Reading Outside the Box

Librarians are people too. Maybe we’re people who, in general, spend more time reading than the average person. But, like most people, we tend to get stuck in the habit of reading the same genres and authors without exploring new books outside of our comfort zone. For all readers, it’s good to climb out of the box of what we usually read to explore new literary experiences, different genres, and new authors. I’m as guilty of this as the next person, so I was really excited to discover the article “A Year in Reading Suggestions” on Booklist Online. King County Library System readers advisory specialist Alene Moroni offers month-by-month suggestions for a year of reading outside the box. Though we’re already four months in, it’s never too late to get started.

January: Read a book published the same year you were born.
If you Google “books of [fill in the year]” you should get some decent lists from which to select.

February: Read a book recommended on a blog.
There are lots of great book blogs out there. I regularly read Booklist’s Likely Stories, and the New Yorker’s Page Turner, among others, but I will be selecting my February read from our friend at MissSusie’s Reading!

March: Read a book that has been made into a movie.
There seems to be no shortage of book-to-movie titles these days. Check out Midcontinent Public Library’s great Based on the Book list for a comprehensive list.

April:Reread your favorite book from childhood.
This is a fun one. It will be interesting to find out if your favorite childhood book still has the same appeal when reading it from an adult perspective.

May: Read a book from another country.
With all of the news surrounding his recent passing, now may be a great time to dig into Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

June: Read that classic you never read.
Whether you, like me, have made it through more classics than you care to remember courtesy of an undergrad English degree, or you’ve spent your life avoiding classics like the plague, now is great time to pick one up and give it a try. I’ve somehow missed out on Brave New World, so that’s what I’ll be digging into this June.

July: Read a book you found via a library database/website.
This is where I throw in a plug for the NoveList database, available to all North Dakotans via the ND State Library or your local public library. NoveList is a great source for book lists, summaries, and much more to help you make your next reading selection.

August: Read a genre or format you don’t usually read.
This is a great time to explore romance, westerns, sci-fi, or whichever genre you tend to avoid. Graphic novels are kind of my Achilles heel, so that’s where I’ll be headed this month.

September: Read a book from an opposing viewpoint.
Here’s an opportunity to pick up some non-fiction!

October: Read a selection from a local book club.
Check out your local public library’s website to see what their book clubs are reading – In looking at the Bismarck Public Library‘s book club pages, I’ll have a lot of great options to choose from.

November: Read an award winner.
Check out the American Library Association‘s award winners, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, among others.

December: Read someone else’s favorite book.
Any suggestions??

Thanks to Booklist Online and King County Library System for the great yearlong reading exercise. This is a great idea for personal reading growth, or for changing up your book club’s selections. I hope you’re as excited as I am to get started!


One response to “Reading Outside the Box

  1. Thanks so much for linking to my blog! Hope people will find some good recommendations!

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