TBU#39: Read more in 24! Announcing the 24 for 2024 Reading Challenge

Episode 39 February 20, 2024 00:19:00
TBU#39: Read more in 24! Announcing the 24 for 2024 Reading Challenge
Two Booked Up
TBU#39: Read more in 24! Announcing the 24 for 2024 Reading Challenge

Feb 20 2024 | 00:19:00


Hosted By

Rowena Mabbott Shelley Tonkin Smith

Show Notes

In this all-new episode of Two Booked Up, Shelley and Rowena are encouraging you to shake things up in 2024. Last year the bookworms reinvigorated their and your reading by taking a playful yet intentional approach. 

And this year, they want you to read more and have more fun as you do it!

After all, what we read affects our feelings, thoughts, our actions, our mood, and really how we show up in the world. So, it’s important not to leave that to chance and instead to choose to read things that make you feel good or expand your knowledge.

But don’t worry, they aren’t getting too serious. Instead, they are embracing what is now a  Two Booked Up tradition and announcing the 24 for 2024 Reading Challenge.


Tune in to hear how Rowena and Shelley are helping you have more fun as you read more in ’24! 


Episode Links Mentioned


Book Links Mentioned 


Resources Mentioned

Shelley is leading a Read-Along of Profit First by Mike Michalowitz in Anne Gray’s Leaders’ Library. Click here to sign up and join the introductory session for free, then you can join the full 8-week Read-Along for R1,749. 


Let Shelley know at shelley@shelleysmithcreative.com if you’d like to secure your spot right now.


Connect with us:

Find us online at twobookedup.com and keep in touch with Two Booked Up via email by signing up for the Two Booked Up Bookclub.

Connect with Rowena @rowenamabbott on IG and at rowenamabbott.com. You can also get Rowena’s FREE e-books, The A to Z of Career and Life Confidence and The Criteria List here.

Connect with Shelley on LinkedIn at Shelley Tonkin Smith. Her copywriting business is at shelleysmithcreative.com, and her writing and other musings are at shelleytonkinsmith.com.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

