Here’s what $5 can buy at the Friends of the Wichita Public Library used book sale – if you shop early. The sale drew about 1,100 on its first day and sold out. Suzanne Perez Tobias The Wichita Eagle
Here’s what $5 can buy at the Friends of the Wichita Public Library used book sale – if you shop early. The sale drew about 1,100 on its first day and sold out. Suzanne Perez Tobias The Wichita Eagle

Suzanne Tobias

Take part in the Wichita Eagle Reading Challenge

By Suzanne Perez Tobias

stobias@wichitaeagle.com

March 03, 2017 05:30 PM

UPDATED April 12, 2017 06:25 PM

March 4th.

March forth!

Every year, this annual date-turned-directive makes me think about Chris, a Wichita woman I met more than a decade ago who considers March 4 her personal holiday and uses it to encourage everyone she meets.

It’s the only day of the year that literally compels you to action, I remember her explaining: March forth!

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I thought March 4th (March Forth!) sounded like the perfect time to revisit and reissue a challenge we issued back on New Year’s Eve: a 12-month, 12-book reading challenge for 2017.

The challenge urged local bibliophiles to expand their horizons by reading books from a dozen different categories – everything from “a book you should have read in school” to “a book with a blue cover” – before the end of this calendar year.

We posted a PDF of the challenge that folks could print and hang onto to check their progress, and we created a Facebook group (search “Wichita Eagle Reading Challenge”) where participants can compare book lists, chat about books, recommend good reads or just encourage one another.

We’ve had at least one reader in the Facebook group already complete the 12-book challenge (you’re a reading ninja, Abby Arthur), and several have completed about half of it.

I’m seven books into the challenge, and some of my favorites have been “A Gentleman in Moscow” (a book recommended by a bookstore employee), “The Underground Railroad” (a book that has won a major award), “The Phantom Tollbooth” (a favorite book from childhood) and “Hillbilly Elegy” (a memoir).

In honor of March Forth, I was thinking an extra-credit challenge might be in order. No pressure, no rules. Just 12 more categories you can choose from or add to the original dozen. Here you go:

13. A book with pictures

14. The first book in a series you haven’t read

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15. A book published this year

16. A book you can read in a day

17. A book in translation

18. A book written by a celebrity

19. A biography or autobiography

20. A book with a one-word title

21. A book with a subtitle

22. A young-adult or middle-grade novel

23. A book published before you were born

24. A book you choose primarily for its cover

I shopped early at the Friends of the Wichita Public Library’s used book sale this week and snagged a bag full of books that I can’t wait to start reading. Turns out I wasn’t the only one shopping: The sale drew about 1,100 on its first full day and sold out earlier than expected.

If you still want a bargain, the used bookstore at the downtown branch, 223 S. Main, will offer half-price books through 5 p.m. Saturday.

Have fun. Keep reading. Join our Facebook group. And March Forth.

Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias