I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog called Top Ten Tuesday. It’s a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish where people compile lists based on a different theme each week. I thought it might be fun to share with you guys.
This week’s theme is: Top Ten Things on my Bookish Bucket List. My list is under the cut. I’d love to hear what yours is. Tell me in the comments what’s on your bookish bucket list!
1. Read at least 50 books this year.
I know, I’m a librarian, you’d think I’d be reading books left and right. And that’s partly true; before I started library school, I used to read all the time. But assignments and tests started bogging me down so that I didn’t have time to do much reading outside of what was required for class. I’ve been sort of out of the loop for the past three years and I haven’t really read most new YA novels unless someone handed it to me and told me to read it or if the book was being made into a movie. Now that I’ve got more time to myself when I get home, I’ve decided to play catch up with books. I set the goal of reading at least 50 books this year. I’m keeping track on my Goodreads account, and it looks like I might surpass my goal if I keep going at this rate!
2. Read all of the Louisiana Teen Reader’s Choice Award Nominees for the 2014 contest.
There are ten books total and so far, I’ve already read three of them: The Fault in Our Stars, Croak, and Code Name Verity. A list of the nominees can be found on our blog here, as well as links to booktrailers for each book. Voting for the contest hasn’t been activated yet, but I will add a link to that page as well as make a post about it when it becomes available. You might want to add this to your bookish bucket list as well so you can be prepared to vote when the time comes for it. We’ve got each book available for checkout at our library if you are interested.
3. Read more books that put me outside of my comfort zone.
I tend to stick to what I know I’ll like: graphic novels, horror, paranormal, action, etc. I’ll occasionally dip into fantasy, but for the most part, I steer clear of romances, stories with familiar settings (school, small towns, etc.), and dystopias. They just don’t seem naturally appealing to me, but I know that I’m missing out on some great stories by avoiding them. So I’m going to branch out and try to read something different every now and then. I want to expand my reading horizons so I can be better equipped to help people in our library who might have different tastes than I do.
4. Read more manga.
When I was in high school, I read a lot of manga, but it wasn’t as popular back then as it is now. I stopped reading it because I felt like a weirdo because most other people weren’t reading it. As I got older, I sort of clung to this thought of “manga is for weirdos” and I avoided it. But there are so many series that sound interesting to me that it’s stupid to not read them because some anonymous people from back in 2003 might think it’s a little strange. I want to catch up on the series I’ve missed out on because of that stupid fear.
5. Read The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu.
The Tale of Genji is the world’s first novel. It was written by a lady-in-waiting in 11th century Japan. She wrote it chapter by chapter and published in installments for the women at court to read and eventually it was compiled into one collected work. I heard about this book when I was in elementary school playing my Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? game and I’ve wanted to read it ever since, just so I can say that I’ve read the very first novel. I found a copy a few years ago and bought it, but I’ve left it untouched because it is absolutely massive (over 1000 pages). I am a pretty good reader and I can get through thick books rather quickly, but this one’s scary even for me. I’ve started reading it already. I’m not very far into it and I don’t expect to read it very quickly, but I’m at least trying to make a dent in it. I have a feeling it’s going to be a project of mine that might last a year or more.
6. Write some short stories.
It’s bookish, technically. I’ve never really considered myself a writer because I don’t have a passion for it like other people who call themselves writers seem to have. I’ve always preferred to read than to write, but occasionally I’ll take a stab at it. I always have fun when I do it, and I can come up with grand ideas that I just know would make the perfect setting for the next hit YA novel. But when I sit down to actually write, my mind goes blank and I get so scared of the empty document that I lose whatever drive I had to write and then just don’t do it at all. But I figure short stories will be easier; sticking to a smaller scope makes the work seem less scary. Hopefully if I get good at the short stories, I can work my way up to a novel-length book. Which brings me to the next item on my list.
7. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November, people from around the world take a stab at writing a novel (50,000 words or more). There are communities online as well real-life meet ups where people gather to write and encourage one another to stick to the plan. A few of those novels have even been published, such as The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I’ve never done it before because, unfortunately, November has always been a month of exams for me, but now that I’m out of school, I should have time to write. I might try and participate this year if I can come up with an idea.
8. Get a literary tattoo.
Or I should say, another literary tattoo. I’ve already got a large piece of my back of one of the original illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It was one of my favorite books growing up and it means a lot to me. I’d like to get another illustration from one of my favorite books The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. I have a little more disposable income now that I’ve got a full-time job and no tuition to pay, so I’ll be able to properly save up for a nice one. I’m an adult and I’ve thought long and hard about what I’d like to do with my body, and I caution all of you to do the same if this is on your bookish bucket list; tattoos aren’t for everyone and they last forever. You want to be sure you really do want whatever you choose because you will be stuck with it until you die.
9. Read Sarah Guillory’s Reclaimed.
Did you know that we have a YA author living in our area? Sarah Guillory is an English teacher at a local school and she’s published her first novel, a book for teens called Reclaimed. I got to meet her not too long ago because of a program we had at the library, but I felt so bad because I hadn’t had the chance to read her book. She spoke a little about it and I really got excited about reading it, which was funny considering it hadn’t really appealed to me before. It’s one of those books that I normally avoid (it was set in a small town in a school with no one with supernatural powers at all). I’d like to read it and maybe purchase a copy so that I can help support a local author, especially one that was as enthusiastic about literature and literacy as Sarah Guillory was.
10. Make our library a viable space for teens to gather.
Either to do homework, hangout, or even just sit alone and read. I’d love to see our teen space get used so much that our director has to let us expand. There are some challenges along the way: I know most of you don’t have a ride and even if you did, our teen space is really small and uninviting. I’d like to change that. I’d like to make it a place that you can come to and enjoy. I don’t want people using the computers to invade your space; I want it to be just for you and just how you like it. This is probably the most difficult thing on my bucket list because it isn’t something I can accomplish on my own, which is sort of scary. But I won’t let that stop me from doing what I can to make our library better serve our teen patrons.