“Lit Gifts”

If you’re a nerd book enthusiast such as myself, chances are you’ve received your fair share of book/library-inspired gifts. I love them. And this year I got two gifts that are totally share-worthy.

Gift #1 is a Harry Potter necklace from my best good friend Nissa that  has the “9 3/4” sign from the platform to Hogwarts. I’ve always thought if I ever got a tattoo that I would get 9 3/4 on me somewhere. Most fans go for the Deathly Hallows symbol or “Mischief Managed” (can you tell I’ve researched this?) but I like the idea that the platform was Harry’s first real step into the world where he was always meant to be.  Also, reading Harry Potter was the first time I felt like reading was extraordinary. I was in the 4th grade and already knew I liked reading and writing, but I was always sitting in Mrs. Genslinger’s room staring at a huge poster of The Sorcercer’s Stone in the upper right hand corner of the room, with Harry on a broomstick about to grab a snitch. I was enthralled with this poster, transfixed by it – I had to know more. But every week we went to the school library it was always taken out by another student… until my luck changed. Mrs. Helmers, the school librarian, started reading it to us one fateful Friday and after one chapter I went home from school and demanded (probably timidly asked) that my parents buy it for me so I could read the rest. And they did. And the rest is history.

Gift #2 is an awesome “Bibliofile” book that came from my friend Kate in Pittsburgh. I moved away almost 6 months ago but it’s friends like Kate that make me really miss the city. This book is self-described as “a reading journal for book lovers” and is full of pages to enter books you’ve read, their authors, your rating, notes, and what other subjects it has inspired you to study. Not only that, but there are a quite a lot of biographical pages for the reader to fill out concerning their favorite authors, places they like to read, the best and worst films based on books, etc. The end even has lists of Pulitzer Prize winners according to year, among other awards.

I have great friends.

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Literary Resolutions

It’s the end of 2013 and as I’m finalizing my resolutions for 2014 I couldn’t help but think about this time last year when I decided to add reading resolutions for the first time.

In December 2012 I had just finished my first semester of grad school and was embarrassed that I was a library student who hadn’t read a novel since school had started almost four months prior! Don’t get me wrong, I was reading, but it was mandatory library and information science-related readings. It had felt like ages since I could get lost in a book’s story… in a way that wouldn’t affect my grades. I decided to take action.

For 2013 I made a resolution to read at least two non-school books a month. The good news? I succeeded! The bad news? I kind of cheated. Out of the 28 books I ended up reading this year, I had already read 14 of them. Every year I try to make a point to read Pride and Prejudice and I read Jane Eyre every winter. I started to reread Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia because I love both of the series and hadn’t read them in a few years, and the rest of the books I reread were just because I’m the kind of person who doesn’t have a limit on that sort of thing when it comes to books I enjoy – especially if I see them everyday on my shelf.

Although I’m happy I technically fulfilled a resolution, I don’t feel much accomplishment from it because of all the repeats. This year I’ve decided to challenge myself harder, particularly because I won’t be balancing grad school at the same time. I present to you:

2014 Literary Resolutions:

1. I will read at least 30 books I have never read before.

2. I will make a book club with friends. 

3. I will read all of the works of Hans Fallada currently available in english print.

4. I will write at least “a line a day” following a writing prompt from the book “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves. (This will be separate from my yearly resolution to journal at least three times a week.)

Here’s hoping for a successful 2014!