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?
Well, I could not pass this one up since I own A Novel Challenge blog and with Teddy’s help we try to keep readers up to date with all the latest challenges and events across the blog-o-sphere (I also run a sister Yahoo group called A Novel Challenge which is open for anyone who wants to join).
When I first discovered reading challenges, I went crazy joining them. Last year I completed 24, although I signed up for a lot more than that! Although challenges can be really fun, they can also easily become overwhelming. This year I decided to tone down the amount of challenges for which I signed up, and tried to stay focused on my overall reading goals (ie: reading new authors, making time for review books, reading from the prize lists and the 1001 books before you die list, reading books from around the world, and fitting in some of the books from my towering TBR stacks). With these goals in mind, I try only to sign up for challenges which will further those goals.
Do I feel stressed if I cannot finish a challenge?
No. I remind myself that no one is really keeping score (except for me!) and this is supposed to be fun.
Why do I like reading challenges?
- I like being encouraged to read books outside my comfort zone.
- I like reading as part of a group of readers all working toward the same goal.
- I like being pushed just a little bit (for example, I would never have read 100 books last year without a challenge that pushed me to do so!)
- I love lists and crossing things off of lists. Challenges are just another way to feed my list compulsion.
What are my favorite challenges?
- I love the perpetual challenges – Orange Prize Project, Pulitzer Project, Complete Booker, etc…
- I really enjoyed the Suspense-Thriller challenge because I have a lot of those kinds of books on my TBR shelf and I sometimes forget to read this types of books.
- I also like challenges that encourage me to read around the world – like the Orbis Terrarum and Lost In Translation.
- I love the PUB Challenge, ARC Challenge, and New Author Challenge as they help me keep up with my ever increasing stack of review books.
Which Challenges have I completed so far this year?
- Unread Authors (1/6/2009)
- What an Animal (4/8/2009)
- Book Awards II (5/30/2009)
- Mystery Read-A-Thon (6/7/2009)
- Suspense-Thriller Challenge (6/8/2009)
- Bloggiesta (6/21/2009)
To see ALL my current challenges, visit my Reading Challenges page. Clicking on the graphic or title of the challenge will take you to the post where you can see my progress.