Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Read All About It!

My sister, Lisa, and I share some reading time
I don't need a contest to "make" me read.

I read for my sanity. Therefore, I read every day. Some days, it may not be much. I may read a few pages in bed before I fall asleep, and Randy tries to gently lift the book out of my hands while I startle awake and vow, "I was reading!" (Sorry Randy!)

(Darci, me and Lisa with our books:  I have no idea why Lisa and I are in our robes outside
I can't remember a time when I wasn't a library patron. My mom took us to the old library at the Pratt County Courthouse from the time we could toddle in on our own steam. It was exciting when the new library was built in Pratt. There was a whole room of children's books where I discovered Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. I still love mysteries and thrillers today, and I have to believe those days of uncovering clues with them had to have laid an early groundwork for this love affair that's lasted all of my life.

I was a champion reader. And I have the certificate to prove it. When I was a third grader, I read 166 books. (Let's just say I didn't win any certificates for math.)

I got to go to the Peace Treaty pageant in Medicine Lodge one year after reading the most books in my age division during the summer reading program at the Pratt Public Library.

When I moved to Hutchinson for my first job after college, I lived a couple of blocks from the Hutchinson Public Library. One of my first Hutchinson errands was getting a library card. I think I've worn out three or four of them since 1979. I used to argue with the librarian about replacing them because I had my ID number memorized. Since that's how you get into the system to reserve books, I didn't want to learn a new number. The last time I got a new card, I switched the log-in to a non-numeric password. I don't know why this number-challenged brain didn't think of that earlier!
But, much as I love my Hutchinson Public Library, there are two other libraries which are "challenging" me this year as a reader. In January 2017, I saw an article by reporter in The Wichita Eagle, announcing a reading challenge, but I didn't join in. This year, I decided to try and meet the 2018 challenge in which The Eagle partners with the Wichita Public Library.

The categories are flexible, so readers can bend and twist them to meet their individual reading habits and goals. Here's a printable link I'm using to track my books.

 Here are the categories:
1. A library book
2. A detective novel or true crime book
3. A book about reading or writing
4. A book set somewhere you’ve never been
5. A book recommended/given/loaned to you by a friend
6. A book with an animal on the cover
7. A graphic novel
8. An essay or short story collection
9. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
10. A book about a topic in the news
11. A book published the year you were born
12. A book by an author slated to visit Wichita in 2018

I predict the hardest category for me will be the graphic novel, so if you have suggestions, let me know. (Of course, that would fit in the No. 5 category, too.)
Stained glass window at the Nora Larabee Memorial Library in Stafford
Then, last week, there was an article in The Stafford Courier, announcing an adult reading challenge at the Nora Larabee Memorial Library, our public library in Stafford. The Stafford library is undergoing a revival. (For more history and photos from the Stafford library, check out this link to an old blog post.)

And while I know that I won't give up going to the Hutchinson Public Library - where, just like the TV show Cheers, they know me by name - I do need to do a better job of visiting and using my local library.

The first challenge for Stafford is reading a book from the library about Kansas, appropriate during this month when we celebrate Kansas' statehood. Other categories are one Western, one Mystery, one Biography and one "you choose." For my first book, I picked up "What I Love About Kansas," a collection of essays.

It's not my usual read. And that's probably the point. Having these categories urges me out of my comfort zone. I guarantee that it's not going to keep me from reading the books I want to read. When Jodi Picoult or Lee Child or Jonathan Kellerman or a host of other favorite authors have a new book out, I'll be putting my name on the reserve list at the library. If it doesn't fit into a "category" I have left, it doesn't matter to me.

But broadening my horizons is a good thing. Want to join me? At the very least, give me some ideas of books you recommend - whether they fit the criterion or not! I think part of the reason I joined the #ReadICT Challenge Facebook page is so I could see what other people are reading and get ideas!

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/entertainment/books/article191923794.html#storylink=cpy


  1. I don't read as much as I used to and usually select from biographies, especially those of people's travels. I recently read "Elephant Dawn" by Sharon Pincott. I didn't know it when chosen, but Sharon lives a couple of hours drive from where I live. It is a sad but uplifitng book about her ten years in Zimbabwe tending and trying to save the Presidential elephants. The relationship she establishes with the elephants is eye openiing.

    1. That book would fit in the category, "a book set somewhere you've never been." My natural tendency is to read fiction. I like the escape!

  2. I am a total read-a-holic. I would recommend, if you haven't read it already, "The Old Buzzard Had It Coming" by Donis Casey. Have you been to turn of the century Oklahoma? That might qualify... Happy reading!

    Oh, and I love your opening photo.


    1. Thanks, Terri. No, I haven't read it, but I will look for it.

      I took the photo in January of last year after an ice storm.

  3. wow !!! it's beautiful i love all your photos.Thank for sharing.