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41 Ways To Have A More Bookish Spring

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

It’s the time of year again where we’re ready to burst out of our homes and spend more time outside — and maybe for some the definition of “outside” might mean inside but with the windows open.


To welcome in spring and to keep your love for books and reading alive, how about a round-up of ideas to have a more bookish season? Some of these suggestions are easy, while others might require a bit of work. Some are straightforward, while others might require you to interpret what they mean. The fun is just that; these are meant to be inspiring ideas, sparks for taking your literary life to another level and finding magic in moments where you might not otherwise.

Since this is the last season I’ve got lined up to write about (you can see summer, fall, and winter here), I would love to hear some of your ideas in the comments about how you plan to have a more bookish spring. They can be big ideas or small ones, completely serious or foolish and fun. I’d also love to see any pictures or notes from you if you choose to do any of the items below. I watched one reader go through nearly an entire list one season and it was a blast to see someone finding such richness in their reading life.

Get your spring on, y’all.

  1. Grab a book of poetry and read in a public garden or park.
  2. Attend an open mic night at a local venue . . . or grab a friend and take a trip to one not too close to home.
  3. Pick up a book about astronomy, then spend an evening under the stars pointing out constellations.
  4. Paint your favorite literary quote on a rock. Put it outside your front door to welcome guests. If it’s a small rock, you have a new paper weight/desk decor.
  5. Ask to read a book or two aloud to your child’s classroom. Don’t have a child? Offer to host a story time at a place you like to spend time so other parents can have a break.
  6. Host a literary picnic. Invite friends for a pot-luck style meal and in addition to bringing food, have them bring 5 books. Then, over said meal, talk about the books. Lend and borrow as you please.
  7. Hunt for your favorite childhood reads at local garage and rummage sales.
  8. Visit a special library — often you can find them at the Botanical Garden or other public institution. On your next outing, check the website to see if they have a library and what the rules are to enter.
  9. Spring clean your bookshelves and drop the books you’re no longer keeping off at the Little Free Libraries in your town.
  10. Take a daily or weekly walk with an audiobook that you only listen to while on a walk.
  • Volunteer at your library and/or find out how to become part of your local library’s Friends group. Want to level up more? See about joining the Board of Directors for your library.
  • Sit in your backyard and write down the words or descriptions of every natural element you see. Jot down books or poems those things remind you of. Then read those works.
  • Set up a booth at the local farmer’s market and offer your chops as a poet to those who stop by — write a short, fun poem about the person in front of you, then hand it to them. Enjoy the smile a few words and nice descriptions bring.
  • Read from sunrise to sunset in a hammock, getting up only for essential needs.
  • Make spine poetry, take a photo, and share it on social media.
  • Find a cookbook focused on cupcakes or cookies, choose a recipe, and put your skills to the test.
  • Visit a local literary location. It can be as small as a local monument or placard or as grand as a museum.
  • Go further and make an entire day of visiting every literary landmark within a 20 mile radius of your town. Look big and small. Document it.
  • Host a literary cocktail night. Ask attendees to create a drink with a bookish name. Vote on who was most creative.
  • Create a literary scavenger hunt. Pick a book from your shelf, open to a  random page, then try to find all of the objects around your home or neighborhood that are mentioned on that page.
  • Grab a book that helps identify local birds, and spend a morning looking up the birds visiting your feeder.
  • Read a book with a bee on the cover.
  • Offer up a weekly book recommendation in chalk on pavement outside of where you live. Don’t have a sidewalk or driveway? If you’re in an apartment, consider a chalkboard on your door for the same purpose. Or, leave a chalk recommendation in a public park.
  • Keep a nature journal. Once a week, visit the same space outside and note the things that change as the season progresses. More flowers? Different flowers? What kind of insects are appearing? Write down questions and thoughts, then track down the answers.
  • Write a letter to a loved one on paper and drop it into the mail.
  • Memorize a poem through a poetry walk. It’s exactly what it sounds like: go for a walk as you commit the poem to memory.
  • Participate in an organized readathon.
  • Make a rainbow stack of books and take a photo of it in front of a real rainbow when you see one.
  • Donate to your favorite literacy-related organization. Your local library counts.
  • Take on the identity of your favorite deceased author or fictional character when asked for your name at the coffee shop or other place where you can take on that identity. Note if anyone notices or comments.
  • When you read a book that reminds you of someone, purchase a copy and send it to that person. Attach a note about how it reminds you of them.
  • Find a coffee shop with bright light or outdoor seating and settle in with your favorite beverage and a stack of comics.
  • Read a book about baseball, then attend a game for your local team.
  • Write and color your own comic, with you as the superhero/ine. Be as fantastical or real as your heart desires.
  • See a high school production of a play, then read the play itself (or vice versa!).
  • Take a day or two off and plan yourself a readcation. Do nothing but read.
  • Pick a random location on Google Maps anywhere in the world, then borrow a book either set there or a book about the history and culture of that place.
  • Create ice cream flavors your favorite literary characters would enjoy. Are they a banana split eater? Do they love a good turtle sundae? Dream these up over a scoop or two at your favorite shop.
  • Make your own bookish tote bag. Grab a blank canvas bag, some iron on letters or fabric paint, and go to town.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day reading a book with a loved one. Pick something with lots of pictures you can talk about together.
  • Get that literary tattoo you’ve been wanting — permanent or temporary.