I’ve been thinking about reading challenges. Each year I see other bloggers setting out their reading challenges and I get keen to join a lot of them.
But what is a ‘challenge’? Dictionary definitions include –
a difficult or demanding task, esp. one seen as a test of one’s abilities or character.
or – an invitation or summons to a trial or contest of any kind; a defiance.
So, I don’t need reading challenges – reading books is not a difficult or demanding task, and I don’t want to treat my reading as a contest either with others or with myself, by reading either more books or different types of books. I already read as many books as my time allows and I love variety in my reading.
So why do I join reading challenges? It’s because I love reading and I also love making lists and ticking off the books I’ve read. I love looking through my books and seeing which ones will qualify for each challenge. I also like seeing what others are reading, books I may not have heard about. I like the camaraderie, of finding others who love the same type of books as me, of exchanging comments or recommendations.
But each year I find it can become a bind, reading to a set list and I want to branch out and read something different, books not on the lists, books that suddenly seem more enticing.
The ‘challenge’ I enjoyed the most last year was Reading Bingo 2015, that I did at the end of November. It involved looking back at the books I read during the year and fitting them into the relevant squares on the card. In other words read what you want first and then see if they meet the categories on the card.
This is why I’m cutting down on the number of challenges I join.
These are the challenges I’ll be taking part in, by reading and then slotting the books into the various categories:
- Mount TBR hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block – this helps me remember to read books that I already own, which for this challenge are books I’ve owned before 1 January 2016.
- Read Scotland hosted by Peggy Ann at Peggy Ann’s Post – I’ve taken part in this for the last two years and have found that without trying I naturally read books by Scottish authors/books set in Scotland. So for this challenge I’ll see at the end of the year how many I’ve read.
- What’s In a Name? hosted by Charlie at The Worm Hole – I’ve done this challenge ever since it started and it would be a shame to stop now. It only involves reading 6 books and I’m going to treat it in the same way as Read Scotland by seeing at the end of the year if the books I’ve read slot into the categories.
And because I do like making lists I’ll be doing various projects of my own reading and listing books in a variety of genres, such as historical fiction and non-fiction, as my mood and interests lead me, but not linking up to any challenges.