Say hello to Project 36. A new challenge dedicated to reading at least 36 books in one year between January 1 and December 31, 2013. To understand where this idea came from let me give you a little bit of background on my past reading habits.
When I was a little girl I always enjoyed reading books or magazines and would devour book after book and spend hours reading anything I could get my hands on.
But by the time I hit my 20′s my reading habits waned significantly. I would often start a book but rarely would I finish one. Books collected dust on my bookshelf and were either never read at all or I read no more than 100 pages before quitting.
This year I read only one book in its entirety: My Week at the Blue Angel: And Other Stories from the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas by Matthew O’Brien. It’s a must read for those interested in the seedier side of Vegas. His first book, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas is on my list.
Realizing I let my reading habits go down the toilet (and arguably, my writing skills too) I knew I had to do something. Thus, Project 36 was born.
Now, you may ask “Why 36?”
I hate math but I am strangely fascinated by numbers and wanted a number divisible by 12.
At first I considered 48 books or 4 per month but later thought it would be too much given my class load in the spring. I ended up deciding on 36 because I thought three books per month would be challenging but not so much it was overwhelming.
And to be honest, Project 36 has a better ring to it than Project 48. Just sayin’…
“But, you’re a writer. Why don’t you read a lot to begin with?”
If you were wondering that, I’ll explain. I do read but it’s mostly online in the form of news articles on Yahoo! and other sites or blog posts from my favorite bloggers.
My plan for Project 36 involves a few things:
- Keeping track of books read on an Excel spreadsheet and Goodreads. I have an account but it hasn’t been used in over a month. That will change when this project begins.
- Writing a sort-of review when done reading. I say sort of because I do not want to become a book review blog. I will do a brief post with a few thoughts but not an in-depth review.
- Being open to different genres. I have no interest in Sci-Fi or Young Adult but I am interested in reading a wide range of books both in fiction and non-fiction.
So do you have a list of books yet?
Yes, I do. Currently it is at 17 titles and I am open to suggestions. I find that some of the best resources for finding good books are from other readers, especially those whom I know read a lot and know a good book from a sucky one.
What is on your list for January? Will you post what books you plan to read each month?
Here is January’s list in order:
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
- Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell
I’ll make an attempt to post the reading list for the month either here or on the Facebook page. If you’re not already a fan, please join me! (Yea, I know…totally shameless plug)
What, if anything, do you hope to accomplish with Project 36?
First and foremost, a greater appreciation and love for reading. Secondly, by writing about what I read I hope to inspire people to start reading or consider their own reading challenges. And finally, to improve my writing. Overall, I think Project 36 will be a fun challenge for me.
Now, a few questions for you:
What is your favorite book (or books!)? What do you enjoy reading most? Would you consider a year long reading challenge like Project 36? Post your thoughts in the comments below!