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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are you doing a Reading Challenge this year?

A to Z is a couple of months away, and your hosts are already working behind the scenes. But blogging is not the only challenge you can face this year! Since so many of our participants each year write book blogs, or plan on having reading-related themes (*raises hand*), I wanted to write about reading challenges today.

Are you doing any?
Are you planning to?
Why / why not?

I have stumbled upon this question recently through the Hungarian version of Goodreads. On that site, people can create challenges of their own, and invite others to participate. The result is literally thousands of challenges, of all shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels. Some invite you to read one specific books; some require dozens; some ask you to read something with a season in the title, etc. For completing a challenge, you earn a badge on your profile.

I am a sucker for badges.

I learned one very important thing as I got sucked into the rabbithole of reading challenges:

Pick the challenge for the book, not the other way around.
No one should read piles of books they are not interested in, just for bragging rights.
(... all right, so there are probably many people who do that.)

There have been articles floating around on social media about challenging yourself in your book diet. Some people suggested reading internationally; there is even a TED talk making the rounds, about reading one book from each country in the world. There are reading challenges focused on diversity (very important!), and my personal home turf: fairy tales and their adaptations. Emma Watson, everyone's favorite Hermione, just started a feminist book club open to everyone! Some Reading Challenges even have levels of difficulty you can pick.

Challenges are supposed to push you, and coax you outside your comfort zone. My advice, though: Be careful - you don't want reading to become a task. Those of you who are in graduate school probably do way too much of that anyway (my reading challenge is called Dissertation Lit Review...).

Go grab some books. (Yes, I'm enabling you)
Have fun.
Tell us about it!

22 comments:

  1. I have tried so many times to complete a challenge, failed each time.

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  2. I have signed up for a 12 book challenge on a publisher's forum. One book a month is not too taxing - I finished over 20 last year. Sue
    Sue’s Trifles

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    1. Good luck! It sounds like a comfortable pace to read :)

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  3. This year is my 4th Goodreads Challenge.
    Over the past 3 years, I don't think I would've done as much reading if I hadn't signed up for the Goodreads challenges.

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    1. This is my 3rd year :) I have gone over before, but usually because I read so many folktale collections for work.

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  4. I found reading challenges in 2009 and jumping in with both feet. I started my blog to keep track of my challenges and in 2010 disappeared because reading had become a chore. I'm back to reading, blogging and reviewing and no longer stress about finishing the challenges, or taking the summer off. The good news is that my reading has expanded due to the reading challenges

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    1. I like the ones that do that. Hungarian Goodreads has many that ask you to read from/about other countries, or other genres.

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  5. I'm doing two. The first is on GR, though I cut down my goal from what I didn't reach last year. I'm aiming for 26 books this year (one every two weeks). I also found one from Modern Mrs. Darcy that looked pretty attainable and open-ended (suggested books include, "A book you previously abandoned," and, "A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller"). It's here, if anyone else is interested: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/MMD-2016-Reading-Challenge.jpg

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  6. I'm actually not doing a reading challenge this year. The past two years I did the Goodreads challenges for 50 then 75 books. The first year I surpassed 50 and almost reached 100. Last year I missed the mark by a few books. I didn't read as much last year because it felt like a chore...reading to post reviews. So this year I plan to read for pleasure. I miss that!

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    1. Reading for pleasure is entirely the goal :)

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  7. I'm doing the GR reading challenge this year. It's my second one. I did it last year for the first time and set my goal at 20 books and read 22. This year I'm aiming for 25.

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    1. GR is great, I like the site for multiple reasons :) This is my 3rd challenge this year. I set the number at 50 (but I'm also counting comics)

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  8. I'm still trying to get through just one book by each blogger buddy. That ought to take me up until 2020...

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  9. I'm doing three reading challenges simultaneously, heaven help me!https://prettypurplepolkadots.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/2016-reading-challenge/

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    1. Oh, those all look very cool! Good luck! :)
      In case you need international literature in the mix, I made a post on Hungarian novels available in English :)
      http://hungarykum.blogspot.com/2016/01/mopdog-monday-hungarian-literature-for.html

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  10. My local library has had an 100 book year challenge. I started last year but failed by 21 books..I'm so determined this year...
    Lisa
    justlittlecajunme.blogspot.com

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  11. Pick the challenge that works for you and your schedule.

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  12. As of now not doing the reading challenge :) Currently I am devouring Patricia Cornwell series... Will keep be busy for a couple of months :)

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  13. I have combined Good Reads challenge, K M Weiland's 100 book challenge and the year of reading in UAE. 3 books down out of 100.

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  14. I did the PopSugar reading challenge last year. I didn't finish, but I'm still plugging away, and doing the one this year. It resulted in reading books I otherwise might not of- three of which became favorites! I am so grateful for that one.
    I'm also in the Goodreads and 50BookPledge challenges, which is just about numbers. (PopSugar has ones like, "A book with a color in the title" for example.)

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  15. Yup, I can see how things begin to feel like work when we take on too much.

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