I've been neglecting this blog this week. Shame on me. But I have been posting everyday on my other blog (Joysweb) – just as an experiment, after discovering NaBloPoMo. So I haven't been going completely blog-free. More like blog "lite."
Well, December is chugging right along, and if it behaves the same way Decembers usually do, Christmas will be here before we know it, and then suddenly we won't have 2008 to kick around anymore. So I've been doing the natural thing – looking around for reading challenges to join in 2009! And also coming to the sad conclusion that I'm going to have to declare defeat in a couple of the challenges I attempted in 2008. Bummer.
No reflection on either of the challenges, their hosts or participants. It's just that I realize I probably won't have time to get around to reading the remaining books on those lists by the end of this year.
First, the Young Readers Challenge. I was supposed to read a dozen books for that one, and ended up reading eight. So, not total defeat. And it was such a fun challenge, that I'm not too upset about not reaching the finish line. Many thanks to Becky for hosting – I'm not sure how she juggles all those reviews and challenges, but it's a good thing for all us book freaks that she manages it.
I feel a little more regret about admitting my failure in the Man-Booker Challenge. It was one of my favorites – and the books on my list are all books I still hope to read eventually. But I'll never get the three remaining titles read by the end of this month. Plus, there's the very sad fact that the challenge host, Dewey (of The Hidden Side of a Leaf), is no longer with us. And every time I think about the challenge, I remember that. I didn't have the personal relationship with Dewey that a lot of bloggers had, but her death has affected us all, in many ways. She'll be missed.
That leaves me with just one challenge "ending" in 2008 – the Suspense-Thriller Challenge. But technically, that one continues on throughout 2009. So even though I may not make my 2008 goal, I'm still planning to complete all the "required" reading by challenge end.
And that brings me to future challenges. I've already signed up for a couple of new challenges starting in 2009: the Lost In Translation Challenge, and the Read Your Own Books Challenge. In looking for enticing challenges, I'm trying to concentrate as much as possible on those that will allow me to read books I'm already planning to read next year. That way, I can enjoy the challenge and whittle down that enormous TBR pile at the same time.
I have two other goals for my reading in 2009. First, I want to read more "foreign" literature. For me, that will mean literature in translation – since, like most Americans, my only reading language is English (or a version of it, anyway).
And my other long-term goal is to catch up on a lot of the books I missed out on during the 1990s. For some reason I had slipped into a non-reading phase during most of the decade. I think the Internet was probably mostly to blame for that – web surfing took up all my spare reading time for many years. I've recovered a bit lately, thanks mostly to those challenges. But there are a bunch of books from the '90s I want to read now. So I'm going to start my own personal "Reading the '90s" Challenge – for 2009 and beyond!