Hello, teens! It is I, your humble teen librarian, Ashley! This blog is a synopsis of my year, where I challenged myself to read 100 books. 100 books! I thought it sounded crazy at first also, but that’s why I kept telling as many people as would listen about my reading challenge. Constantly telling others that “I AM” doing this was a great way for me to hold myself accountable. Now December is here, and I’ve read 93 books! I hope my 100 book reading adventure will inspire you to read more!
Why I decided to make this my goal
This was such a great experience. I know I sound like a broken record with the whole, “23 year old librarian discovers reading” narrative, although I realized that in and after college, I don’t remember reading a single book for fun. Working in the Teen Room changed that for me.
With recommending books as such a big part of my new job, I really wanted to read more and know the collection of books I had around me. With all of the new YA books, manga, and graphic novels coming in every month, I started accumulating name after name of books and authors I wanted to read.
Not to mention, at this time in 2018, my favorite Youtuber Pewdiepie was also doing monthly book reviews and talking about all the great experiences he was having from reading again. After his book review video in December, “720 Books in a Year” (which was clickbait; he read 72 books in the year), I was amazed at the idea of somebody reading 70 books in a year when I hadn’t even read one. I thought to myself, “If the person with the biggest channel on Youtube can find time to read 70 books, I’ve got to be able to read 100”. And so I had a New Year’s resolution; in 2019, I was going to read 100 books.
How I managed my reading
By doing some simple math, I calculated if I monitor myself and keep on a schedule where I read about 7-10 books a month, I would make it to 100 by January. So that’s what I did. Just like you teens do with summer reading, I logged everything, kept track of what I have read and still want to read with a continuously growing “want to read” list. And now it’s December, and I will meet my goal.
I bet you’re still wondering how I made time to sit down and read about 9 books a month. My secret? I didn’t. In case you haven’t been keeping up with these blog posts, a library has so many more resources than just your standard books. We also have audiobooks, eaudiobooks, Playaways, graphic novels, manga, NoFear classics, along with graphic novel classic remakes.
The app I used to listen to most of my eaudiobooks was Libby, which is amazing and free to anyone with a library card. On Libby, you can read or listen to the most recent audiobooks wherever you want, at the speed you set, without fines, and without using data after downloading your book. For those of you who say that they don’t have time to read, I would respond with, “you likely have time to listen”. I listen to books everywhere! Any little downtime where I have a quiet break when I’m alone, I always have a great story to listen to.
To address some more assumptions, before you think that all I did was listen to books, that’s not true either. I happen to be a rather audible and visual learner, so eaudiobooks work really well for me along with graphic novels. Don’t get me wrong, I can sit down and binge a chapter book when I want to, but with holding myself to such a tight schedule it was a lot easier to listen to eaudiobooks in my down time.
One more note on my reading schedule: with 100 books at about 9 a month, you may think I was reading constantly; but again, not the case. I mainly binged through some really captivating books on the weekends, then throughout the week I’d just listen to a book or read when I felt like it; but by all means, I had a lot of time to still do the regular stuff I enjoy doing. I could still binge shows and anime with my friends, and the pressure of 100 books was never too overwhelming. My reading goals were always on my mind, but it really didn’t make too much extra work for me or take away from my day to day tasks. I found that making a “want to read list” really kept me on track and excited about what was next to come. It’s a small thing, but the feeling of crossing a book off of your list once you’ve read it is so satisfying.
You can too!
I know with so many different social media platforms out there and so much new content readily available, reading seems to be a thing of the past for a lot of people, or something strictly done for academics; but I’m here to remind you that it’s not. Reading is still amazing and easier than ever to get in touch with, not to mention it’s free to all with a library card!
This year, I read so many books that I always wanted to read, and I am so happy for that. I got to get in the minds of teens, kids, and some of the best authors I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to.
My favorite kinds of YA books to read are historic fictions, remade classics, autobiographies, books with characters of different diversities, books in verse, and books with the topic of mental health.
Some of my favorite books I read were The Poet X, Ban This Book, The Disaster Artist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fish in a Tree, Grenade, and Mary’s Monster.
I’m super happy I am going to reach my goal of 100 books in a year, although next year I’m going to give myself a little break and tone it down to 50 books. On that note, when was the last time you read a book for fun? Between school, homework, and whatever other events you are involved with, I know you can get pretty drained; however, I highly encourage you to try to find a book to read for fun. Whether it be a manga, graphic novel, biography, audiobook, etc., there is an amazing book out there waiting for you to find it. And a great place to start is the library!