The Reading Rush 2020 TBR |A Very Ambitious List Of Very Short Books For A Very Slow Reader

It’s July, which means it’s time for The Reading Rush!

I’ve never participated in any kind of reading event (frankly, because I’m super intimidated by how slow I read and setting myself up for disappointment from the start), but I’ve been seriously lacking on my reading. 10 pages here, 40 pages there. I’ve just been pushing it to the side.

Once I saw Ariel Bissett and Noelle Gallagher upload their TBRs (along with organizing my own staggering TBR pile), something sparked inside me, and now I’m ready to read everything!

Check out thereadingrush.com for more information about the event!

Without further ado, let’s get into the books!

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1. Read a book matching the color of your birthstone.

I love this idea for a reading challenge because it’s unique to the reader. Plus, I just really love birthstones. I’m an October baby (shoutout to all of my libras!), and my birthstones are Opal and a pink gem called Tourmaline.

As someone who adores bright and exciting colors, I’m shocked to see how DULL my TBR pile is. The trend seems to be black and orange books, at least for now, which does not work in my favor at all.

But alas! I found the one book with pink or rainbow on the cover, and that would be Victoria Redel’s Before Everything.

I don’t know much about this book other than it has a stunning cover. I don’t know what it is, but the colors and figures just speak to me. Ironic for the challenge, huh?

I’m pretty sure it’s a drama involving a family? group of friends? I’m not too sure (I should probably look into this kind of stuff before writing instead of repeatedly typing variations of “I don’t know”), but it fits the challenge AND it’s short (you’ll notice short books as a trend throughout this post).

2. Read a book that starts with the word “The”.

This challenge was a little difficult for me; not finding a book that started with “The”, but trying to decide on one!

I have at least 5 books that I can see right now that start with “The” on my shelf, but, in true Reading Rush fashion, I opted for the shortest book, which is Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.

This tiny book maxes out at 55 pages! And let’s not even get started on this creepy, yet intriguing cover that I found at Books-A-Million. It’s also one of those stories that gets referenced time and time again, and I selfishly want to be included in those conversations. Sometimes you just have to feed into your ego’s desires.

3. Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve seen.

Another great challenge! I’m a very big stickler in reading the book before watching the movie adaptations (unless I don’t know about the book, of course), but this challenge flips that tradition on its head.

Now, this could be a controversial pick, but I don’t really care because I have been trying to find a reason to make myself read another Shakespeare play (plus, they’re short!). Here’s my moment to shine, as the Shakespeare nerd that I am, and I chose Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

(I’m sorry about the blandness of this photo; I need to invest in some copies of Shakespeare pronto!)

After some Googling, I noticed that 10 Things I Hate About You (Heath Ledger… That is all.) was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, which I know nothing about. Since 10 Things is one of my favorite childhood movies, I have a feeling I’ll enjoy Shakespeare’s play.

Fingers crossed!

4. Read the first book you touch.

You all are going to have to trust me on this one.

I’ve seen variations of this challenge, such as Noelle’s technique of touching all the books and blindly choosing one, but I wanted to take this challenge for what it is.

After I picked all of the books for the other challenges, I turned away from my leftover pile of books and simply reached back. Since the enormous Anna Karenina is placed in the middle of the stack, I was a teeny tiny bit nervous.

And would you believe that I almost touched that gigantic 800+ pages monster?! Exactly one book away, the mere distance of a fingernail!

What I ended up grabbing was Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition.

Another short book! We love a good trend, no?

I love Austen, as well as a short collection of stories, so I’m excited for this read. I’ve tried starting this one a few times, but I always got busy and ended up never picking it back up. Here goes nothing!

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5. Read a book completely not in your house.

The sun has finally come out to stay here in the Appalachia’s, which means plenty of time to read on the porch and let the sunshine soak into your skin.

Seasonal depression? Never heard of her.

For this challenge, I chose Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.

I don’t know if it’s the theme (I think) of self awareness or finding your feminine power, but Chopin’s book deserves to be read outside. Perhaps it’s the cover art of the woman, hopefully, enjoying a sunny day. Whatever it might be, I’m here for it. Another tiny book for the win!

6. Read a genre that scares you or your least read genre

As we’ve all probably noticed, I’m a reader of classics mainly. I’ve read my fair share of contemporary and supernatural books, but I typically stick to my beloveds.

However, I recently got quite the stack of books from my mom of different genres, so what better time than now to give a new style a try?

Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House, an adult thriller, was one my mom pointed out in particular and said she really enjoyed. Since I’ve never read a thriller (that I remember, at least), now’s my chance to try it out.

My mom said she read this is just a few days, so I’m hoping it’ll be the perfect book to speed through. This is a reading challenge, after all.

7. Read a book that takes place on a different continent than yours.

This challenge is probably my favorite of them all. It allows readers who typically pick up books that resemble their own lives and learn about another culture! (My anthropology minor really comes out when discussing different cultures because I thrive on that shit).

I love reading about how people live in different parts of the world; their religions, food, family traditions, societal behaviors, and all of the enriching aspects that different cultures have to offer.

Anyways, back to the books. That’s what we’re all here for.

For this challenge, I chose Adèle by Leila Slimani, which is written by a French author and takes place in Paris, France.

I’m a little skeptical about this book because I remember hearing a review that it was kind of a disappointment, but I’m trying to go in unbiased and take it for what it is. (I’m terrible at letting people persuade my opinion of a book).

After reading the back of the book, it seems to be about this woman (I’m assuming Adèle) who seems to have the perfect life, but she’s apparently coocoo for sex.

Let’s just say this book is either going to be eh material, or it could end up being one of my favorite books of all time. We shall see!

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Please Send Good Vibes And Lots Of Coffee

Do I think I’m going to finish 7 books in a week? Absolutely not because I have no hope in my slow-reading self, but what the hell. Let’s give it a shot!

I have a feeling I’m going to be drinking quite a bit of coffee to get as much reading done as I can.

Hopefully, this reading challenge will get me more into the habit of picking up a book rather than my phone. It is also possible that reading so much is going to make me view reading as a chore, which it never should be, and I will fall back into that wretched slump of mine.

Sending hopeful wishes and great books your way!

Rediscovering My Love of Reading | A Lesson in Patience

Ah. Reading. The word itself is like a breath of fresh air.

A lot of my recent posts have been very “book” heavy. Whether it’s gushing about my favorite author, binging Booktube videos (mainly Ariel Bissett, if I’m being honest), or scrolling endlessly through Barnes and Noble, I feel like I’m constantly surrounding myself with books or book-related things every day.

You would think as someone who studied English literature that I would be doing this all of the time, but oh no.

As much as I love reading and discovering stories, both old and new, my time at college REALLY burnt me out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of my classes, but the overwhelming workload and constant anxiety to finish each book for each class was not the best for my mental health.

Now, I could go on about the faults in my academic experience, but that’s for another time.

In short, I associated reading with a chore and work rather than a luxurious past time. Because of this, I would typically end up falling asleep while reading or just not picking up a book up in general.

However, rather than consistently forcing myself to try and read again and again, I decided to save myself from the headache and take a break. I took a few months to destress, play some video games, and just be kinder to myself because I was beating myself up over not reading (of all things) so badly.

Dumb, I know.

But, alas! My itch to grab a book off of my shelves has finally resurrected!

Now, I can’t keep my nose out of the pages, and I’m actually enjoying myself in the process! Who knew time and patience was all I needed?

Currently, I’m in the middle of Dante’s Inferno, and I just started Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I am already loving).

I use to put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a lot of books, but sometimes that’s just unrealistic for me. I don’t know exactly where this panic of having to read a lot came from, but no matter where it developed (probably college), I’m ready to break that habit because, honestly, it’s stupid.

Why am I rushing to get all of these books read when I have an entire lifetime to do so?

In that moment, when I asked myself this question, a very important lesson about patience and time seemed to hit me in the face. I realized that I had developed a false sense of “time” and how much we truly have in a lifetime.

(Well, technically “time” is a social construct, but we’ll keep up the positive vibes for now.)

Perhaps it’s my persistent anxiety, but I always seem to feel as if I don’t have enough time to do anything, whether that’s reading a book or cleaning the house. I always seem to avoid activities that require quite a bit of time (commitment issues much?), but that ends today!

From now on, I’m going to try my best and not think about time so much. Of course, it’s pretty difficult to do that with the continuous reminder of death during this pandemic in the US, but, at the end of the day, all you can do is try.

So, with my rekindled love of reading, I’m ready to escape from the crumbling country around us into an infinite amount of worlds locked away on my bookshelves.

It’s time to stop hassling myself over not finishing unrealistic expectations and freaking out about the limit of time, and to start having some damn patience!

I hope everyone is doing well in these tough times, and remember: STAY HOME