Book pins and a reading challenge

It is said that the way you spend your New Year’s Day will predict the way you will spend your year. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that old saying, probably passed down by grandmothers and mothers advising their children not to overdo it on New Year’s Eve. But if so, I enjoyed a lovely, laid-back first day of 2017 and I’d be lucky to spend the rest of my year in the same way.

I relaxed at home with my husband and pup. Stayed in my pajamas until way too late, blogging, reading and organizing a bit. In the evening, I grabbed a few snacks and went off to visit two of my best friends for our after-Christmas get together and gift exchange. We had such fun and I dearly wish that we can spend more time together in the upcoming year.

Now that presents have been given, I can share these lovely enamel pins that I gifted.


When I received this small delivery in the mail a couple of months ago, I knew with a label that promising, it had be good.

And these little gems exceeded my expectations!

20170101_113442If you’re into fandom style, are a frequent Etsy shopper, or spend time with children, you are probably aware that enamel pins are having a moment. These bookish pins from Ideal bookshelf, by Jane Mount, have been featured on Book Riot’s holiday shopping guide, but first showed up on my radar in my Etsy recommendations, likely based on my Harry Potter themed favorites.

The only benefit to a work requirement of wearing a lanyard with a key card identifying me as library personnel is, that I can personalize it with pieces of flair. I knew I had to have one, but there were so many precious options that I couldn’t stop at one and found pins that represented my friends as well. Who doesn’t have a favorite book?


The details and craftsmanship make these less like pins and more like miniature works of art. For my classic novel loving bestie, there were a few options, but she has let it be known how significantly she relates to Jane Eyre, so that was easy.


For my more contemporary reading buddy, I searched until I found the perfect pin. Not everyone would appreciate this, but she happens to work as a part-time proofreader for W.W. Norton publishing. She appreciated it even more when we realized it contained double meaning and applied to her other job as a clothing retail manager, too.


I loved and wanted multiples including the Harry Potter series pins, but the completist in me would buy them all. Instead I answered the call of my childhood heart. Little House on the Prairie was one of my first loves from even before I could read. My sister used to read it to me, then we would pretend to be the characters and I always got to play Laura.

If you aren’t lucky enough to wear a lanyard everyday, these are fun to display on jackets, tote bags, purses, hats, pinboards, just about anywhere. They cost $11.00 each and have an easy-grip rubber pinch back.

Of course, there’s a whole world of beautiful and cheeky pins out there. Did I mention the Shakespeare playbill ones? I know that I’ve opened the floodgates and will probably have two lanyards worth of bookish fandom pins before long!

2017 Reading Challenge:

I did not read nearly enough books in 2016 and was disappointed in most of what I did. In order to challenge myself to read more and read better, I joined The Redolent Mermaid’s book challenge.

If you’re looking to expand your reading growth or just love a good challenge, you should join us! It isn’t too intense at 24 reads, it could even be a fun side challenge for avid readers. Much of the list falls right into my genre wheelhouse, with just enough options to stretch my reading muscles. Go to the above link to check it out and comment to let Julie know you wish to join.

You can also comment here if you prefer (I’d love if you did so) and I will let her know how many are joining. Look for challenge update posts throughout the year. I’m already into #12 on the list, and excited about #14, not too sure what to choose for #21…

What novel suggestions do you have for me in 2017? I hope you enjoyed the holiday, what did it predict for your upcoming year?

– jaybird

16 thoughts on “Book pins and a reading challenge

  1. I received A Man Called Ove for Christmas and will be starting with that after my epic read of All the Light we Cannot See. I will check out the challenge. 24 is a lot for me to fit in. I only can usually get in one/month. We will see!

    My first day of the New Year was spent with my Dad and husband and some sisters and niece/ nephews sprinkled in. My favorite part of the day was lunch with my Dad so I hope that little visits like that continue in 2017! Cheers!


    1. I’ve heard A Man called Ove is good stuff. I think Kanto liked it. I actually have to read All the Light We Cannot See for the library’s One book/one community challenge in March- if you can think of any correlating activities to go with it let me know.
      I’m confident that you can “”join”” us in this challenge bc there’s no real accountability for it! Just comment which no. you’re reading when you read it, no discussion participation necessary if you don’t want and no keeping track of your reads unless you want to update:) I feel that you read more than I did last year and think a book a month is respectable. I’m only able to do more bc I listen to audio books on my commute. Do try.

      It sounds like your year will revolve around time with family and I know that you know how precious and fleeting that time is. I’m glad you got to spend it with those crazy kids and your dad, how is he doing?
      Our Christmas was better this year of course, but still kind of unreal, ya know?


  2. Those pins are just adorable! Such cute little squashy books! I more than wholeheartedly agree with your choice of Little House – it was one of my favourites when I was a kid as well (I actually faked being sicker than I was for an extra day one time so I could stay at home and finish off the series!) I did some Little House nail art one time, too – I’ll try to remember to send it to you elsewhere, off your blog.

    I’m also going to be following along with Julie’s book challenge. As I told her, last year I quantitatively read more than I ever have in my life. Between reading blogs and blogging and reading online articles, I read a ton, but no actual novels, no books. Gotta change that post hasty. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to check out.


