2023 Reading Challenge: Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid

Hello all,

It’s year no. 6 (!) of our Reading Challenge. Julie and I derive great fun and pleasure from composing, and in Julie’s case, completing, these yearly challenges. I do try, but I’m the worst reading procrastinator. You do not want to meet my TBR in a dark alley, it’s a beast.

If you wrestle with your to-be-read list like I do, or if you look for fresh ideas when it comes to selecting books, join our challenge. It’s low-pressure and designed to fit in whatever you like to read with a few unique prompts that reflect the interests that Julie and I share.

Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid Challenge 2023

Pretty fun and eclectic prompts, right? I have my bold cover book picked out and will have trouble narrowing down #21, but for the rest, I’m wide open. Bring on your recommendations! Note: if you’ve followed our previous challenges, you can see we reduced this year’s number to 25. Because both Julie and I are beginning a new chapter in our careers, we have more work responsibilities, training, and studying filling our days and evenings; so we lightened the reading load.

At this point in my life, I tend to take the quality over quantity approach to my reading habits and I hope that trend continues.

Although I may not have read as much as I’d have liked to in 2022, I experienced some stellar bookish moments, including:

  • Visiting charming book shops while traveling, including:
    • Brattle Book Shop in Boston, MA
    • Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester, PA
    • Stone Soup Books in Camden, ME
You could get lost in this 200 y-o barn, be careful walking around the creaky upstairs.

  • My best personal bookish experience this year was receiving a long-awaited promotion at the library where I work. I am the new Fiction cataloger for all 7 locations in our library system. I work on Fiction, Teen, Juvenile chapter books and Manga.
A wall of books just waiting for me to add and upload into our library catalog.

It’s not a stretch to say books take up the majority of my time these days. It can be a blessing and a curse. So many come across my desk that I tend to add the most interesting titles to my tbr list and forget about them. I’m hoping that this year’s challenge narrows my focus and allows me to read more for pleasure than for work.

Whether you set reading goals for yourself this year, or you read more freestyle, our hope is to inspire you to pick up a book and remember to share it with us! We enjoy getting your feedback and seeing what you are reading. If you join us for all, or one or two; please share your book and rating, mini-review, or simply a “currently reading photo” on Instagram by adding the tag #bookishjayandthereadingmermaid. Our handles are @thescentedlibrary and @theredolentmermaid

**You can find more elaboration on these prompts at the Reading Challenge 2023 tab in the menu at the top of my blog. You can also find the full list on The Redolent Mermaid blog. Thank you, Julie, for prodding me along and for always collaborating on this challenge. I know your selections will be thoughtful and inspiring.

2022 was one heck of a chapter, but I’m thankful for the lessons. Whatever this year brings to you and your story, I hope you read it well, all year long.



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