(Note: I originally wrote this for my library’s newsletter. Please forgive the title.)
The old year is making way for the new, and we all know what that means: two or three weeks of pretending to eat better and exercise more before returning to Fritos and Netflix!
As long as you’re making resolutions to live healthier and have a more positive outlook on life, why not add a New Year’s resolution related to books? Here are a few reading challenges you can try on for size:
The A to Zed Challenge:
This challenge is pretty straightforward: Read 26 books, each written by an author whose last name starts with a different letter of the alphabet. You can mix them up, or go in alphabetical order, from Asimov down to Zindel. (P.S. If you’re getting stuck near the end, don’t forget The Autobiography of Malcolm X.)
If reading one book every two weeks feels too pedestrian for your tastes, add another set of 26, this time with titles that go from A to Z. (And before you ask, reading all of Sue Grafton’s alphabet-themed mysteries is cheating.)
The Lit Class Revisited Challenge:
Remember all that ‘classic literature’ you hated reading in school? Maybe this is the year to give those dusty old tomes another try. Make a list of all the hundred-year-old novels you had to read (or at least, were supposed to read) in your middle and high school English classes. Who knows…you might actually enjoy them this time.
The Snowball Challenge:
Start the year out with a short novel, around 50 pages long, like The Metamorphosis, Heart of Darkness, or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Then read a novel that’s 100 pages long. Then 150 pages. Keep reading bigger and bigger books, each 50 pages longer than the last. See if you can make it through Infinite Jest before December 31st rolls around again.