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30 Things You Should Check Off Your Book Bucket List Before 30

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Vivienne Woodward


Vivienne Woodward lives in Philly and works as the events coordinator for an indie bookstore. She can often be found drinking too much coffee in the sunny spot on her couch and over-identifying with fictional characters. She enjoys collecting hobbies, dancing to radio pop, and rearranging the book stacks on her side tables.

Are you even a real reader if you don’t check all of these experiences off your book bucket list before 30? 

  1. Meet your favorite author and say something completely inappropriate like “Did you INTEND for the narrator to be unlikable?” when the book is a memoir.
  • Build an IKEA bookshelf, fill it with books, have it topple over on top of you, go to the hospital for a severe case of book face (the doctors will call it a broken nose). 
  • Write in the margins of a book, accidentally loan it to a friend, have them return it and then never speak to you again. 
  • Write a fan letter to your favorite author. Here is a helpful template
  • Get a book-shaped sunburn at the beach. 
  • Try to write a thriller because “anyone could do it.” 
  • Ask a bookseller for a recommendation and then even though you don’t want that book, feel awkward enough by their insistence to buy it anyway. 
  • Attend an author event secretly thinking you’ll form a real connection with the author and then she misspells your name in the inscription.
  • Travel to a famous writer’s childhood home, feel nothing. 
  • Think to yourself: “having a library card is so great, it’s like shopping for books, but free!” then get 10 books out of the library and return them all unread. 
  • Ask a friend to borrow a book, take the book with you on vacation to Chile, lose the book, never speak to your friend again. 
  • Insist over and over in book club that the narrator was unreliable. Realize you were supposed to read Educated and you read Gone Girl. Offend everyone. 
  • Say something like “As I’m getting older, I’m reading more and more nonfiction.” Realize you’ve become your dad. 
  • Spill coffee over your library copy of The Corrections.
  • Drunkenly drop your book in the pool at your friend’s 4th of July bachelorette party that no one was going to drink at because “we’re all so old now.” 

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    1. Join a writing group. Quit a writing group.
    2. Petition your local independent bookstore to host more author events. Never attend one of their author events. 
    3. Ask yourself why you even like to read. Aren’t there better things you could be doing with your time? Quit reading. 
    4. Start reading again because you don’t know what else to do between 8 pm and 10 pm on weekdays. 
    5. Watch someone get proposed to in a bookstore. 
    6. Watch someone’s proposal get rejected in a bookstore. 
    7. Film someone’s proposal being rejected in a bookstore. 
    8. Submit the film footage of someone’s proposal being rejected in a bookstore to a book website. 
    9. Have the film footage of someone’s proposal being rejected in a bookstore be rejected from the book website with a note that urges you to be “book positive.” 

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    1. Return a library book with a note inside that says, “if you’re reading this, you’re too late.”
    2. Try alphabetizing your home library.
    3. Try color coding your home library.
    4. Try making your home library Insta-famous. 
    5. Quit Instagram when your color-coded home library picture only gets 11 likes. 
    6. Try to pull off a meet-cute at an independent bookstore. Run into every guy under 40 who walks in the door while carrying a stack of books. When he stoops down to help you pick them up, push your glasses up your nose and make “accidental” eye contact. Realize it’s your high school gym teacher. 

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    Find more (and slightly more inspiring) book bucket list ideas here