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  • Writer's pictureAnanya Ridenour

My Personal 2018 Reading Challenge

Although I read quite a bit, I told myself at the onset of 2018 that I wanted to give myself a goal to read more. But then I thought about what does that really mean? I looked at and read various Reading Challenge lists for the year. All were great and had some interesting aspects to them. They all focused on reading different types of books by different types of authors. A great feat for sure and I do enjoy reading from all types of backgrounds, topics, and genres. I was excited that some of the lists stated to read local authors or someone you have never heard of before. I have a stack of books from local artists that I want to read so I was thinking, “Great, I got this in the bag.” Another item on one of the challenges was to read a book that you were never able to finish. I cringed at that as there is only one book that I have never finished and that was in high school. I had no desire to pick up that book again and try to get through it. More importantly, I wanted to spend my time reading something that I wanted and not something that a list told me to. I have too many lists in my life anyway, I didn’t want to add the joy of reading to be associated with too much structure as well. Thus, I created my own personal mantra, “Life is too short to read books that you are not interested in.”

In order to start my own personal challenge, I decided to just read more in general and read books that I want to read and am interested in. I have a large stack of physical books on my bookshelves and also many in digital form that are waiting to be read. I want to read those first, before I read others. In case you are interested, I am now reading the third book from the beginning of the year. Each of the three novels offer different styles of storytelling.  The first two books were by local artists that I was fortunate to hear them read excerpts from at a Lit Up event a few months ago. The French Girls War by Herb Williams-Dalgart, is a coming of age story about a young woman trying to find herself with the backdrop of the impending World War II. Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano, another coming of age story, is set in current times and deals with drug usage, teenage angst, and dark issues. In order to choose my third novel to read this year, I went through my stack and decided upon one I have had on my list for years but never read, A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. I thought it was appropriate due to the recent passing of the author. I am still in the middle of reading about Kinsey Millhone and am enjoying the character development and mystery that is unfolding. Even though the alphabet now ends in Y, I had to start with the letter A and I have a feeling that I will be reading more novels in the series. Next on the horizon to read, who knows? It could be Sanyare: The Last Descendant by Megan Haskell, a fantasy book that has captured my eye and I have heard great reviews or the classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in which I have a first edition copy yet have never read. The great thing though is that I am interested in reading so many books that will hold my attention and bring joy to my everyday life. As long as I make time to read, I will achieve my personal 2018 reading challenge and have a great time doing it!

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