Welcome aboard, train wreck.
Resolutions and objectives for accomplishing, performing better, and changing the elements of one’s life that aren’t functioning or might work better come with the new year. Of course, for readers, this means establishing a lot of objectives for what they want to read or how much time they want to devote to their reading with a new calendar in front of them. But maybe, instead of establishing some lofty objectives — or perhaps besides those lofty goals — you’re seeking for something more manageable. Consider this collection of weekly reading challenges a chance to broaden your reading horizons and cross off a variety of fresh, imaginative, and witty literary bucket list items over the following 52 weeks.
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This year, I’ve created 52 projects to help you enhance, expand, and revitalize your reading life. Some are modest, while some are bigger. You may perform this one activity at a time or complete many things in a single day. You may eliminate or change some ideas that don’t interest you, or just use this as a tool to help you avoid boredom during the year. Some of them may already be a part of your daily routine; if so, keep doing what you’re doing or urge someone you know who doesn’t do these activities to join you. Consider bringing a neighbor to the library to gain a library card who has never been inside, and then giving them a tour of your favorite areas, collections, and offers.
Because we are currently in the midst of a pandemic, I provide all of them understanding that they are COVID-safe and may be made so. They’re not listed in any sequence, so take your time with them.
These weekly tasks are supposed to be enjoyable rather than challenging, so don’t worry about performing them perfectly or following any specific instructions to complete them. Instead, let your reading life be a place of creativity, wonder, and delight. The most, if not all, of these activities are free or extremely inexpensive.
- Read a culinary cozy mystery and try one recipe in it.
- Start each day with a poem. You may choose from a selection or have a poem sent to you every day. On your preferred social media account, you could follow a few poetry accounts.
- Put together a book puzzle.
- Enroll in a literature class. Free English literature lessons online, online writing courses taught by authors, and courses via sites like Lit Reactor are just a few of the free or low-cost choices available. However, don’t restrict yourself to book websites. Atlas Obscura, for example, offers a variety of incredibly enjoyable lessons that would appeal to any book lover’s heart.
- Watch a film or television series based on a book. Then tell everyone how the book was better. Because we all know that the book is always better.
- Borrow a stack of picture books from the library and spend a relaxing morning or afternoon in bed with them and your favorite beverage (hot, cold, alcoholic, whatever!).
- Clean out your bookcases and donate any books you don’t want to keep to a local Little Free Library or resale shop.
- Go to a monument, museum, or other public location within 50 miles of your house that honors an author or a book. The closer to home, the better!
- When you’re out and about, you probably don’t pay attention to the surrounding environment as much as you might. Change that by using your phone camera to capture literary, lyrical, and other bookish allusions you come across in the outdoors. Collect them on Instagram or Flickr, then at the end of the season or year, make a collage (or create your own Google Map). You’d be shocked where you’ll find these items.
- Write a review for a book you love but has gotten little attention on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, social media, or anywhere else you know people look when deciding what to read next on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or anywhere else you know people look when deciding what to read next. Become its savior. Bonus points if the book is published by an independent publisher or written by a member of the global majority or an LGBT author.
- Ask everyone you know to name their five favorite books and/or authors and explain why they like them. When you have time to waste while waiting in lines or traveling in automobiles, this is a terrific game to play. This is very enjoyable to conduct on social media.
- Work your way through a word search, crossword puzzle, or other paperback word game book from your local grocery store. These are wonderful to have in your bag or purse on the road, or to play with in the bath, before bed, or other times when reading isn’t an option or appealing.
- Find a new book podcast to add to your collection of podcasts to listen to.
- Travel to a bookshop you’ve always wanted to visit. If you can’t go to one, the next best option is to check if they have an online shop and make your purchase there. If none of those options are available, spend some time on Google Maps imagining what a perfect day would be if you were to visit that shop.
- Create the reading nook you’ve always wanted with using what you already have on hand. Gather all of your cushions, blankets, posters, photographs, promotional materials, chairs, and anything else you have in a corner of your home or in your yard. From big rooms to very little ones, several reading nook ideas can help you relax and be inspired.
- Give your plants a literary name. Give them a name that comes from mythology or a fable. Give those plants proper name tags. What if you don’t have any plants? Outside your house, name something the same manner and welcome it every time you pass by.
- Purchase a coloring book and a set of coloring tools. Take your coloring book to the beach, the park, or anywhere you like, and simply have fun coloring. Do you have children? It’s time for a family coloring party!
- Using candy wrappers, box tops, or any other product label, make poetry on a piece of poster board. For example, Mary Jane Snickers. Dawn of Count Chocula.
- Get a fresh notepad and write your favorite literary lines in it.
- Reread a book you recall you liked from high school. Favorite phrases or insights gained from this read should be highlighted or annotated in the book. If you’re truly excited to write, think about what those insights signify today vs when you were younger.
- Attend a fall play at your local high school or community college. You may know nobody there, and you may not be familiar with the play, but you will see something that young performers and actresses have put their hearts and souls into.
