19 comments on “Book Blogger Confessions: Reading Challenges

  1. I decided that this would be the year of ZERO challenges. It’s been the year of reading whatever the f*ck I want for sure ;) (I did sign up for a TBR challenge but I don’t count that one, lol) I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon because it’s the BEST and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s fun, fun, fun.

    As far as memes go I only participate in one. (It’s Monday, What are you Reading?) I’ve met some great people that way. Mostly though, it’s my weekly wrap-up and it keeps me semi-organized.

    • I see read-a-thons as different from challenges, although I suppose they’re very similar to the ones that are just “read X number of books,” it’s just a much shorter time-frame. With challenges (and memes for that matter), I do like the social aspect, and typically when I’m thinking “well, maybe I could try one this year” it’s typically because I’m excited about that aspect of it. But when I’m not excited about the reading it sort of defeats the purpose. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’ve only participated in the Goodreads Yearly Reading Challenge. It’s weird, seeing that bar progress for books helps me keep going. I’ve been bad about not reading books as much as I’d like in the past few years, and it helps push me forward. However, like you said, I wouldn’t want something that would expand my TBR list, either. I am better at collecting books to read than actually getting through them :)

    • The only downside I see to the GR-type yearly challenge is if you get so focused on the number that you’re reading shorter books you don’t care about, just because they’re short, or shying away from chunksters that you really want to read, because it’ll bring down your number. I’ve also seen similar challenges based on pages read, but even that doesn’t really work because different formats can have vastly different page numbers. But that’s why I keep my number manageable. Sometimes I feel like I should be aiming for more, since I’ve proven I can read 75 without much difficulty… but I never want to push myself so much that it stops being enjoyable, or that I talk myself into or out of reading certain books just based on how long they’ll take me to finish.

      • That makes sense. I’m taking to where I know my schedule is crazy, so as long as I’m continuing to start a new book all the time, especially if I get stuck on one, then I’m at least making progress. I read a slight monster this last one (I guess 500 pages isn’t too monstrous, but it’s more than most) and SK books tend to be a bit longer, which I’ll probably read in two books. So we’ll see :)

  3. I’ve been really enjoying reading what I want this year, and can’t bring myself to participate in the weekly memes. This is of course only my opinion, but I get annoyed seeing all these blogs posting the same things all the time. :/

    • I don’t necessarily mind seeing blogs posting the same thing; it can be interesting to see what different people will come up with. But when the responses are all look the same is when it gets old for me. Also, I like discussion topics a lot more than lists of what books someone bought that week. Some memes it almost feels like they are more for the blogger than the reader.

  4. I don’t see much of the appeal in tons of challenges either. The only one I participate in is Off the Shelf, which is reading books you already own and have let sit for too long.

    When it comes to the memes, like SJ said, I try to make sure they will be something that will end up with content unique to me. So, I take part in It’s Monday, What are You Reading? just to set my course for the week and Waiting on Wednesday so I can sort out my most anticipated books (I also like browsing the meme for books I might not have on my radar yet).

    • Off the Shelf sounds like a great challenge. I feel like I’m the only heavy reader who doesn’t have stacks of unread books lying around. I get almost all my reading from the library, and I only buy books I already know I like and am likely to read again. If that weren’t the case, though, Off the Shelf is exactly the kind of challenge I’d be open to. Thanks for reading!

  5. The only challenge I have any desire to participate in is The Classics Club, because it’s a great way to encourage myself to expand my classics horizons and read them on a more regular basis. However, if I don’t meet my goal of 50 in 5 years, that’s totally fine with me. Encouragement, not pressure.

    I think memes can get old, but I do participate in them occasionally if the topic jumps out at me. Similarly, I do my own Quotable Friday post each week, for which I post a literary quote that I really like, typically from the book I reviewed that week.

    • “Encouragement, not pressure,” is a great way to look at it. I know myself though… setting a goal equals pressure to meet it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • I always *kinda* feel like I want to give it a shot… but then, I’m like, nope, another #YoRWiFIW it is! (Of course it didn’t have a name before.)

  6. I agree on the weekly memes–I do a few when I have the time and inclination but I do not fret over them. :)

    I always do a GoodReads challenge and am trying some others this year too. It is harder to keep track of where I am at on the other challenges because I have not had the time to update them as frequently as I would have liked.

    • I can see how checking in on your challenges could be just one more thing to take time away from the reading itself. Yet another reason I’ll probably never be one of those readers who has a ton of challenges going.

  7. I really appreciate your thoughts on challenges. When I have participated, I either find myself under weird amounts of pressure (which is ridiculous) or I get rebellious midway through and decide to bail. Ultimately, it comes down to the principle of reading whatever the f*ck I want (love this!) — anything that makes me feel pressured to pick one book over another or meet certain deadlines or commitments probably isn’t going to work for me. Reading is supposed to make me feel good! If I lose the joy in reading, then I’m really doing it wrong. That said, like others, I do like setting a Goodreads goal each year and watching the little bar move up, up, up. :)

  8. I think I have a reading challenge addiction! But I’m with you that I want them to be fun and to line up with books I already want to/am planning to read anyway. As a blogger, I like joining them because it’s an opportunity to share my reviews in a place where others have similar interests — particularly on the more specialized ones that have caught my eye (books about books, classics, Foodies Read, etc.) and to find reviews by other bloggers about books/topics I enjoy. I must say I love the idea of the “Year of Reading Whatever the F*ck I Want” — I might have to do that next year!

    • The social aspect is what makes me think I might want to try one. I’ve just never come across any that got me really excited.

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