I can’t believe it has already jumped to May, and I have been doing my ’50 before 50′ reading challenge for 4 months already!

A quick update…

I started the challenge back in January to try to kick-start my lagging reading habit and improve my focus and concentration. As I’ve often discussed here on the blog, I feel that our hyper-consuming, online lifestyles mean that we can struggle to focus for any length of time on reading actual physical books.

I know for me this has certainly been the case over the past few years.

When I think back to studying for my literature degree and the amount of classics and complex books I read for that, I feel disappointed that I’ve let such a deep skill go to waste. These were my reasons for starting the challenge, pushing myself to pick up a book in times of boredom instead of scrolling on my ‘phone (this has sometimes worked, sometimes not…) and blogging mini reviews about the books I completed.

And I can honestly say: this has definitely worked! The number of books I have read since January has surprised me, and I think that writing a short review on each one has given me the incentive to make sure I’m actually reading every week. I feel like the blog is keeping me accountable to the challenge, which is maybe what I needed.

I’ve also realised over the past few months that I often like to have a non-fiction and fiction book on the go at the same time. I find that at certain times, I am really more in the mood to dip into the non-fiction, but in the evenings, I enjoy sitting down with a fiction book more.

If you struggle to incorporate a reading habit into your week, I would definitely recommend setting yourself a challenge like this.

Now, onto this week’s books…

Book 16 is the non-fiction book The No Spend Year by Michelle McGagh. I recently spoke in a post about the idea of a low-buy challenge, and made reference McGagh’s book, which I had read before. This week I decided to have a re-read, as I’m attempting to reduce my consumption and spend more mindfully.

The book tackles different aspects of both spending and saving money in each chapter, and also follows the trajectory of McGagh’s no spend year. Unlike other books on finance and spending, McGagh’s writing style really makes this an enjoyable read, and she sets out ideas for saving money in an entertaining and easy to digest way. She is a finance journalist, so she clearly knows her stuff. But what appealed to me more was her personal story, as this is the kind of non-fiction book I really enjoy.

I would definitely recommend giving this one a read, whether you are interested in doing a no spend challenge or not. Because who doesn’t want to spend less on the boring things so that we can save more of our hard earned cash for the important things in life?

Book 17 The Library by Bella Osborne is a book I’d not heard of but picked up at my local library.

It isn’t a book I would normally go for, but it had a cozy front cover and sounded like a light and uplifting book, which I was really in the mood for!

The story moves between a teenager called Tom, who lives with his alcoholic father, and 70 year old Maggie, a lonely widow who lives in an old farmhouse nearby. The pair meet at the local library and slowly begin to make friends. When the library is threatened with closure, they team up, along with other members of the local village, to try to save it.

Although I found the storyline a tad unbelievable, it was a nice storyline that provided a great escapist read. Both Tom and Maggie are lovable characters, and I found myself constantly rooting for them. Always a good sign!

If you’re in the mood for a cozy, feel-good read, I would definitely recommend this one!

I have just picked up several new books from the library, so I’m excited to dive in! I’d love to know if you’ve read either of these books, or if you are considering a reading challenge.

Happy reading : )

Other posts you might like…