Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Official Reading Mission Survival Guide

Good day, or evening, depending on your time zones, bookish agents! How are you doing with our Summer Reading Mission? Here at the Fangirl Initiative Headquarters, our brains are filled with books. As delightful as it is to be bombarded by books, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. And since trying to read 10-15 books in two months is no easy feat, I've compiled a survival guide to get you through the final twenty day stretch of the challenge.

1. Keep a list. Whenever I finish a book, I often struggle to select my next title. Having a list makes it far easier to track what I'm supposed to read. It's also rewarding to cross items off as I finish them. As a bonus, I can record all the books I plan to read after I complete the challenge. It's a long list.

2. Shake up the list. As you're coming to the end of the challenge, feel free to swap out some of the stories you may have selected last month. Try new genres and authors. Make it interesting so you don't grow weary of reading. If you're stumped on what to pick up next, your fellow fangirls are here to help! You can even get in touch with some of our team here at Mission Control for recommendations. Here are our Twitter accounts: Sarah // Jaime // Sky // Kelsey // Amanda // Ashes // Bailey // Izzy

3. Speaking of getting in touch with other fangirls, this isn't meant to be a solo mission. Get some friends involved to do reading races, book discussions, or simply for moral support. These can be your in-person friends, or your online buddies. You could even make some new fangirl friends by bonding over the challenge! Jaime and I read through the Captive Maiden at the same time, and had quite an interesting chat about it. Reviewing the book with her was actually my favorite part of it.

4. If you happen across a book you don't particularly like, but insist on finishing to count it towards the mission, engage your speed reading techniques. It's okay to skip over a few dull descriptions or skim through drawn out scenes. Just get that book checked off, and get onto one you'll enjoy more!

5. Tackle more than one book at a time. Sometimes, I'm just not in the mood to read a dystopian or a suspense novel. Rather than stop reading until I am in the mood for that particular story, I'll often grab another book to balance it out, such as a romance or fantasy.

6. Try different book forms. If you ordinarily read ebooks, perhaps a paperback will help freshen up your mission. Or, if you're frequently on the go, audio books may be the ticket! You may decide your usual option is your favorite, or perhaps you'll find another way to enjoy stories.

7. Always carry a book. There are so many pauses in life; a book is a perfect way to fill in those otherwise empty spaces! If you're an ebook reader, you can even download the Kindle or Nook apps for your phone and avoid dragging around heavy tomes. Or you can be like me, and get a workout by toting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix everywhere you go. I mean, it only weighs about as much as my refrigerator anyway. No big deal.

8. Take advantage of your library. I was tempted to buy every single book on my reading list, but my bank account quickly gave me a reality check. Rather than going broke on books (this is a constant possibility for me, by the way), I was able to find most of the novels I didn't already own at my library. I also discovered some great options to fit the prompts I was stumped on.

9. Mark your calendar- August 30 is the official conclusion of our summer reading challenge! If you complete the mission by then, don't forget to let us know. Send an email to to tell us how awesome of an agent you are, and which books you read to complete the assignments. We'll send back some virtual goodies to congratulate you. (We might not send them back instantly, though. Even though most of us here do have super powers, lightning quick speed sadly isn't mine. But I will try to dole out the rewards as soon as humanly possible.)

10. Don't stress. I know, I just gave you a deadline and that alone can be stressful. I'm already panicking a little because I still have so much to read. But in all seriousness, as epic as it is to complete a challenge, it's not worth your sanity or other obligations. You don't fail at being bookish, even if you don't read everything you planned to. Also, *SPOILER ALERT*, we're getting another mission ready to roll for the near future! So take a deep breath, pour yourself a glass of lemonade, and read another chapter. Just don't have any anxiety over how far you get in the mission this time around. That's an order. ;)

Now get back to your mission, agents! See you back in headquarters when it's complete!


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