Last year, we encouraged everyone to #ReadMore2020, but like everything else in 2020, it didn’t go as planned. We wanted people to build a habit of reading daily, aiming for 15 minutes or more a day, or to find more time to read during short periods of downtime, like during a commute.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic came and dismantled everyone’s habits and routines. And while at first it seemed like a boon for readers — everyone stay home and curl up with a good book! — a global health crisis is not a great long-term motivator for getting through a to-be-read pile or a podcast backlog. In March, when cities in the US first started responding with measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, we dove into our TBR lists with aplomb. Soon, though, difficult news had us turning to comfort reads: books we love to reread or genres that don’t tax us too much. And at our lowest lows, sometimes we found no joy in reading at all. No amount of witty turns of phrase could distract us from the multiple disasters playing out.
So for 2021, we decided we’d be more deliberate and direct about our content consumption goals for the year.
Each month, we’re creating five different prompts to follow; you can challenge yourself to complete one, all five, or any number of them in between. These prompts are designed to motivate you to read more, explore new content types, and help you find works that are outside of your usual go-to genres. The challenges will be a mix of timely prompts (i.e., read a book or long article by a Black author for Black History Month) and random, fun ideas (i.e., read a book in translation).
But why settle for examples? Without further ado, here are the prompts for Scribd’s January Feed Your Mind Challenge:
1. Learn how to form better habits
Always make a New Year’s resolution, but rarely keep it? Then it’s time to read up on or listen to podcasts about how to break bad habits and form better ones. Whatever your goals for 2021 are, there’s plenty of advice out there to help you accomplish them.
2. Learn more about Black civil rights leaders
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, learn more about MLK himself or other Black civil rights leaders. King’s words are quoted in rhetoric from elected officials and Facebook friends from across the political spectrum, and as anti-racism protests continue across the country, it’s more important than ever to learn about the life and legacy of MLK and others who have fought for fairer civil rights.
3. Learn more about the incoming presidential administration
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are set to be inaugurated as president and vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Political books have been a boon during Donald Trump’s presidency. As we switch from one cabinet to another, it’s time to learn more about the people who will be in charge for the next four years.
4. Get ahead on book-to-screen adaptations for the year
More books are being turned into movies or TV series than ever before with the rise of subscription video networks and prestige TV. Don’t wait until the last minute to read any books that you’re excited to see on the silver screen. (Because the book is almost always better!)
Coming to a Screen Near You in 2021
5. Read a book by a Native American author
In light of the anti-racism protests last year, we at Scribd decided to quantify our diversity efforts to ensure we were promoting diverse books. In June 2020, we took stock of works by people of color that we were promoting, broken down by racial categories outlined in the US census (along with gender and sexuality statistics). We were disheartened to see that we had not promoted any new works by Native authors between June 2019 and June 2020. We want to start 2021 off right by reading works by Native authors.
Great Books by Native American Authors