February is Manga Month. Why? Because I said so, that’s why.

On top of that, I’m involved in three book clubs (one of which I manage and some of which read multiple selections at a time), have many research and pleasure books still on my plate, and I just started this behemoth. That’s a lot of books.

Since childhood, I’ve set aside book titles (and actual books) to read “sometime.” When I have time. When I unearth my pages of book titles while purging my room. Recently, I unearthed an actual shoebox full of paperbacks I’d misplaced for a few years. Well, the time has come, the walrus said.

Having so much to read makes this hobby feel like an occupation. Rather than being a pleasure or a chore, it’s simply something I must do to get by in life. As a writer, reading is a guide. As a creative person, it’s an inspiration. As a human being, it keeps my brain from growing mold. It’s something I need to do. When I really think about it, it pays more than a job. It pays in experience. (Put that on your resume!)

Because I think of reading as this necessity, it doesn’t take my time away from other things I should/would/could be doing. It is my time. While I’m working on one of my novels, or stuck with a bad scene in one of the same novels, I can switch to exploring previously published material without falling behind in writing progress because delving into someone else’s work is necessary to my development. When there’s so much to read, all the better.

And so, book challenges to keep me reading are necessary to my life. It makes the occupation more fun, and awards more fulfilment than a simple past time would. Being excited for an upcoming challenge makes an occupation worth the time you give it.

In short, I declare February to be Manga Month. Why?

  • February is short. So is Manga. Makes sense.
  • February is my birth month, which I will enjoy how I like.
  • I need an excuse to read these unread series in my possession.
  • Manga needs a dedicated time on the calendar.

I plan to explore five manga series in this February’s twenty-eight days. That’s five days per series. Assuming there’s an estimate of ten books per series, that’s fifty books total! To make it more of a challenge, I’ll up the number to six series. Ooooo.

Will you join me? Would you rather make such a challenge around manga or Western comic books? Set your own number and go explore!