Reading has been one of my favorite ways to cope with the stressors of 2020. Oh and memes. Can't forget about the memes.
I like to think I read a wide variety of books. But is this true? My thinking was challenged this past summer when my friend Heather invited me to participate in a reading challenge being offered by Books and Mortar, a local bookstore in Grand Rapids, Mich. I've attached the PDF of the challenge below in case you'd like to check it out.
If completed, the participant could earn a $10 gift card to the bookstore. And that was enough of a carrot for me to check it out.
I'd read dozens of books already so I figured I'd have a decent start on the challenge. And I was in fact able to quickly fill in some categories.
A book about a social justice issue you care about? I had recently read Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy and rarely has a book impacted me like this one.
After a couple of other quick additions, I found myself being challenged. Challenged to pick-up some books I otherwise wouldn’t have.
The first was Dear Evan Hansen, a book I picked up in the teen section of my local library. The book transported me to the clique-filled and often lonely hallways of high school, a place I had not thought about or visited in a long time.
The second was The Alchemist, a book I likely would not have picked up. But I found it worked as a book in translation since it was originally written in Portuguese. I ended up loving this exotic tale of a shepherd boy who left his flock in search of a treasure buried near the pyramids of Egypt.
I have yet to complete the challenge. But already it has opened my eyes and ears to new perspectives and voices. And for that I am thankful!