Read Harder Challenger: Annie M

As you know, some M&Qers are daring themselves to complete the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge in 2017. This month we’re kicking things off by introducing all the challengers. Last week you met Sarah, now meet assistant manager Annie M and her plans for the challenge.


Why are you doing this challenge?

I read a lot, but I go about it in a pretty disorganized way. Sometimes reading 5 things at once, sometimes reading absolutely nothing and just bingeing on TV shows. One of my goals this year is to be more methodical in getting through my gigantic TBR – reading more books in time for Indie Next deadlines,* actually reading some of the stuff I’ve purchased at the store over the years, and so on. I think I can apply this challenge to a good chunk of the books already sitting in my apartment. And for those I don’t already have lined up (“collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love,”  anyone?) I can’t wait to do some digging and get creative!

Which of the tasks will be easiest for you?

Probably “read a debut novel.” As a bookseller we get lots of access to great debuts, and I think the majority of the novels I read and loved last year were the authors’ first. (The Nix, The Wangs vs. The World, Sweetbitter, The Devourers). If history proves anything, this one should be the easiest to complete.

Which will be the furthest from your usual reading list?

Either “a book published between 1900 and 1950” or “a nonfiction book about technology.” I tend to swing between two extremes – super old books, and super new ones. If I’m reading it, it either came out in the past two years, or sometime before 1850. Usually. And as for the book about technology, I just don’t know where to start! I have a little radio crush on Ben Johnson from Marketplace Tech, though, so maybe he can help me out…

Have you already decided which book to read for one (or more) tasks?

I’m really pumped to read The Book by Keith Houston for the “book about books” challenge. I bought it as soon as I saw it because it is gorgeous, but I’ve been a bit intimidated to actually dive in. It’s pretty long.

Which task are you most excited about?

Rereading a book! I’m the kind of person who will rewatch an entire tv show a near-disturbing number of times. I will convince myself I don’t have time to start a new book, but somehow end up spending the day rereading a 500-page mystery I already know the ending of. The only hard thing will be choosing which book to re-read. Something I loved as a kid? Something I remember loving in school but don’t remember why? The possibilities are overwhelming but super exciting.

If you could add one task to the list, what would it be?

Find out your hometown’s “sister city” – you can use this site or check your town’s Wikipedia page – and read a book by an author from that country. If you can find a book that takes place in the city itself, even better! I always thought the concept of sister cities was cool as a kid, and this seems like a way to read globally while easily narrowing down the vast array of options out there.

*The Indie Next list is a monthly list of books specifically recommended by indie booksellers. The catch is that you have to nominate a book two months before it publishes…requiring you to actually read things in time. Not my strong suit.


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