Reflections on the 50 Book Challenge

January 12, 2011 // Filed under Uncategorized

The first year of Bernardsville Public Library’s 50 Book Challenge has drawn to a close, but a new year means a new challenge!  The kick-off meeting for the next 50 Book Challenge will take place in the library on Saturday, January 22nd at 3:30 p.m., with Karen Vaias once again leading the program.

For those readers who participated in the 2010 Book Challenge, it’s  time to reflect on what the challenge has meant to them and how it has affected their reading choices. Several participants shared their insights through the following comments: “I undertook this challenge to actually GET myself reading again, and to think about what I was reading, and to that end, it has been very helpful. What I found myself doing, however, was “cheating” a bit, in terms of engaging with harder, more thought-provoking books.”  Another reader notes the same behavior in that she was not as selective in her choices as she used to be.  Perhaps the competitive spirit drove these readers toward books they knew they could finish rather than longer texts.

One reader stated, “I love fiction, but I discovered new books in Spanish and English that I really enjoyed. I had neglected for about 20 years reading books in Spanish, but now I try to read some during the year.”  Several challenge participants discovered Young Adult literature to be very appealing, and others enjoyed listening to recorded books (for the narrators as much as for the stories.)  In addition, the simple act of keeping a reading journal proved beneficial to many people. For one participant, reviewing her journal enabled her to see how these reading choices related to her emotional or intellectual needs over the past year. She noted that her books truly reflected a year in her life.

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