TBU Episode 39 [00:00:00] Rowena: Hello! You're listening to Two Booked Up. I'm Rowena Mabbott, here with Shelley Tonkin Smith. In today's episode, we're encouraging you to shake things up in 2024. [00:00:14] Shelley: Last year, we reinvigorated our reading by taking a playful but intentional approach. And so this year, we want you to read more, certainly, but also to have more fun reading. [00:00:29] Rowena: Exactly! After all, what we read affects our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, our mood, and really how we show up in the world. So we feel it's important not to leave that to chance, and instead to choose to read things that make you feel good or expand your knowledge. [00:00:48] Shelley: But don't worry, of course, we are not getting too serious about this. Instead, we are embracing what is now a Two Booked Up tradition. So stay tuned to hear how we're helping you to read more in 24. This is the Two Booked Up Podcast, where we talk about books. [00:01:12] Rowena: the books that are challenging us to live more intentional lives, [00:01:15] Shelley: The books that are equipping us on our business and professional journeys. [00:01:19] Rowena: and the books that delight and bring us joy, [00:01:23] Shelley: So if you want to live life with more intention, and if you want to be doing work that brings you joy, then come join the bookish conversation with me, Shelley Tonkin Smith. [00:01:32] Rowena: and me, Rowena Mabbott, here on Two Booked Up. Alright, Shelley. So, reading non fiction can seem very serious, especially as non fiction books are often geared more towards improving and informing. So, the business books, the professional development books, the self improvement books, even just saying those words feel heavy. And what's missing? Yeah, it's a to do list, right? What's often missing is the play, the playful bit. But play is what makes more fun. And as we reference often, and as Shelley shared in episode 13, through play we find greater meaning and purpose in life. [00:02:18] Shelley: Yes, you're right, Ro. I think there's this assumption that nonfiction books have to be serious. And we can get stuck in a bit of a rut in a particular genre or a particular type of book, or we just feel completely alienated and intimidated about reading nonfiction because, you know, I want to escape and I, you know, I don't really want to feel like I'm being told what to do or anything. But instead, think of what you read as the food that you feeding your mind. If it's the same meal every day and every week, it's going to get boring and you're just not going to feel like it. And also you won't be challenged to learn or to grow if you're just having more of the same and repeating that over and over again. And we're all inspired to learn and to grow. We want to learn, we want to grow. And so we want to create this challenge to help you to be more intentional about your reading life. [00:03:17] Rowena: And as we've talked about, by intentional we mean actively choosing, and what we'd also like to do is inspire you to read a book or two that might not be your usual choice, as well as have a more light hearted approach to your reading. Now, as mentioned in our last episode, this ties in very nicely with my second word in my phrase of the year, light, with light really meaning keep things light hearted and fun. [00:03:45] Shelley: Yes, I'm certainly here for the fun. Plus as we As we often share, reading more widely helps you to be exposed to different ideas, to uncover new perspectives, and it can spark our own creative ideas. So as we shared in episode 18 and Ro shared in her author interview, which was in episode 36 Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere. So no matter what you read, whether that's nonfiction, fiction, even magazines, blog posts, you are going to learn something and you are going to grow from what you're reading. So again, that food that you feed in your mind. And that That also then boosts your creativity. So I'm thinking of one of the books that I read now over our summer holidays. It's called Create Anyway, The Joy of Pursuing Creativity in the Margins of Motherhood, and that's by Ashley Gadd. And. It's not perhaps a book I would have normally chosen, but it's got a mix of beautiful articles that I think may have originated on Ashley's blogs, and she's got a whole bunch of beautiful photographs that she's taken herself on her film camera. It's very magazine like, and there's also different interviews with moms who are actually walking the talk. And so I decided to choose that book after reading Ashley's blog. As I say, I probably wouldn't have chosen it otherwise, but I'm really so glad I did. [00:05:18] Rowena: That book sounds wonderful, Shelley, and what a fabulous mix of content. I love that you already enjoyed Ashley's blog and decided to support her by purchasing the book. I've done the same, where I've discovered someone's writing online and then purchased their book. And it's a really nice way to sort of step closer and also, really honour and respect that person's work. So I love that you were doing that. [00:05:41] Shelley: And I think it also deepens what you can get out of that content. So reading a blog post is a great, I think it's a great, introduction. And then it's so nice to actually deepen that knowledge, take it that little bit of a step further. But that's why we want to encourage you to, to read widely, to try out different things, to read blogs, read magazines, and then take it further and take it deeper. It's just got that more, um, playful approach to it all. [00:06:08] Rowena: Which is a great segue, because it is time for the main event. We are going to be announcing Read More in 24, the 24 for 2024 reading challenge. Yes, it's back and bigger, better and way more fun than last year. Now before we jump into telling you the genres, a quick reminder of what our reading challenge is all about. So it's specifically for non fiction