I’ve never been a reader. I used to read growing up, but more because I had to for school, not because I wanted to. The idea of reading made me bored just thinking about it. I would look at the pages, but instead of getting lost in the words, my mind would run wild.
I’ve made the resolution the past few years to kick the whole “non-reader” tagline I put on myself. But how most resolutions go, I would crash and burn before I even picked up a book.
Then comes January 2018 and I did not make a resolution to read more. It just sort of happened. I adore Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show and I had put Sisters First, on my imaginary “must read” list ever since it came out. I purchased it and let it sit on my shelf for a few weeks (months).
I was then at the gym one morning doing my routine 30 minute warm up on the elliptical or treadmill where I would watch the news and scroll social media. However, I was falling victim of the worst headaches from being on my phone for 30 straight minutes first thing in the morning. It was the worst way to start my day.
The next day I declared to myself that I would not get on my phone until after my workout. I’m a multi-tasker by choice and I knew I would need something to do in addition to my machine workout to make the time pass. So I picked up my copy of Sisters First and head to the gym. I flew through the chapters. Next thing I knew I was flying through whole books.
The multitasking of doing something with my legs makes me focus more on what I’m reading because I have to concentrate more. It’s kind of like listening to music while you study or work. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I always found that it made me focus more because I was having to work harder to grasp what I was studying. Just me?
Yes, I will often get stares from other gym-goers or remarks from those who love to make the comment “how do you do that while you’re working out?” Or even better “whatcha reading?” While they cock their neck to get a view of the cover of my book. Can’t a girl read and get her cardio in, in peace??
I’m not saying you need to start working out to become a reader, but I’m also saying you should try it. Besides a plane ride or lying on the beach, there are not many other places besides the gym I can turn so many pages in a book. I’m working on the whole lay on the couch, do nothing and just read thing, but it’s a work in progress. #cantsitstill
Now that you know walking on the treadmill was my gateway to reading (ha), let’s talk about everything I read in 2018. Disclosure: my taste in books is similar to my taste in movies. Rom coms with a few sprinkles of “based on a true story.” Think It’s Complicated, Father of the Bride and You’ve Got Mail, with Spotlight and The Social Network added in. Some may say I lend toward young adult reads, but I love an easy read with a cute story. Like I said, I’m still easing in to becoming a reader. So without further ado, my 2018 bookshelf…
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara bush
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Love the One You’re With by Emily Griffin
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by mindy Kaling
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
DC Trip by Sara Benincasa
Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Everybody Always by Bob Goff
The Lipstick Gospel by Stephanie Wilson
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
Hey Girls by Michell Markowitz, Caroline Moss (still reading)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (currently reading)
Boom Town by Sam Anderson (still reading )
Purchase these books here.
After I finished about 3 books, I set a goal to read 12 in 12. Twelve books in 12 months. Eight months went by and I was already at my goal. So then my goal became 20 in 12. I’m currently reading my 20th book of the year and have about 4 days left of the year. Think I can do it?
Let me be clear. I’m reading my 20th book, but I’m still reading my 18th and 19th too. Like I said I’m a multi-tasker. Pro-tip, don’t read more than one book at a time.
My favorite places to buy books are Amazon (follow me), Commonplace Books (the dreamiest book store in OKC) and Half Price Books. New books are about $5 off the retail price and used books are likely as the name suggests, half off the sticker price. Half Price Books also let’s you resell. I plan to take in a bunch of my read books to sell and then use that money to buy more!
In my year of reading, I re-read two of my favorite books. I read every page, so it’s not cheating. Both of these books are by the same author, my favorite, Shauna Niequist. Shauna loves Jesus, loves food and loves people. She writes in a format similar to blog posts. Short chapters with a story in each chapter. Nothing is drawn out. I love that. If you ask me for a book recommendation or better yet my favorite book, I’ll tell you it’s Bread & Wine. You can’t not like it.
And for the biggest win of my 2018 reading saga, is when my sister texted me for a book recommendation. Yes me, not the other way around. No better compliment.
Here’s to 2019 and more steps taken and more pages turned!
**For my ratings and reviews, and the books on my 2019 reading list, friend me on Goodreads. Feel free to DM or email me too for more recommendations.