Part 1 of my 2024 Reading Challenge Series
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” —Ray Bradbury
I’m reading books differently these days. I meditate for a few minutes before I open the book as an act of emptying my mind so that the book can fill it back up. I have a purpose and intention to discover, or rather uncover, meaning from the prose and subtext. To assist me, I’m annotating. However I’m not comfortable writing or highlighting on the actual page, so I have transparent sticky notes and flags. I can layer the sticky note right on top of the text I want to underline, circle, or write a little note to myself about. Then, I add a flag that sticks outside the book so I can find it again when I write my review of the book.
The idea, as Bradbury so eloquently stated, is that my whole being, my “cup” will be full to overflowing and with that abundance, I can share. This is where social media comes in. I have wanted to reclaim my social media platform for so long, I just didn’t know how. Bookish spaces (#bookstagram, #booktok, #booktwt) have become unoriginal and uninspiring. I want quality vs. quantity. I’m tired.
I saw an influencer share tips on how to grow your account and one of her top three best ways to increase engagement and boost your numbers is to be controversial. She said, “Say something people will feel very strongly about so users will argue in the comments. This engagement will tell the algorithm your content is important.”
I will not be contributing to an algorithm prioritizing negative engagement. Social media is going to look a little different for me in 2024. I won’t be posting every day, that’s for sure. I have been posting damn near every single day on Instagram for eight years. I decided I’m going to document the following with photos and post “reading diary” updates maybe 1-3 times a week. 10 photos per post; fewer posts.
New books (book mail)
What I’m currently reading (physical, eBook, audio)
Books I discovered that look interesting
Visits to bookstores
Choosing my next book to read based on first lines or chapters
Honest feelings about books
Notes, lists, recommendations
People have asked me what they can expect from the platforms I’m using so that list is Instagram by way of sporadic photo dumps with minimal descriptions in the captions. Similar to this:
Patreon is a daily schedule of reviews, recommendations, new releases, and behind-the-scenes. Substack is my newsletter & updates. Threads is spontaneous bookish content and a platform where I can reshare/promote the content from others. That’s it. All the time I’m saving by minding my own business and NOT scrolling through people’s photos of repeated content will be spent READING & WRITING.
I have an exciting announcement coming. Stay tuned.
Part Two of the 2024 Reading Challenge is called, “Book Witch Supplies”