It’s been a year since we became socially distant to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. A year since we gained more time to read. A year where books and podcasts were our trusty companions. A year where we went through severe slumps, because there are only so many books you can read and shows you can binge.
Last March took us by surprise. This March, we’re better prepared for all the rapid swings in regulations and moods. And we’ve got the trusty Feed Your Mind reading challenge to keep us on-track with our goals for the year.
Here’s how Feed Your Mind works:
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 or listen to a podcast about women’s history for Women’s History Month) and random, fun ideas (i.e., read a book in translation).
If you’re up for the challenge, here are March’s prompts:
1. Learn about prominent figures and moments in women’s history for Women’s History Month
This past year, the pandemic hurt women’s careers more than men’s. According to NPR, “the share of women in the workforce [is] down to levels not seen since 1988,” as women have been leaving the workforce at a rate four times higher than men. Women have also been taking on more childcare and household responsibilities during the pandemic. This Women’s History Month, as discussions about women’s rights and unpaid labor are making waves, learn about all the amazing women who’ve contributed so much and have traditionally received so little.
2. Read a novel about womanhood written by a female author for Women’s History Month
Women’s literature has often been relegated to a lesser-than status, with romances that are mocked and books derided as “chicklit.” But women’s works have been dominating over the past decade or more: according to NPD Bookscan, 8 of the top 10 best-selling books of 2010-2019 were written by women. Adaptations of novels by women have become some of the most-buzzed about (see Bridgerton breaking all of Netflix’s records). Find a new female author to follow, or catch up with some that are on your TBR pile this month.
3. Read a book or listen to a podcast by a transgender creator for Transgender Day of Visibility
March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility. Transgender rights have become a big topic in public discourse: J.K. Rowling has divided the Harry Potter fandom after she tweeted several statements denying that trans women are women and former president Donald Trump repeatedly tried to restrict trans rights. Debates over bathroom bills, healthcare treatments, and whether trans athletes can participate in school sports are happening in the courts. Show support for the transgender community and learn more about their experiences by reading or listening to a work by a trans creator.
Our Community’s Favorites by Trans/Non-Binary Authors
4. A look back at what was most popular over the past year of Covid-19 lockdown
March 2020 was the first time state-wide stay-at-home orders were issued to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 (Puerto Rico and California led the way). Now a full calendar year has passed with no mass gatherings allowed in the United States. It was a year for the history books that sent overall reading activity way up, and spiked the popularity of apocalyptic books about pandemics. As more and more people get vaccinated and spring is finally in the air (yay hanging out outside!), take a look back at a year in lockdown with a fresh view.
5. Indulge in a Scribd-produced work
Sorry for the self-promotion, but in recent months, our imprints have made a flurry of awesome works. Since the start of 2021, we’ve been putting out Scribd Originals by Roxane Gay, Charles Yu, and Bonnie Tsui, and there’ve been several beloved indie works turned into audiobooks thanks to Scribd Audio. There are plenty more exciting works in store for the year, so be sure to follow the new releases from Scribd’s imprints.