I’ve had a library card for as long as I can remember.

A long time ago, I’d browse the shelves and select some books to take home and read over the next few weeks. I still do that occasionally, but I’m far more likely to look for a specific title in the library catalogue, request it, and pick it up when it comes in. But I don’t think I’ve ever asked a librarian to help me choose a book – if I have, it was decades ago.

I probably could have gone on that way quite happily. After all, I’m on track to read 50+ books this year, each selected for one of several reasons:

  • it was recommended by someone I know
  • it frequently showed up on book blogs or social media
  • I picked it up at a used book sale or the Little Free Library that recently opened in my neighbourhood (yay!)
  • I needed something to read and it happened to be available on Overdrive

I enjoyed Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2015 Reading Challenge and decided I’d participate again this year.

Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge

To make it even more challenging, I planned to read the books in the order listed. I was doing great, and was even ahead of schedule (if you count on one book per month) until July when I got to “a book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller.” Claiming it wasn’t convenient, I jumped ahead to the next one, then continued through the list.

With the end of the year – and the challenge – in sight, I had to admit that my reasons for not speaking to a librarian were just excuses for avoiding social interaction and that I needed to JUST DO IT. I’d have been really annoyed with myself if I didn’t complete the challenge, so I popped over to the library this morning before I could change my mind.

It was actually pretty exciting to have someone pick out five books for me after hearing just three titles I’d enjoyed this year! Definitely worth stepping outside my comfort zone.

I happened to have one of them at home already (borrowed from my sister, who recommended it) and briefly considered thanking her and going home to read the book I already had, but reminded myself that the point of doing the challenge was to expand my horizons, so I chose one of the others and I hope it will be an rewarding end to a great reading year.

Once I’ve read it, I’ll be revealing the titles of all 12 books I chose for the challenge on Away from my Desk. Why not subscribe so you can find out what they are?

Image courtesy of Iosphere at