This week’s Weekly Geeks topic was suggested by Sheri of A Novel Menagerie. She writes:
“Reading Challenges: a help or a hurt? Do you find that the reading challenges keep you organized and goal-oriented? Or, do you find that as you near the end of a challenge that you’ve failed because you fell short of your original goals? As a result of some reading challenges, I’ve picked up books that I would have otherwise never heard of or picked up; that, frankly, I have loved. Have you experienced the same with challenges? If so, which ones? Do you have favorite reading challenges?”
As we pass the halfway point of 2009, how are you doing with your reading challenges? Did you participate in any challenges this year?
I’m always attracted to the reading challenges, full of enthusiasm for reading the books and I joined quite a few last year. But then I found that I wanted to read other books when I “should” be reading the challenge books. Now, bearing in mind that these are all books I want to read I can’t really understand that, except that it’s that imaginary “should” that’s the stumbling block. I’m very much a mood reader!
So, at the beginning of this year I decided to limit myself to just a few reading challenges and I chose What’s In a Name? I took part in that last year and completed it. This has six categories such as read a book with a building in the title, the time of day, the name of a relative etc. I’m doing OK and have read books from two of the categories; as this challenge is for the whole year I reckon I can still easily finish it. They’re all books from my TBR list, which helps.
I can’t say that doing any of the reading challenges has made me pick up and read books I haven’t heard of before, but that’s because I’ve used them to read books I already own or by authors I already know – such as the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. I’m loving that one – each time I finish one I go to the library and borrow another one. So far I’ve struck lucky, with at least one AC book sitting on the shelf ready for me to read.
There’s a tab at the top of my blog for Reading Challenges where I’ve tried to keep track of them – I need to add the Agatha Christie Challenge to it and update the whole thing!
There’s also Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge 2009 – which is really easy if you read library books. I didn’t have to think twice about taking part – my aim was to read at least 25 library books this year, but as I’ve already read 20 I think I’ll be way beyond that by December.
8 thoughts on “Weekly Geeks – Reading Challenges”
I, too, am a challenge addict, and I completely relate to that weird, rebellious feeling of not reading a book on a challenge list even when you really, really want to read it. That could be a psychology project for someone. 🙂
My current challenge is finishing up several books so I can move on. I need to finish the Uglow bio of Gaskell (I think I don’t want to read about her dying and the aftermath so it’s languishing on the shelf), the Shakespeare book (1599), the Rebels of Ireland, and Dracula, which I haven’t even started posting about yet.
I have yet to do a challenge proposed by someone else, though I set my own challeges (all of Gaskell, all of Shakespeare, etc.).
This is a timely topic for me as I’ve just decided to abandon all my reading challenges so I don’t stress over them. You sound like a kindred reading spirit, and I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my blog when I expressed my thoughts about reading challenges and posting schedules. I love the idea of the reading challenge, but it just doesn’t work out for me. I think I just joined too many this year in my enthusiasm.
The problem with challenges, for me, comes when the books become ‘should read’ books…even though I chose them because I wanted to read them in the first place! Lezlie’s comment made me laugh – this could be a great psychology project for someone! I only have a few challenges, but I will join even fewer next year.
Some challenges have helped me read books I wouldn’t have read otherwise. But challenges do freak me out!
WG: Reading Challenges.
I joined only one challenge and I am having a hard time reading the challenge books when I am suppose to. It is tough when there is so many great books to choose from to not just go with your mood or interest at that particular moment.
I agree with what is happening to you on the challenge books. Very strange. I have been enjoying the Agatha Christie one too. Her books are just such a pleasure to read.
This is my first year of taking on reading challenges set by others so I started easy- drama and 100 short stories, which I enjoy reading anyway. My personal challenges were to get through some of my Dread Pile o’Reads, read what I own, and minimize buying new books. So far so good. Maybe next year I’ll branch out on my challenges.
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