    1. Wow, Little House nail art I must see! Looking at that pin and the smoking chimney just makes me happy.
      You weren’t the only one to milk sickness and read, I definitely read my first mature chapter book that way, in one day when I was 7, and I was sneakily proud of myself.
      Happy to hear you’re joining, please jump in whenever so we aren’t posting about reading books to a careless world!!


        1. I loved this artwork, therefore, I will leave the link so that others may reminisce with Ma, Pa, Laura and the Christmas when Mr. Edwards meets Santa Claus. It’s the most memorable passage from the entire collection to me (not alone in that regard I guess and I’m so happy that you’re manicure was inspired by it.) The colors tie in really well with the book pin too!
          Now that I have you dropping nail art links here, any other literary wonders from the past? If you have A Princess Bride inspired one, I’d die!
          Speaking of dying, your LHotP post was even more amazing because you lead with your fave contemporary read, The Virgin Suicides. Though we don’t have love of that one in common (I despised it) I can’t stop wondering what that nail art would look like. I mean thinking each nail could depict another way that the sisters offed themselves filled me with, admittedly, morbid glee. It also made me guffaw at the thought, so thanks for that:p


          1. It IS the most memorable passage! I was surprised when I re-read it just how much I had forgotten, but I’ve got that chapter rock solid. 🙂 I think it’s the cookies – I’m enchanted by their description.

            And I’m sorry, no Princess Bride nails (if the Virgin Suicides ain’t for you, that one’s never quite been my bag) but I’ve got some Charlotte’s Web and a ridiculous number of Stephen King references for a nail blog!

            Okay, now I’m laughing at Virgin Suicides nail art! Like, if we’re talking the Sophia Coppola movie (which perfectly captures the hippy dippy, dreamlike quality of the book) it should be all hazy cotton candy clouds and retro flourishes. But if we’re strictly adhering to the story… “Hey, what’s this?” “A gas stove.” “Cool? And, um, this?” “A wrought iron fence.” “Oh…” Which is pretty much the right reaction! What a morbid pile of nostalgia it is (“pile of something” you may be thinking!) but I adore it – and the final paragraph is…perfection.

            You wanna talk despise, though? That would be Eugenides’ third novel, The Marriage Plot. It made me ANGRY; every character was a garbage human and I’m suddenly not even sure I actually finished it. I think I just sort of skimmed to the end.


  3. Enamel pins are pretty popular! Savanna collects Pokemon enamel pins and they have some Disney trading pins. But these bookish pins are slaying me. I love them. I will have to look into these. I don’t have a lanyard for work but I do like to put them on canvas purses or backpacks.

    Thank you for joining me! I am excited to get my reading under way but I am still on a book from *last* year. LOL! Better get off the computer and get into the book huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’ve just been introduced to some Pokemon pins by one of my young patrons. I can’t remember the creature names, but they were pretty sweet and shiny. I could see myself getting into collecting literary ones…I’ve started reading a challenge book and think it falls under female-authored, but it fits a few categories. I will put it on IG, but I plan to do a challenge progress post in Feb or Mar, so yes! Get on that reading ball and off of that computer!!


  4. Those pens are fantastic! I have some Rooster Teeth and Lush themed ones, but I never thought to look for books! I have my old Texas Tech lanyard that I stick all of my pins on to, and there are some spots open. Perhaps I could find some more pins to stick on there…
    I don’t want to commit to (and fail) another reading challenge, but I am trying to read more books this year. It’s pretty hit and miss for us and books. My selection is limited to mostly Korean books. I may be able to sound out what I’m reading, but I wouldn’t understand most of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! I believe book pins will be my newest collecting crave. I have a few others I wear that I’ll have to show off at some point. You can’t beat the symbolism, wordplay and fandom that can be conveyed with a simple pin, sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy.
      Though I suspected Rooster Teeth was a gaming collective, I looked it up to be sure. I’m going to have to step up my game…game(?) to keep up, but I love learning about it, mostly.

      Too bad you don’t have access to a lot of books in Korea, that hadn’t occurred to me. Libraries vary widely across countries, but I’m sure I’d be a little bummed if I didn’t have access to a variety of reads. I enjoyed the book reviews you’ve done, too. Maybe you’ll find something, do you have a tablet that you can download material to?


      1. *Yoda voice* Stay with me, you must. Teach you internetty ways, we shall.

        I do have a tablet I can download stuff to. I’ve done that a few times, but I’m a sucker for the physical product in my hand. I also love to read while taking baths, and while I’m not a fan of water damage to books, it’s either that or risk a must more expensive tablet/phone’s death to the water.


        1. The force is strong with you. Follow you, I will. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” – Yoda

          Ah, big fan of the physical book too. My career nearly depends on it, but I use multiple formats for reading, audio cds, downloads, ebooks and real books. I haven’t read in a bath since childhood, it sounds amazingly luxurious and indulgent. Between this idea and all of the fizzy products, you and the BoBs will have me soaking in tubs before this year is out!


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