books, it is about being intentional, and this year, because it's 2024, there will be 24 types of books to bring variety, new ideas, and a whole lot more fun into our non fiction reading. [00:06:46] Shelley: Yes, it was so fun last year and Ro, our listeners love playing along and hearing what we'd each read for each of the categories and we knew we needed to make this a Two Booked Up tradition, but of course, we needed to jazz it up a bit, and there were some ideas for categories that we threw around during 2023. And so that's what we've done. So we love a rhyme, of course. And so this is why it's called Read More in 24. And 24 books is just one more than last year's 23. So, on that note, we have changed around a few of the categories, made a few new categories, and kept the consistent favourites. So, featuring again on our list, and these really, also you can Chop and change these categories as you'll discover now. Um, that's what I did last year. Sometimes I'd put a Southern Hemisphere author and then I chopped and changed it. But featuring this year, we've kept a memoir or an autobiography. And then we've also kept The 2023 bestseller list so you can go back to 2023s bestseller list, pick a book from that list. A Southern Hemisphere author, we're always going to keep that on our list as two Southern Hemisphere friends. And Multiple authors. That was also a nice, type of book where you've got multiple authors perspectives, and I think that just helps with the diversity of views. An audio book is still on the list that was a really popular one. I think we exposed people to the idea of listening to audio books on either Amazon Audible, um, and now I see that Scribd has changed its name to Everand. So that's a great subscription to go and try the world of audiobooks. I know that's one of your favorites, Ro. [00:08:36] Rowena: Ah, yes, I actually get most of my audiobooks through the library. So, in Australia, if you are part of a library, you can get BorrowBox. There's also IndyReads and Hoopla that all do audiobooks, just like Audible. But, generally through your library, you can access them for free, which is pretty good. You might have to wait a little while, um, but it's worth checking out. But, we have some very new, very fun categories to help bring that lightness to your reading and make it perhaps a little easier, and maybe just a little bit quirky. So, new categories include Recommended on a Podcast, and yes, we do mean ours, but you we will allow it, that you can get your recommendations elsewhere, we won't mind too much. And then we've also got a category on there as a quick read, because Shelley's talked about before, books that are quite small and they're quite quick reads. So that's an easy win for those of you who maybe don't want to do a lot of reading. Then there's a quirky one, um, and this was basically because I looked at my bookshelf and thought, What would make it a fun challenge? And I've chose a book with a pink or red cover. And then lastly, for those of us who maybe didn't quite complete our TBR list last year, there is a number list this year, and number four is a whole new category just for you. It's a book you meant to read last year. So it's a [00:09:57] Shelley: Yes, I've got a few of those. [00:09:58] Rowena: eclectic mix. Yeah, don't we both? It's an eclectic mix of categories so that you can have a little bit of fun. And like the 2023 challenge, it is a good way to bring some diversity into our non fiction reading for this year. And just like last year, we have created a one page PDF of the 24 categories. And this year they're numbered, so you can check them off as you go and write down so you can see them all. And you can of course download it for free! To access it, Just go to signup. twobookedup. com and sign up to join our email list and you'll get that PDF download to see how many of the 24 categories you can fill by the end of the year. And a small note, if you're already a subscriber, we will send you the PDF. You don't need to re subscribe. [00:10:48] Shelley: Yeah, we're so excited about this list, especially those new, more lighthearted categories. Um, but completely understand that unlike Rowena, many of you would find reading 24 books, like, That would just be too much of a challenge. So maybe you divide that by two and read 12 books. Um, or you just go and look at the list and go, Hmm, book with a pink cover, that sounds fun. I like that idea. So. It's, it's really choose your own adventure, which is our new segment we're coming to. But, let me reassure you, you can be like me and embrace your inner rebel. The list of categories, it really is designed to inspire you, to read more broadly and to welcome new perspectives and ideas. And really, you don't have to read all 24 books. And if there's a category or two that doesn't feel like quite your jam, then just skip it. It's not a prescriptive list. It's an inspirational list and it's a expansion kind of idea here. So I'm very excited about doing the 24 challenge because I really, enjoyed the 23 challenge. It really helped to diversify my reading life and as I say, choose books that I wouldn't normally have chosen. [00:12:03] Rowena: And that's why we love it. And I will reiterate that it is, the list is more like a serving suggestion. Um, you know, they put serving suggestions on the front of cereal packets. You don't have to eat it that way. It's just a serving suggestion. So our list, think of it like a serving suggestion. It's meant to be playful and fun. Now as an upholder, and for any of our upholders out there, and possibly some of our obligers, we all do love a checklist. But even so, you might be like me and love a shiny new thing, which means that variety and fun are super important. And using the checklist can be fun. So, I am now thinking a bit differently about what I read, and taking the classic thing of choosing a book by its cover, which I have to admit I have done for fiction, I'm going