Reading is a crucial learned ability that opens up the gates of wisdom. Once we master it, we gain access to a limitless stream of information. Moreover, we expand our imagination by reading about fantastic worlds. But there’s more to reading than just sitting curled up with a book. If you are searching for new ways to explore your hobby, here are some refreshing bookish activities you can try:
Attend a Virtual Book Event
One unexpected benefit of the pandemic is that many events are held online, so they are accessible to a wider public: book launches, interviews with authors and publishers, book clubs, and so on. In fact, this approach seems to draw more people into reading because they can actually see and get to know the person behind the written words. I had a wonderful experience listening to an interview with an Australian writer, whose life-story made me curious about her book. Therefore, I encourage you to seek out any similar online bookish activities and learn as much as you can from published or struggling authors.
Make a list of your favorite quotes
Some paragraphs have a strong emotional effect on readers. It can be a witty dialogue that makes you burst with laughter, an idea that resonates with you, or an artful description. Wouldn’t it be great to write them down so you can re-read them over the years? You can make a scrapbook full of prose and poetry lines, little sketches, stickers, pressed flowers, and every little thing that brings you joy.
Join a Book Club
Reach out to your friends and ask them if they would like to partake in a fictional adventure. You can meet in person over a mug of hot chocolate or online. If they are not available, you can browse this list of online book clubs.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can also join a 24/48 hour readathon to see how much material you can devour in a fixed amount of time. Plan carefully and decide wisely.
Go on a Blind Date…with a Book
If you don’t judge a book by its covers, this might be the perfect bookish activity for you! The approach emphasizes the vital element of a story – its subject – without spoiling the action. Moreover, the joy of opening the package to discover the book itself makes it feel like receiving a gift from a well-intended stranger.
A group of fellow students organized this event a few springs ago: we had to bring a book, wrap it in paper, write a short summary, and only then take home one of the others. Some professors participated too. The book I chose was a bitter surprise because it described a sensitive topic for me, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
Cosplay your favorite character
Cosplay is a form of performance art in which a person emulates a character’s appearance and attitude. If you are good with stitching and make-up, many online tutorials might help you to achieve the desired look. But if you don’t have enough time or patience, you can always go for a closet version. Search your wardrobe and pick the items that represent your chosen character: a pair of glasses, a scarf, or a jacket. If the book has a movie adaptation, you can use some elements from that portrayal or you can do your own version, according to your imagination. I went as Crowley from Good Omens last Halloween and I had a blast!
Remember, your cosplay doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect as long as you have fun. Whether you plan to attend a convention, go to a party, or just have a photo session, go for it and enjoy the process!
Visit The Human Library
What if you could lend a person and discover their story through dialogue? This event‘s purpose is to educate people about social, political, and economic issues through storytelling. You can attend either as a book – meaning that you will have to share your experience with whoever wants to listen to you – or as a reader.
I participated in a small-scale Human Library event as a university freshman: I spoke about my dreams and I also learned valuable information from others. Exposing yourself is challenging, but wonderful at the same time. Ouf of all the bookish activities I experienced, I strongly recommend this one. Give it a try! It might change your perspective in unforeseen ways.
Honor your favorite authors
As previously stated, it’s way easier to reach out to our (living) favorite writers than it was in the past. Some of them are holding live online events where they answer their readers’ questions. Others interact via social media or have an official address where you can send them your thoughts.
But if this feels a bit intrusive to you, you can simply spread the word about their work, write an appreciative review and continue to read their books. And if you’re a wretched soul like me, whose favorite authors are mostly dead, you could read their biography. It might help you to understand them better.
Visit an antique shop
Every city has this type of store in which you can find beautiful vintage objects, including old books. There is something sacred in holding a book older than you, like traveling back in time through a magic portal. While some items might be expensive, you can find rare books that are out of print and get a good deal on them. And even if you don’t purchase anything, the mere fact of exploring a new place is equally exciting.
Half of the books I bought during my university years are from an antique shop. I enjoyed browsing the shelves for hidden treasures and I rarely left empty-handed: I got Virginia Woolf’s diary for my birthday and an old edition of E. A. Poe’s writings to treat myself after an exam.
I hope these bookish activities suggestions will keep you entertained during this fall. So, do you feel inspired to try something new?