Bookzest Day, Jan. 20: Great success!

My first ever Bookzest Day was a rousing success (and by “rousing,” I mean “very quiet and placid, but gratifying”). For ease of book selection, I began the day by sorting my Book Mountain into four more manageable Mini-Mountains: one for nonfiction, one for fiction, one for magazines, and one for miscellany (books of poetry or quotes, books of photography or illustration, etc.). This is what they looked like:

From left to right: Miscellany, Fiction, Nonfiction. (Magazines in foreground.)
From left to right: Miscellany, Fiction, Nonfiction. (Magazines in foreground.)

I mostly focused my efforts on the Miscellany pile, and got through 1 full-length graphic novel, 2 illustrated books, 3 photography books, and 1-3 articles apiece from 9 magazines.* Although some of these were shorter reads, I figured they were a good place to focus my energies this time, since their hefty covers make them less conducive to casual bedtime reading.

I ended up reading for ~10 hours, which means that I both met and exceeded my goal of spending 2/3 of my waking hours ensconced in books. Hoorah! Of course, my reading quest will never be done. Near the end of the day, my housemate wandered by with a pile of her old college books, and asked if I was interested in any of them… so I accidentally added three new books on Central American indigenous mythology/history to my Nonfiction Mountain (but how could I say no to that?).

I find it a little sad and strange that “reading all day” has become such a rarity/novelty in my life, but I’m glad that I’ve found a coherent way to confront the issue. Henceforth, I am going to try to start doing a Bookzest Day on a monthly basis—or perhaps even twice monthly, if I get ambitious. (Do you have a spare day? Try it yourself! At least one friend of mine joined in this time, and she was very successful.)

Happy reading!


*Complete reading list, for the silly folks who like details (in chronological order, no less): How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You (Matthew Inman); ZooBorns (Andrew Bleiman & Chris Eastland); Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama (Alison Bechdel); Nonsense Botany & Nonsense Alphabets (Edward Lear); Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species (Joel Sartore); Katharine Hepburn: A Life in Pictures (Pierre-Henri Verlhac); and then assorted articles from my backlog of issues of National Geographic Magazine, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Curve Magazine, and Paste Magazine.

6 thoughts on “Bookzest Day, Jan. 20: Great success!

  1. You’ll be happy to know that your nonce word is turning into a neologism. However, its origin in print has led to an Important Usage Question.

    You see, Chris S. was telling me about his own bookzest day. He pronounced it “book zest,” as if to connote consuming books with great enthusiasm. I had assumed it was pronounced “booksest,” meaning “books, in the superlative degree of comparison.”

    Which pronunciation did you have in mind? Which etymology or etymologies did you have in mind? If you conceived only one etymology, will you nevertheless endorse both? ;)

    1. Oh, this is an utter delight. My little nonce word is getting so grown up! (And the pronunciation mystery that comes with its print origin makes up for the hundreds of times I’ve mispronounced words that I learned from print.)

      I originally coined it along the same lines as what Chris S. is thinking, the [book + zest (enthusiasm)]. I hadn’t thought of its similarity to booksest/booksiest, and, as an aficionado of linguistic flexibility, I hereby endorse your interpretation too… zestily.

  2. Well done, girl! What a triumphant day!
    Now I wonder: have you undertaken more Bookzest/Book Zest Days since?
    P.S. That’s exactly how I subdivide my to-be-read pile! It still always winds up morphing into a single Book Mountain, though.

    1. Danke!
      I did a half-day of Bookzest in February or March or thereabouts, but I have not done once since. I need to unpack all my books still! And then I will read, read, read.

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