Years ago I used to copy out reading lists required in schools and then put them in a box. It was just an ordinary shoe box, nothing fancy. Then I'd pick a slip of paper and read the book listed on it. It was fun but then life got in the way and the idea disappeared.
Years later, well really, decades later I was reading Alex in Leed's blog (here) and she did a lovely post about her book jar. She used coloured squares of paper folded up with many names of books hidden away.
It has been sticking in my mind ever since I read it. It's a lovely way to pick books off the shelf randomly when one no longer wishes to make anymore decisions for the day.
Yesterday I decided to do a big clean up of some back issues of 'book magazines'. They set on shelves for ages waiting for me to read all of the books listed in them. Well we all know that is not going to happen.
I had a bit of a rethink and decided to tear them apart. That's right. In keeping the Book Jar idea alive I sat outside with the dogs while they played in the sun and reread many of the magazines with a pair of scissors. I snipped out book review after book review after book review. Then I snipped apart the Persephone catalogue and the Folio Society catalogue and the local indie book store flyers.
Each one of the snips went into the book jar. Then I threw in another list or two of books I'd written down I want to read. I actually had to get a bigger jar. I had a very large pickle jar that was empty and now it is filled with the titles of many books.
For 2014 I plan on having a very random reading year. But I think it will be lots of fun. Books on my own TBR shelves will be chosen by Random.org from my inventory on My Library Thing. They will be the main focus.
The Book Jar will be extra books I get to choose to reward myself for being so good and reading already owned books. I actually noticed that some of these choices are also on my shelves so already it is looking promising. I also won't need to give up library books or heaven forbid, buying a new one.
I plan to continue to add to the book jar as new book titles become available as I listen to radio interviews, read newspaper Sunday mags and hear about them from friends. I will simply add them to the jar and see what crops up during the year. Travellin Penguin is quite excited as many of the books in the jar have been published by Penguin Books and we have vintage copies of them.
Christmas saw me receiving a very generous gift voucher for books. I do look forward to using it. After all I do want to keep up with modern times and I am in a monthly book club. I think I'll have a good round up of things to really get stuck into this next year.
I am looking forward to seeing what the Pickle Jar tosses up for the new year.
I know Alex has enjoyed her Book Jar but does anyone else choose books randomly?