Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekly Geeks - Reading Challenges

Hosted by Terri at Weekly Geeks.

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 love reading challenges. I just discovered them last year and they are perfect for me. I'm disabled and in poor health. I can't go out to libraries, bookshops, book clubs or anything else. The only hobby left to me is reading and while it's decreasing I still read about 150 books of literary fiction every year. I love talking about good books almost as much as I enjoy reading them and having a blog lets me do that. Reading challenges allow me to do even more of it, with people who are interested in the same challenge themes and genres.

Reading challenges also alert me to good reading recommendations for myself and the opportunity to recommend good books to others. This is the main purpose of my blog. Challenge also help me to keep better records of what I read. I've joined about 40 and only left 2 or 3 incomplete, usually because I joined late. The trick for me is to join challenges of the kind of books that I know I'm going to read anyway. I'm a mood reader so I read what I like and then find that it usually fits into a challenge somewhere, often more than one. I've always read award winners, library books, new authors, chunksters, literature in translation, essays, classics, etc. anyway so those challenges are a snap for me. And I have the luxury of more reading time than most people do. And there's no such thing as failing if I don't meet a reading goal. There are no consequences, it's just a fun to do. Lest you think I'd join any reading challenge, the list of those that hold no interest for me is actually longer than those that do.

My favourite challenges are focused on specific countries or cultures, the more different from my own the better. I especially enjoy all the awards Challenges, and Japanese lit, Jewish lit, German lit, Orbis Terrarum, last year's Africa challenge (we need another one), Lost in Translation, Diversity Rocks, 21 Cultures, War Through the Generations, Chunksters, What an Animal, Canadian Books, and LibraryThing Authors.

I'd like to see others such as French, African American, Irish, or Scandinavian literature etc. Yup, reading challenges are my new hobby. Sign me up and I'll meet you on the links page.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed that you read 150 books a year! I'd be very happy if I'm able to read 100! :P

    I love reading challenges because I think they're a great motivation and plus, I like the book recommendations from other readers. :)

  2. I signed up for 2 challenges last year and bombed on both of them. I swore I wasn't going to do anymore. I recently signed up for 2 more, but haven't read a single book for either one of them since signing up. Wish me luck!

  3. I think the reading challenges are fun. But, I am in a constant state of reading, that there really isn't much of a challenge for me to pick up a book to read. I read on a wide variety of subjects, not just Holocaust related ones, as my Jew Wishes blog is about.

  4. My Dread Pile o'Reads teeters enough as it is so I went easy for my first year of challenges set by others: Drama and Short stories, which I own and read anyway. Next year, I may join more.

    Of the books you listed for Musing Mondays, I've heard of none, which is rare.

  5. :) so good! I mean yours is so honest... i m sure envious of your completing the challenges... i mean... i hardly ever ever complete :D but then i love the fun it is! :)

    i don't feel pressurized.. otherwise i would be finishing more challenges :)!

    150! HUGE target for me! i m aining at 5o this year and i m sure having a party if i end up completing 50 :) :)

  6. You're so kind to mention the LT Authors challenge, which I have been very remiss at maintaining! I will spiff it up, I promise ;)

    I think I'd do better with "themed" reading challenges, like many of those you participate in. I signed up for several this year, but they're very loosely defined.



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