The Berks-Mont News (

Reading 30 books before 30

By Mallory Hoffman, For 21st Century Media

Friday, August 23, 2013

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about books and reading, and realized it’d been way too long since I’ve finished a book. I am a librarian and I’m so behind on reading it is embarrassing! I pick them up and start them, set them aside and tell myself “I’ll finish it later.” It never happens. I have good intentions, though. I have book envy. I see fresh new books come into the library and think to myself:
“I want to read that.”
“That looks like a great read.”
“I should check this out.”
But, I never check them out. I never read them - even though they look like great reads. I tell myself I don’t have time. I’m too busy. I work full-time and I have two kids under two and a half years old. When would I read? So during my co-worker and my conversation, a light bulb literally exploded in my head.
“You have to MAKE time. If you ever want to finish a book in your life you have to force yourself to sit down and find the time, lady!”
So I said to myself right then and there – 30 Before 30. I’m way too behind on my reading to just go into this casually. You’ve got to catch up! So I started making a list – and I knew what book I was going to start with – called my 30 Before 30 list. I’ll be 30 years old in three short months. My goal is to read 30 books by my birthday. I don’t know if I can do it – but I am certainly going to try my hardest. So on Friday, August 9, I started making my list, and I also started reading my first book. A book I had been eying up since it went out on our new shelf the day before.
“On the Come Up: A Novel based on a True Story” by Hannah Weyer is described by the publisher as “an addictive read about heroism in the face of adversity.” I finished it today. It really was a great read. And I feel awesome for finishing a book in five days. It took longer than I wanted it to, but there are still times when I start to read and my eyes start to close. I do have two kids under two and a half, remember??
So now I’ve moved on to finishing book number two: “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan – a book that I purchased for my Nook back in May and again, started to read but never finished. So I’ve got my list (don’t worry, I’m sharing it with you!), and there are a lot of people who think I’m crazy, myself included. But I’ll be disappointed if I don’t even try – but the most important thing that I’ve discovered is how much reading I can get done when I hide my iPhone from myself. It’s amazing.
30 Before 30
1. “On the Come Up” by Hannah Weyer
2. “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan
3. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
4. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James
5. “Handle With Care” by Jodi Picoult
6. “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
7. “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
8. “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult
9. “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
10. “Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult
11. “Long Lost” by Harlan Coben
12. “Kill You Twice” by Chelsea Cain
13. “Lone Wolf” by Jodi Picoult
14. “Notorious Nineteen” by Janet Evanovich
15. “Son” by Lois Lowry
16. “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult
17. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
18. “Big Girl Panties” by Stephanie Evanovich
19. “The Meryl Streep Movie Club” by Mia March
20. “Six Years” by Harlan Coben
21. “Matched” by Allyson Braithwaite Condie
22. “Every Day” by David Levithan
23. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
24. “Sworn to Silence” by Linda Castillo
25. “Push” by Sapphire
26. “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock” by Matthew Quick
27. “The Execution of Noa P. Singleton” by Elizabeth L. Silver
28. “Sarah’s Key by Tatiana” de Rosnay
29. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
30. “Orange is the New Black” by Piper Kerman
Mallory Hoffman is the library director at the Exeter Community Library.