This week's 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?"I joined a lot of challenges this year. A lot of challenges. Probably more than I should have, but I don't regret it. They've kept me reading; and I've read a lot of books I probably wouldn't have thought of reading without the challenge to spur me on. I always try to look for challenges that don't call for a set number of books or put a huge limit on the kinds of things I can read (like MizB's Read Your Own Books Challenge, one of my favorites). And even if I don't manage to read all the books required, I don't usually feel terribly guilty when the challenge ends. I'm a slow reader, so I know going in that it's likely I won't be successful with each and every challenge. But I like the self-discipline they impose – and I enjoy the list-making and record-keeping almost as much as the reading itself. Well, I am a geek, after all.
So far, I've completed the following challenges in 2009:
- Winter Reading Challenge (12 books)
- Book Awards II Challenge (10 books)
- Spring Reading Thing (14 books)
- Once Upon a Time III Challenge (1 book)
- Victorian Challenge (4 books)
- What An Animal! Challenge (6 books)
- Southern Reading Challenge (3 books)
- Chunkster Reading Challenge (2 books)
- Books Into Movies Challenge (7 books)
- 20 in 2009 Challenge (20+ books)
So it looks like I've read quite a few books. Well, looks can be deceiving – many of those books were shared among several challenges. Still, I have read twenty-six books so far this year, which is a goodly number, for me. That means if I keep up the pace, I'll easily reach my goal of fifty books for the year – might even do a little better than that. I'm not making any promises, of course. My reading challenges have given me a nice big nudge, but it's best not to expect miracles!