Do You Need an Escape? (Join My Simple Challenge)


A sense of longing fills me when someone says: “I don’t read books.” Or

“I don’t have time to read.”

“I don’t like reading.”

* * *

Life is busy. I get that. I’ve had years where I felt too busy to read, too.

But today, I invite you to a challenge.

It’s simple and won’t cost much money.

Ready? Okay, here it is.


Read one hardcover book this year.

Just one. (Well, I won’t be mad if you read more than one.)


Start to finish.

Why hardcover?

Because I long for you to turn this reading challenge into an act of mindfulness.

A treat.

An escape.

To begin:

  • Head over to your local independent bookstore. (In Green Bay, that’s The Reader’s Loft.)
  • On a budget? Try a used bookstore. Or a thrift shops. (Sip coffee and buy a used book from The Attic.)
  • No budget? Go to the library. It’s like Netflix for books, only you don’t have to pay.
  • Pick out your book. Easy peasy.

I love reading via the Kindle app as much as the next person, but I also love sitting down to open a hardcover book.

It’s a wonderful experience I’d like you to have, too.

I know you’re busy.

I know you have to plan your child’s birthday party, and vacuum once in a while, and pay your bills.

But this year, read one hardcover book.

Read two or three or more if you can.

You have 365 days to do it.

Now, imagine:

Curling up in a comfortable chair with your book.

Beside you is a cup of hot tea. Lemon-ginger or chamomile.

You turn off your phone, the TV, all electronics.

You start the fireplace … or a space heater … or Fireplace for your Home via Netflix.

Now, open your book.

Read for fifteen minutes.

Sip your tea.

Pull the blanket up to your chin.

Turn the page.

Forget about the birthday party, the dirty floor, the bills.

Just read.




Accepting the challenge? Tweet me the book title, or post it in the comments below.

Photo by Ed Yourdon

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 JulieB February 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Game of Thrones. Just started. I’m finishing “My Life in France” by Julia Child (not fiction, of course) and am enthralled. I picked it up at the library, but I love it so much I’ll probably get my own copy to re-read at some point.

That was my gift to myself this school year: read for pleasure. I’d read so much recently, but it seem as if it was 95% with the intent of keeping up for school or using in a lesson plan. Now, I’m dancing with words again.

2 Melissa March 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Oh, wow, you are reading a really big book! My husband loves that series. I just finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It was the kind of book I wanted to read more than doing other things at night. (TV, internet surfing, etc.) That means it was a good one! A little disturbing, but very, very good writing.

3 JulieB February 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Oh, and I read an YA, “Breathing Underwater” this year with my literacy students. Technically, it was for work, but it was a new story to me, and I enjoyed it very much.

4 Kim February 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I am reading Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke. She puts out around a book a year and I always take time to read it, even if it means hiding in the bathroom from my family. It’s my one indulgence.

5 Melissa March 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

6 Melissa March 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I’ll have to check that one out!

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