102016Jan

Resolve to Read More

Resolve to Read More

Setting goals at the start of a new year may be trite to some, but to others this is the time of promise, change, and commitment.  Like many of you, I’ve set goals for myself this year. The goal I am most excited about is to read more. I know I won’t be successful in this goal (or any of the others) without making it tangible and myself accountable. How am I going to do this? A reading challenge.

The point of a reading challenge is to help you broaden your horizons by reading a variety of genres, authors, and subjects, most of which you wouldn’t normally read. Reading challenges are not a new concept; book clubs and other social groups have been doing them for many years, but reading challenges have become more prominent in the age of social media.

The reading challenge I have undertaken this year is the “Read Harder Challenge 2016” established by the website Book Riot. This is the second year for the challenge, and it is so popular the New York Public Library released a list of suggestions for each part of this year’s challenge. The challenge’s checklist has 24 tasks, but books can complete more than one task. For example, the book I am reading now, Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman, would complete the tasks of a middle grades book and a book with a main character dealing with mental illness. Other tasks include reading a nonfiction book about science, a historical fiction set before 1900, and a horror book.

If you decide to take on a reading challenge this year, whether it is set by others or yourself, Alamance County Public Libraries is the place to find books to meet your needs. If you want to read a genre or author you are not familiar with, our librarians can recommend books to meet your needs. Our catalog can be searched online and requests for books can be made using your library card number and PIN. If we do not have a certain book in our collection, we can find it for you through our inter-library loan program. Ask at your local branch for more information on how we can help you meet your reading challenge in 2016.

Reading challenges are not for the faint of heart. Many of the books will push you to immerse yourself in settings of which you might not be familiar, and they will challenge your views of the world. But, isn’t that what literature is supposed to do?

Stephanie Steele is a children’s librarian at the Mebane branch of Alamance County Public Libraries.  Contact her at ssteele@alamancelibraries.org or (910) 563-6431.