Reading challenges

New year, new reading goals. That’s what a lot of folks on the Reader’s Coffeehouse Facebook page and Bitter is the New Book Club Facebook page have been talking about. One reader set a goal to read 1,000 books in a year. My jaw dropped. Then she decided to make it 365 books, one for every day of the year. She ended up at more than 400. Wow, just wow. But she had some time while she was unemployed. Even if I wasn’t working, I don’t know if I could read 400 books in a year. I do read fast, but I don’t like to spend all of my day reading. I honestly don’t practice good posture when I read, so my neck may ache or my joints get sore. I may want to spend my time exercising, exploring the outdoors, being with friends or family, or on a rare (and I mean very rare) occasion, traveling.

I recently checked out the book “Paperback Crush” through interlibrary loan. It’s about teen literature from the ’90s and ’90s, basically the fluffy stuff I used to read back in the day, like the “Sweet Valley High” or “The Girls of Canby Hall” novels. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters in this book and I’m already transported down memory lane of being a teen in the ’80s, hoping to get my hands on the latest in the Sweet Dreams romance series. In fact, I’ve checked out a couple of the books mentioned in those first two chapters of “Paperback Crush”“Love Comes to Anne” and “Finding My Voice.” I didn’t read them when I was younger, but even at age 46, I do like reading young adult fiction from time to time. Both look like quick reads, and if I don’t overwhelm myself with books in the next month, I could get them done.

In an Internet search, I’ve come across different types of reading challenges or reading challenge lists — like reading 52 books in a year (one a week for the 52 weeks of the year; I could probably handle that) or reading books that were published the year you were born (1972 has some interesting books I believe). The two reading Facebook pages I belong to are pretty active, so people keep giving recommendations left and right. It’s through these pages that I learned about “Paperback Crush” and read one of my book club’s favorite —“The Alice Network.” It’s fun to share reading experiences with others or learning about new and notable authors. And once in a while, you get to interact with some of those authors, which has been a thrill for this bibliophile.