Book Store Love and a Reading Challenge

Ahh – the bookstore.  So full of potential, so many books to buy and read, so easy to spend hours and hours there.

image from forbes.com

One of my favorite things to do isto go to the bookstore, peruse the titles, and leave with hopefully at least three new books to read.  It’s almost as if I’m physically incapable of leaving the store without a book.  Every Tuesday, when a lot of th

e new books are released, I’ll check out the new releases and make note of which books I’ll need to pick up.  There are also the release dates of the books I know are coming out and will put on my calendar so I won’t forget.

There is just something about the vibe of a bookstore that makes me feel like it’s a natural place to be.  It feels as though it’s a scholarly place but not one that is full of pretense or will make someone feel inferior if they don’t know everything.  I’ve gone to the bookstore with particular books in mind and I’ve gone with absolutely no idea about what book I’ll want to pick up.  I’ll always find myself walking around looking through the different sections and the next thing I know it’s 2 hours later.  Sometimes I haven’t found anything and other times I’ll have a stack of books and will have to, reluctantly, decide which ones to put back since I don’t want to spend a massive amount of money.

The sad thing about bookstores is that there seems to be less and less of them. The advent of Amazon.com as well as e-readers and the ability to download books means fewer people are making a trip to the bookstore.   I read a brief article on Forbes.com stating the need for stores to evolve with technology.  While I do agree with that idea I also think we need to remember and experience the feeling of getting out and actually living the vibe of the bookstore.   It makes you feel alive and as though you are connecting with both the tangible (people, physical books) and the intangible (the story in the writer’s mind, the image in our head).

As part of my quest to keep bookstores in business and to have regular posts on my blog, I’m taking part in The Mad Reviewer 2014 Reading Challenge. I’ve signed up for the slightly sane reviewer challenge – read 26 books during 2014 year and review all 26 of them on mThe Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge Buttony blog.  The Mad Reviewer will check to be sure I’ve met my end of the bargain and, if so, I’ll be placed in a drawing.  I’ll be sure to mark any book reviews with the button to the right.  I’m adding my own little twist to this challenge – I’m going to make sure every book I read is bought from a bookstore.  Meaning, I must have gotten into my car, drove to the bookstore, and purchased the book from there.  No ordering on-line (which I don’t do too often) or borrow the book from anyone. My way of keeping brick and mortar stores in business as well as experience the awesome bookstore vibe in person.

So keep on reading but don’t forget about the rewards of the bookstore.   Physical books are great as well as visiting a place that temporarily houses those wonderful books.

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8 week reading Challenge – The End

Last day of my 8 week reading challenge and I was not completely successful.  I’m reading book four right now with about 175 pages to go.  Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it tonight.  I managed to complete three books, read 1/2 of one and am almost done with another.  So, if I count today’s book (kind of cheating, I know) I’ll have read four and a half out of eight.

Although I did not complete my goal of reading all eight, I am happy to have gotten through half of my pile (almost).  As stated in a previous post, the book that tripped me up was The Passage.  I was really intent on finishing it but the book started to drag and I stuck with just a bit too long.  I’ve set The Passage aside for now and will go back to finish it, even though I’m not really looking forward to it.

So, what can I take away from this challenge?  The first thing would be that I set a goal for myself.  I’m not a goal setter for whatever reason, but having something constructive to do during my break from school (other than work) was a fun thing to do.  Second thing would be that I love reading and never plan on stopping.  I’ve added to my “to read” pile during these eight weeks and have at least five additional books to read.  This will be all that much harder now that the spring semester has started and I have to set time aside for school reading and other homework  as well as my fulltime job.  The final thing would be that I really enjoyed updating my progress (or the lack thereof) here on this blog.  I think it’s a great way to get thoughts out and I was sometimes inspired to read right after I posted something.

Thanks to those who have read, liked, or commented.  I’ve found a few other great blogs to follow while doing this challenge and hope to find more as I find other things to post about.  Hope other challenges out there are going good and look forward to reading about them (or just catching up on those I follow or finding new ones).

 

Reading challenge – week three

On to week three of my 8 week reading challenge and I’m onto book four.  Finished Brain on Fire on Wednesday and have to say it was a very good book.  Susannah Cahalan’s pieced together recollection of month which she has no memory of is a very well written and engaging read.  Filled with details about the effects of an autoimmune disease that almost went undiagnosed, this book is compelling and scary at the same time.  I highly recommend it.

As for the reading challenge, after finishing Brain on Fire on Wednesday, I hadn’t read a single page of the other books until today.  It’s an odd occurence that happens now and again.  Usually I’m compelled to start another book as soon as I finish one.  However, this is one of those times where I just didn’t feel like it.  This was not due to the occasional “book hangover” – where you can’t start another book because you are still so wrapped up in the characters and story of the last – but more of a “I just need a break from reading” feel.  This is another distraction (if that’s the right word) to my reading challenge.  However, given I’m on to book four and am in the third week, things are still looking good.

Off to read some more.  I hope everyone can find comfort in a book, one way or another, and that it eases the mind.