Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Books to Read - DIY Project

Mason jars are, quite possibly, my favorite piece of kitchen supplies. You can use them for just about anything. I carry cream for my coffee in them to work (it never spills) and use a very large one for my homemade overnight oatmeal that I eat in the morning. I have a ton sitting on top of the fridge after going through a jam-making summer a number of years ago and they keep getting in the way when they aren't actively used, so I've been urged to find other uses for them. 

This brings in crafts. A long while ago an idea was floating around on Pinterest about having an empty jar at the start of the new year and placing a piece of paper in it, stating what great things have happened over the course of the year. At the end of the year you open the jar and revel in how awesome your life is. While in college, I had something similar given to me called the "Shit Box" where you put scraps of paper of bad things that happen in the box as if you're taking the bad thing, creating it into something tangible (i.e., the paper) and throwing it away in the box, therefore ridding it from your life. So that's another way to go around that idea.

But I digress. There was another idea involving scraps of paper and mason jars which wasn't quite as prominent on social media -- a To Read jar. 

The idea is simple: get a mason jar, write out books you want to read on scraps of paper, put them in said jar, then pick out a paper when it's time to pick a new book to read. 

But there's so much more to this. I'm a book hoarder -- I think that's part of being a book lover. Often enough, book lovers collect books. We like having them on display, we find them beautiful, we get an edge from buying the books, but we also buy the books quicker than we can read them. 

My bookshelf is a year and a half old. I bought it and only filled half the bookshelf at the time. Now it's packed to the brim with books, most that I haven't read, even though when I read books I often bring them back to my parents house or donate them it's still not fast enough to make room for my incoming reads. So I made a To Read jar and a promise to myself for the year 2015 that I would only read the books I already owned. I was saving for multiple trips and running out of room, so not spending the money on new books was an obvious decision and the mason jar was put together.

I grabbed some colorful paper and began jotting down the titles of the unread books on my shelf.

I cut the list of books out into strips then folded them up so that I couldn't see the titles. I'm a total cheater when it comes to picking things like this, so if I were to see a sliver of a name I know I'd look.

Once I had all the papers folded, I started packing them into my mason jar. The little folded tabs took up a lot of room in the mason jar so maybe a larger mason jar would be worth investing in, or simply having better organization in placing the papers in the jar. 

Once all the tabs were in the jar, I crammed the top back on and the jar was ready to go! It sat in it's place of pride on my desk and was ready for each moment I needed a new book to read. 

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