance or a few squeals of delight, or a combination. But all things fair, used books deserve love too, not just to be wasting away their time when they can be opened again and appreciated. Who knows, I might come across a certain Stephen King hardback I've been wanting to purchase for a while, or a super rare edition of Frankenstein. A girl has dreams.
Speaking of the library... Go to the library. I used to practically live at the library. My parents would drive me every week, sometimes twice a week, to either return or borrow books. And every time I visited, I would leave with 5-10 books in arms. While walking into a bookstore feels like coming home, I do miss going to the library and reliving that stage of my life. You know, the stage where I couldn't afford most of the books and bookish items that I now buy because I didn't have a job and therefore no money to afford my sometimes expensive hobby/obsession? It's time to reminisce.
Go to a book fair. If I were not a creature with the homebody ways of a hermit and the sun fearing habits of a vampire, I would've attended one of these a long, long time ago. As it is, I know for a fact that my “hometown” hosts a book fair every November. It's advertised on light poles down the road clearly enough that it's all you can see for a mile at a time. And every year, I declare loudly and proudly to everyone who will listen—which is usually a wild crowed of one or two people, since my exceptional people skills make me such lively company—that I will attend. The fact that I've jotted this one down as one of my challenges, I think, makes it rather clear how well that declaration fares as the month of November progresses each year.
Craft a book poster. I can fairly easily do this in Photoshop, but I don't want to just put together a book poster and print it. I want to—as the challenge quite literally states--craft a book poster. I want to old-style buy magazines, markers, poster board, construction paper, search/find/scavenge/steal whatever miscellaneous pieces I will need and create a poster so that it represents one of my favorite books. Later, I will not only be able to admire it, but proudly display it upon one of my walls. The hands-on artist in me has been been re-awakened as of recent months, so I might as well give it a push and see what it can do from days of yore. Quite excited about this one, actually.
Re-read the first book I ever loved. The first book I ever loved was The Ugly Duckling, which might be a bonus read. I was a toddler back then, however, and for a while neither cataloged nor kept track of books I enjoyed. The book I clearly remember loving, as a pre-teen re-discovering the world of reading, was Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton. I don't remember what it was about that tattered cover that captured my eye when my teacher at the time prompted my English class to pick a book and take home for the Summer, but Rumble Fish stole my heart. Nor do I remember what it was about it that made me enjoy it so much that I just had to get my hands on every book that I could find after and read, read read! But I'm forever grateful to S. E. Hinton, and I am eager to re-read that lost treasure.
And so, with that in mind... Ready. Set. Go. Time to start working on my first one of the lot.