My 2021 Book Jar…with a Twist

Hi all,

My blog was definitely lacking in book-related posts last year, but I’ve already got some great bookish things planned for 2021!

First off, I’m going to be doing something I saw on Pinterest years ago, but that I always forget to actually start at the beginning of a new year.

It’s called a Book Jar, but can really be done using any container you have around the house – a mason jar (as per the name), a mug, tupperware, a large bowl…you get the picture. For my Book Jar I’m going to use a literary mug.

Mug is from Obvious State

The Book Jar is designed to help you choose your next book, which is the whole reason I’m attracted to it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love scanning the shelves in my library looking for that lucky next pick; but as someone who takes a long time (and gets stressed) making even the smallest of decisions, I love the idea of leaving my next book up to The Jar.

Basically, you write the names of books that you want to read on slips of paper, fold them up, and add them all to your Jar. When you finish a book and are ready to choose your next one, you randomly choose a slip of paper and read whatever title you’ve chosen.

Of course, this works best with books that you already own (or that you can obtain quickly), especially if you’re someone who doesn’t like to wait too long between reads.

Let’s Make it a Challenge

As some of you may know, I like to challenge myself to read a certain number of books each year.

I talked about my record-high of 50 books and how I achieved it in a 2018 blog post. I fell short of my goal last year, reading 26 books, but hey, it was a bit of a distracting year.

In 2021, my goal is to read 40 books, and I plan to use my Book Jar as a way to help me get there.

I’m already on track to finish four books this month, so I’ll skip January. But I’m adding the titles of 34 other books I want to read, plus two ‘Reader’s Choice’ slips in case something new pops up that I really want to check out, into my Book Jar.

My goal is not only to turn to the jar whenever I need to decide on my next book; it’s to finish reading every single title that I place in the jar by the end of the year.

I’m excited to be trying this method and to already be on track for my 2021 reading goals!

As is the case every year, things happen, new responsibilities emerge, and new distractions take over. But I’m feeling optimistic and determined to meet my goal this year.

I’m also very excited to dive into new books and to see what entertainment, knowledge, and perspective I’ll get out of them.

Have you ever done a Book Jar? How about set a yearly reading goal? Let me know in the comments below!

Oh, and for anyone who’s interested, here are the 36 books that will be filling my Book Jar (aka Mug) for February-December 2021 (in the random order that I spotted them on my bookshelves):

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  2. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
  3. Memoirs and Misinformation by Jim Carrey
  4. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  6. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  7. Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  8. The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams
  9. The Whisper Man by Alex North
  10. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  11. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  12. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
  13. Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
  14. Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk
  15. Always Never Yours by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
  16. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  17. The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones
  18. Reader’s Choice
  19. Violent Ends by Various Authors
  20. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  21. The Heirs by Susan Rieger
  22. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  23. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  24. The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner
  25. Obsessed by Allison Britz
  26. The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers
  27. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  28. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  29. Younger by Pamela Redmond
  30. Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder
  31. Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
  32. A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
  33. Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes
  34. Reader’s Choice
  35. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
  36. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

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