Books are basically the best mates I have ever had. They take you to cool and interesting places, they can teach you stuff and they can distract you from all of your worries.
My relationship with books started at a very young age. My Grandma was a school librarian and she used to make us read at every opportunity. Thanks to that marvellous woman I was like, really good at reading in early primary school. Obviously now is not the time to launch into my almost prodigy like abilities when it came to reading and writing at a young age, but you’re more than welcome to take me out for a wine some time and I’ll tell you all about it.
I remember Gran told me that I needed to read an hour before bed each night – something that I thought must have been kind of mandatory, even possibly enforced by the government, until I was really old enough to know better.
Unfortunately, life got busy, but more to the point, I got a bloody smartphone so these days I find myself scrolling through the internet in its entirety every night before bed instead of getting stuck into one of Reading’s book shop’s Top 100 Must Reads.
Rules of the book challenge:
There are no rules really. The aim is just to try and get through your four books by the end of Feb. This could mean aiming to read one a week, or maybe if you’re really enjoying one you might smash it out a bit quicker. Everyone’s reading style and pace is different, so if you like to take your time with the written word you can also aim for two or three books in the month, or you can spread the challenge out across February and March. It’s really up to you!
Types of books:
Below I have broken down four very loose categories of books I will be aiming to read throughout the challenge. There are such plethora of books about and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start! These book categories are just a guide and a way to make the challenge a bit more fun, but you are free to read whatever the heck you want!
The Buzz book:
You know the one, everyone’s talking about it. The people you follow on Instagram are posting artsy photos of it after they’ve read it. See what the hype is about, all the while strategically planning just how you will announce to social media that you too are up enough with pop culture to be abreast of what’s hot in literature right now.
For this category, I have chosen to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.
The Classic book:
A ‘Classic’ book can really mean a lot of things. I’m talking stuff that has won a lot of awards, maybe your offspring is being made to cover it in their high school English class or it is a title that has featured on a newspaper list with titles like ‘Must Read before you DIE’ and ‘Classic Books to Read Before you DIE’. You can reference some such lists here and here for a bit of inspiration. Side note, why is there so much reference to death when publications are listing book or film recommendations? That question will have to be answered another time.
If all that fails book publisher, Penguin has an entire range of books it has published under the umbrella of ‘Penguin Classics’ you can check them out here.
For this I’ve chosen Stephen Hawking’s, A Breif History of Time, because to be honest, it was the only one that even remotley interested me after pouring over every ‘Classic Book’ list I could find.
The Spiritual Growth book:
(A nice way of saying self-help book, if we’re being honest with ourselves).
For this category, I have chosen Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now because it’s been around for years. I also see that it’s referenced in a lot of other stuff I read, and I’m pretty sure Beyonce has read it*. When selecting a book for this category, you’ll be pretty safe going with anything that Oprah has recommended because she’s basically a religion.
*Completely made up fact.
The book just for you:
I love chic lit, what-the-hell-ever man. I love it. And because of this, I can devour it in a few days. For this category pick a genre of book that you know you’ll just love. It might be something trashy, romance-ey, sci-fi-ey, true crime, anything. Just something that feels really indulgent, like your favourite TV show. Just enjoy yourself kid, you’ve earned it! For this book I’ve chosen Zoe Foster Blake’s The Wrong Girl.
And if you need some more bookspiration here are some more lists that should do the trick.
So there you have it! Let’s put our phones down an hour earlier of a night and get cracking! Let me know how you all go. Make sure you post your artfully placed book photos on all of the social media places and don’t forget to use the hashtag #4booksinFeb. Enjoy!