I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, and it seems there’s no better time than a pandemic to get organised and crafty! (Before I begin, I mean crafty as in ‘arts and crafts’, not as in ‘going to pretend to have a limp and then steal all your money whilst you care for me’.)
I’ve got a lot of books on my ‘to be read’ list. And when I say a lot, I mean basically my whole bookshelf. I also have a habit of picking up books I’ve read before, or neglecting books on my TBR pile for random books. As such, I’ve accumulated so many wonderful books that I just haven’t read. So, with plenty of time on my hands thanks to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, I thought I’d get creative with my TBR!
Once upon a time (back in my undergraduate days), I kept a gratitude jar. I would write a note of what I was grateful for each day, and then folded them into little origami stars. I thought I would use a similar idea to get reading from my TBR list. I started out by cutting up strips of paper, about 1 cm in width and the full length of a sheet of A4 paper. As coloured paper isn’t really a necessity, I didn’t venture into coronaland (aka the outside world) to get some, so I simply cut up craft paper and normal white paper and went at it with some art pens.
Now with armfuls of colourful strips of paper, I moved onto the next step; writing the names of the books! On one side of the strip (the non-coloured side of the ones I had coloured in), I wrote the name and author of a book I had yet to read. I then did this with aaaaaall the unread books on my bookshelf (and a few books on my housemate’s bookshelf).
Then came the fun (and thumb crushing) part – making the origami stars. You can find the tutorial I followed on this Pinterest board, and it’s surprisingly easy – I did it whilst sitting in front of Disney+, watching Coco. Simply tie a knot at the end of the strip, flatten it, and then tuck the small end away. Next, simply fold the rest of the strip around the star, and once you get to the end, tuck the second end away. Then, using your index finger and thumb, pinch each side of the pentagon to create the star shape! After a while, you may have to use a pen lid or something similar to start making in indentations for you; my thumb was aching.
Pretty soon, I had an army of colourful stars sitting in a washed out jam jar. Some of the stars ended up being wonky or a little flat, but that’s absolutely fine. As soon as I finish my current book (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens) and the one that’s on my bedside (Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse), I can pick out a star, unfold it, and I’ve got my next book chosen for me! If I’m not feeling it, I can simply fold the star back up, and pick a new one – but that might be cheating a bit…
For any of you feeling a little washed out or anxious with the current lockdown and COVID-19 situation, I thoroughly recommend giving these stars a go. Whether you use them for a TBR jar, a gratitude tracker, or just for some decoration, it’s so relaxing to do and puts your thoughts somewhere else for a little while.