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Chapter 4 - Read Harder

We have had quite a few customers this month who have wanted some recommendations for how to get more out of their reading lives. The request comes in a lot of different ways from, "How can I read better books?" to "I am in a rut, I need different authors." to "I feel like all I read is fluff, I want something of substance." As a bookseller, blogger, and voracious reader, this request is hard. Books are a really personal thing and what I enjoy you might not, and vice versa.

But in walk the Reading Challenges. They range from a manageable list of twelve to an overwhelming group of 50 reading goals. There are websites where you can keep your list of books which encourages a type of reading competition between you and your friends. Finally there are even book logs which encourage you to "read harder", ergo the name of this blog. The nice thing about the challenges is that they encourage you to read a type of book, not a specific book.

So to assist you if reading better or harder is one of your New Year's resolutions - here is our own reading challenge list. A simple list of ten types of books to help you read outside of your comfort zone. Next week I will give you recommendations for each category.

Read a Book Published in 2019 - This should be an easy one as most of us are just champing at the bit to read new books.

Read a Book That Takes Place in Another Country - Especially in winter it is fun to be an armchair traveler. Find a book that takes you somewhere else.

Read a Debut Novel - There are some really good debut novels out there. Check with your local bookseller (or call us at Bookends) for a great recommendation.

Read a Book That Has Been Translated - This can be a little tricky but again there are plenty of good books out there.

Read a Book Written a Hundred Years Ago (or more) - With such a large selection of books to choose from, this also should be an easy category to fill.

Read a Book Becoming a Movie - While movies are great fun to go to, I always prefer to read the book first. Sometimes I am happy with the movie, sometimes not - but I like to see the director's interpretation of the book.

Read a Non-Fiction Book - This might be the hardest category of all for the fiction reader. Again, there are plenty of good choices to consider here - history, biography, science, etc.

Read a Book About Books (or book stores) - This is one of my favorite categories because I love to read about books or bookstores. Next week I'll pass along information on some of the ones I've loved.

Read a Western - Modern Westerns are not your father's Louis L'Amour's, although Louis can be fun too. There are lots of books which take place in the "old West" which might be good picks for this category.

Read a Collection of Short Stories - I'll admit this will be my personal challenge as I am usually not a fan of this genre. I do have a couple of collections in mind.

Here is a colorful copy of the Bookends Reading Challenge to print - Bookends Reading Challenge.

Happy Reading!

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