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New Year’s Challenge 2015

Alright, this blog is part experiment, part accountability for myself. I’ve discovered a wonderful 2015 Reading Challenge provided by Popsugar which basically works out to be one book a week for a year. This used to be no problem for me, but I’ve let life get in my way and I haven’t been as much of a bookworm as I used to be. I’m wanting to use this list as my one and only challenge to myself for 2015. Well, I suppose this blog would be the second challenge. I don’t want to just read these books for a year, I want to keep track of what I’ve read and make note of them. I feel like that is so important. So many ideas and thoughts happen to us while we read books, either fiction or nonfiction, and not all of us have book clubs and like-minded people to share those thoughts. Personally, my thoughts come out better in writing. I’ve never really successfully tried a blog before and I honestly don’t expect to have anyone read it, but here’s to a New Year and high hopes! And if someone does happen to find my silly musings, I truly hope you enjoy yourself!

To begin this journey I first explored the App Store to find a good app that would help me keep track of my list and the books I would like to add to it. I decided on BKSHLF because it connects to Goodreads (Goodreads by itself I personally find a little too distracting, I could spend all day on there) and it has a ISBN scanner that works with your phone’s camera. I decided this would be perfect for me because I am constantly seeing things I’d like to read and then forgetting them less than an hour later.

Step two consisted of pilfering through my bookshelf at home during my lunch break. This proved to be quite successful as I found my first 5 qualifying books:

  • A Classic Romance — Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • A Book Based on a True Story — The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • A Book from your Childhood — The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (This has always been a favorite, and I’m incredibly excited to read it again)
  • A Book I Own but have Never Read — The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I saw the movie before I acquired the book. Most of the time this makes me more interested in the book, but this particular situation had the opposite effect)
  • A Book that was Originally Written in Another Language — Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Burton (A beautiful copy I received as a Christmas present this year from my boyfriend)

After work I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble to try out my BKSHLF app and track down some of the books that had caught my eye a few days ago. While I was there I decided that in addition to the challenge, this year I will purchase only one book per month. These books will both fulfill my challenge commitments and build my personal library at the same time without blowing a hole through my wallet, which is highly possible, due to my collector’s personality. The rest of my challenge commitments will have to be satisfied by my local library.

My purchase for January fulfills my nonfiction qualification: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. This book stuck out to me a few months ago online (sadly, I don’t remember where) and during my last trip to my local library my searches for this title proved unsuccessful, so I was pretty excited to find it on the front table right as I walked into my B&N.

My excitement for a new book almost overshadowed the books sitting alone in the corner on my shelf. This is a normal pattern for me to forget the old because of the new, so I’m forcing myself to read at least 2 of the books I already own before I read my new one. I’m beginning this challenge with Jane Eyre, I have a petite little copy of this book that will fit wonderfully in my purse. I suppose I’ll actually go get some reading done now.

Happy New Year, Happy Reading!