- Lay outdoors on a lovely blanket with some cider and watch the stars for a night or two. Then read a few books on space, the cosmos, and everything that exists. Don’t want to do it in the middle of the night? Do the same thing, but at a local park or communal place.
- Pick a set of novels that you’ve never read before or that you’ve been meaning to read, and read them from beginning to end. I’m doing this with the Murder, She Wrote series.
- Go on a vacation. This doesn’t have to be in a specific location. You have the option of doing your bookcation at home. Jessica Fletcher travels all over the world. So I’ll be vicariously traveling with her.
- Invest in a nice notebook and a nice pen, and set aside 10 minutes every day to write. Don’t overthink things. Simply put, write. At the very least, it will be enjoyable to open and use a fun notebook and pen every day.
- Handwrite a letter to an old acquaintance or a family member with whom you haven’t spoken in a long time. Send them a list of books you believe they should read along with the letter. Send them a book or two if you’re feeling very generous. If you like, you may treat yourself to a nice stationery set.
- Go to a library you’ve never been to before. Explore the stacks. One of their programs is worth attending. Look at one of their publications. YouTube and TikTok are both filled with library tours.
- Get a library card for your local library if you don’t already have one. Then use it on things around the facility, as well as any digital items they have available.
- Fight book censorship. The books and why they’re banned are super ridiculous. Harry Potter, I’m looking at you and I’m mad. I never learned actual spells from you that some people think I can.
- Make your own bookmark. If you don’t want to do pressed flowers, there are a lot of other types of bookmarks you may make, so look for methods online. I use Canva.
- Go to a reading or open mic night for an author you’ve never heard of before – even if it’s virtual! Then go out and purchase or search up their work so you can appreciate it afterwards.
- Host a readover with your literary pals, which is a sleepover where you read instead of sleeping. Make sure that everyone brings a modest stack of books to trade and exchange. Of course, if you’re like me, you’ll be the first one asleep.
- Read a book out loud to yourself, a pet, or someone you care about.
- Throw a literary get-together. Invite guests to a potluck supper and ask them to bring five books besides the food. Then, while eating such lunch, discuss the novels. You may lend and borrow as you see fit.
- Go for a daily or weekly walk while listening to an audiobook that you can only listen to while walking. I’m part of a group on Facebook called the Walking Book Club. I need to get back into that this year.
- Write spine poetry, photograph it, and post it on social media. This is like word stack Wednesday or Book Stack Saturday but instead of letters its words.
- Create a literary treasure hunt of your own. Pick a book from your shelf, turn to a random page, and attempt to locate all the things described on that page in your house or area.
- Try working out while reading. If it isn’t working for you, don’t be ashamed to get rid of it. Stick with it if you enjoy it! This is easy with audiobooks.
- Take part in a readathon. You can find some on YouTube. Dedicate a weekend or a period to reading as much as possible OR reading the novels you’ve been intending to read.
- When asked for your name in a coffee shop or other location where you might assume another person’s identity, pretend to be your favorite author or fictional character. If somebody notices or makes a remark, make a note of it.
- Use Google Maps to choose a random location anywhere in the globe, then borrow a book based there or on the history and culture of that area.
- Get the literary tattoo you’ve always wanted, whether it’s permanent or temporary.
- Take some time to figure out who your favorite illustrators are. Which kind of comic do you prefer? Who does the artwork for picture books you remember? Check to see whether they have their own art stores.
- Set a goal for yourself to read one book from the year you were born that was nominated or a finalist for a literary prize.
- Create a literary tote bag. Go wild with a blank canvas bag and some iron-on inscriptions or fabric paint. Do you not need your own tote? Make one for a loved one or a friend.
- Broaden your horizons by learning a new language. Use your local library’s databases or download the free version of Duolingo. Choose anything that could be “useful” to you — or a language that piques your interest, even if you’ll never do more than learn a few words with it.
- Volunteer your time or money to a literary organization that you care about. You may give money to a school near you via DonorsChoose.
- Write your favorite author a fan letter. Know that any kind words you speak will brighten their day, week, month, or maybe even year.
- Reminisce about your youth by reading a beloved comic book. Family Circus, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes are all excellent choices.
- Pick a TV program or movie and make a list of all the literary moments in it. In a rewatch of Gilmore Girls, you may notice what books they mentioned, or you might see the references in Fear Street.
- Make a wishlist of books you’d want to read (audiobooks, comics, whatever!). Keep them public so that your friends and family may give you gifts. This is mine in case you ever wanted to buy me book. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/DXZMMWUCNRXV?ref_=wl_share
- Make it a practice to read the local news regularly. It doesn’t have to be done daily, but being updated about what’s going on in your neighborhood is the best way to remain informed and to know when you should speak out, write in, advocate, or otherwise take part in local democracy. Picking up a print newspaper is also powerful, since the act of holding a newspaper makes a story seem more current and concrete (not to mention tactile).
Have fun with it. Attempt to be inventive. Expand your reading habits to something larger, bolder, and more fascinating than they are now.
This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.
Need a bookmark? Here. Print it out on cardstock and laminate it.