Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Reading Challenge Extravaganza!

Is it just me or does anyone else notice the boon of reading challenges that crop around the end of December/early January?
reading in the new year is FUN!

Here are a few I've heard about:

Modern Mrs. Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge
Book Riot Read Harder 2019
31 Day Read Aloud Challenge
The Unread Shelf 2019 Reading Challenge
The Reading Women Challenge

I'll be honest, every single time I hear about a new reading challenge I'm filled with excitement and hope.  Maybe it's my inner optimist, maybe it's my love for checking off items on a list.  I want to roll my eyes and scoff, but instead, I find myself taking screenshots and copying the prompts into my reading journal.  #nerd #nerdlyfe #inerdsohard

Ok...so now that I've got these challenges logged in my book journal all I can think of is how confining they are.  I don't actually want to read any graphic novels and does that make me a bad reader?

Reviewing last year's reading challenge pages I learned something about myself and these challenges.

They are so great for giving me some momentum.  I start January reading lots of books quickly because I'm so excited about the new year and my new challenges.  This is valuable to me.  After winter break I wonder if I will ever feel excited about reading again and then--boom--a kick in the pants just when I need it.  Reading is fun!  Checking books of these lists is fun!  Who needs Netflix?!

What the challenges have shown me about myself is this: I rarely, if ever, pick a book based on the challenges I've logged.  I'm such a mood reader that if the spirit doesn't strike me, I just can't be bothered to pick up a play/book of poetry, regardless if it's the last genre I need to check off on my book challenge.  I read widely and am almost always able to find books that fit the categories of any list (with the exception of plays...I mean really, who reads plays for fun).

I think a concept I'd like to develop that suits me even better than the beginning of the year challenges is an end of the year bingo card.  I've always been a big fan of bingo.  It wouldn't give me the same long term satisfaction as the reading challenges that stretch over twelve months, but I think I would feel even better about my reading life at the end of the year.

That would be awesome because the end of the year always makes me feel like a slacker reader.  Did you hit your Goodreads goal?  Did you complete all 76 challenges in your journal?  Did you read half as many books as the bookstagrammers you follow?

<If you'd also be interested in a reading Bingo card for December let me know in comments and I'll share a pdf in November-ish>

Brilliant bingo idea aside, I have plotted out some ideas for the challenges I'm doing.  Let me be clear, this does not mean I will actually read any of these books.  It's really a science experiment I'm conducting on myself.  Will I more successfully complete my challenges with a little ahead-of-time-planning?  Will I ignore my plans like I ignore the prompts until it is too late? 

We will see!

A Book You've Been Meaning to Read...Where'd You Go Bernadette
A Book By a Favorite Author...Help, Thanks, Wow 
A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste...The Goldfinch
A Book That Scares You...The Shining
A Book Outside Your Genre Comfort Zone...The Boys on The Boat or Team of Rivals

Are you doing a reading challenge this year?  Do you like the motivation or hate the pressure?  

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