to expand that now and check out the cover colour for non fiction books too, and that way if they're pink or red, they'll pop onto my TBR list. Oh, and I should add, if you read one book but it fits multiple categories, go ahead, put it down, put it on all the categories that it can fit, and make the challenge your own. [00:13:09] Shelley: That's my own choose your own adventure for this episode is to go and download that free PDF checklist and really make it your own. So, go and download it. You can print it out. What I'm going to do this year is to actually just keep it electronically and use my Mac preview and then like, Add in the books electronically and then I can drag them around a little bit more easily. And also make sure that I don't lose track of it, which I'm afraid I've lost track of. I've written down on my 2023 one and I have lost track of it. So need to do some decluttering. Um, but that will be my Choose Your Own Adventure. Your Choose Your Own Adventure is just to go and sign up at signup. twobookedup. com and get that checklist and then make it your own and have fun with it. [00:13:53] Rowena: Ah, Shelley, I hear you. I actually saved my list just as a list in my notes function on my app, and then I pinned that note. To the top of my notes function. So it was always there. I could always see it. That was my, that's my tip. My very little technological hack to make sure you don't lose. And when you've got over a thousand notes in your notes app, like I do, it's quite useful to discover the pin function. That was a bit life changing. Um, so yes, that would be my tip to help you achieve your choose your own adventure action. And my suggestion for our listeners would be to read more widely. Now, if you're in a season of life where reading a non fiction book feels just way too hard, and we've all been there, we've all had times when reading of any sort just feels like a stretch too far, try something else. Maybe read a magazine article, or if that's too long, a blog post. Or, if you really want to just escape and have a really nice break from whatever it is that's stressing you out, try some fiction. It can take you all year to read one fiction book and that is absolutely fine, there is no time frame or pressure. So that would be my Choose Your Own Adventures, just to read more widely and have a bit of fun and diversify. [00:15:03] Shelley: I love that. I'll add to that on the weekend my husband had bought a magazine on bikes and mountain bike riding and I found myself sitting on the chair and paging through this mountain bike magazine and thoroughly enjoying it. So it doesn't matter what you read, just Get a book out and sit there and enjoy some reading. So I hope that all makes you feel more inspired to read. Full stop. Read anything. And if nonfiction feels too hard right now, you can also go and have a look at episodes 28, 35, 36, and 37. Those ones are packed with book recommendations. So you can go through even if you don't need to listen to the episode, in the show notes of those episodes, you'll see all our book recommendations. See if one of those takes your fancy. And don't forget, we have our own fiction author, right here on the podcast. Rowena's novel, Avoiding the Friend Zone, is out now. And that's an ideal read when you're You want to get back into reading. It's a lovely, love story, and I'd highly recommend it. [00:16:14] Rowena: Thank you, Shelley. That's very sweet. But for now, listeners, we hope you are inspired to read more in 24 and bring some of the diversity and fun into your reading using our all new 24 for 2024 checklist as a guide. Remember, you can download it for free at signup. twobookedup. com and, of course, the link is also in the show notes. [00:16:37] Shelley: Yes, and let us know which category you start with. Perhaps you've already got a couple of books to fill in the checklist . You can connect with me and let me know what you're reading on LinkedIn. I'm Shelley Tonkin Smith and if you'd like to learn more about my copywriting services, head on over to shelleysmithcreative.com. And just a reminder that coming up beginning of March, I'm excited to be leading what is called a Read Along on the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. This is part of a, of a collaboration I'm doing with Anne Gray of the Leaders Library. And we're taking eight weeks to read through that book in a small group and apply it to our businesses. So I'll be sharing my experiences with Profit First and how it actually works for me in practice. So great for small business owners and freelancers who are looking to implement. This honestly life changing cash flow management in their businesses. I will leave a link to that in the show notes. The first session is free and then you can see what it's all about and if you decide you want to then sign up and join the cohort, then you can do so after that first session. So Rowena, where can our listeners find you to share what they're reading? [00:17:53] Rowena: Oh, I'd love it if you find me at Rowena Mabbott on Instagram. And if you'd like to learn more about my novel, Avoiding the Friend Zone, or learn how I can support you as a coach, you can find all of that and a whole lot more at RowenaMabbott.com. [00:18:08] Shelley: Wonderful. So plenty for listeners to read just with your content, Rowena. And of course, a reminder to visit TwoBookedUp. com. That's where you can find the show notes and a transcript of this episode. And of course, download that gorgeous new 24 for 2024 reading challenge PDF, entirely free, but until next time, keep on reading and thank you for joining us. [00:18:31] Rowena: You've been listening to Two Booked Up with me, Rowena Mabbott. [00:18:38] Shelley: Shelley Tonkin Smith, please subscribe or follow Two Booked Up in your podcast player and if you've enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you'd leave a positive review.

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