I confess to the following reasons that book challenges work for me:
- Goodreads. I love goodreads. I love looking at books I plan to read and scavenging for even more books. I look at goodreads lists, recommendations, books that my goodreads "friends" are reading, and more.
- The lists. Oh, how I love the lists. I love matching books to categories presented from book challenges. I love to match them with books already on my tbr, and sometimes, I enjoy it even more when I have to search for a book to match a particular category.
- The planning. To be honest, the planning is part of the list-making, but I enjoy that activity so much, it's getting another mention. I'm a freak when it comes to the planning. For instance, I have a challenge coming up in June to read from my book shelf at home. I've already sub-categorized books into historical fiction, YA, non-fiction, memoirs, contemporary fiction, and thriller and am planning to spread my choices over the sub-categories. I confessed that I'm a freak.
- If my preliminary lists/plan changes, so be it. I don't fret. I try to stick to my original list, but it doesn't always happen, and I'm flexible.
- Stretching my horizons. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Reading a book (and thoroughly enjoying it) that would most likely have never been on my radar if it wasn't for a book challenge.
- Interacting with other book lovers and challenge participants. I have participated in previous challenges that gave little to no interaction. I didn't last long with most of those. I find that I enjoy the "book talk" with other challenge participants so much that gives me fuel to keep reading.
- If I don't finish the challenge, I don't feel like a failure. It's really no big deal to me.
- That being said, I do try to finish most challenges I participate in, and I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it.
- I pick challenges that work for me. In #3, I said that I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone. Well, if I'm gonna confess the whole truth, this isn't always the case. I'm not going to sign up for a "classics" book challenge. I'm not much of a reader or fan of "classics". I may read one or two a year, so I'm not going to join that challenge because it just doesn't interest me enough.
- Book challenges are just another way to encourage my reading habits. They are an encouragement to me...that is something positive...if they felt like "work" or a "chore", then challenges wouldn't suit me.
I confess that I actively participate in the following book challenges:
- Book Challenge by Erin - Duh. I host it. It is winding up its fourth installment, and it has grown every challenge. A new one begins the 1st of July (categories to be announced the 1st of June).
- Aussie Authors Challenge (latest post linked) - This has been a superb way for me to introduce myself to some of Australia's homegrown literary talent.
- Around the World in 80 Books - Through bloggers and link-ups and goodreads, I found out about this challenge. I'd already enjoyed reading books set in different countries and learning about cultures through those stories. It was like this challenge was made for me.
- Read My Books Challenge - hosted by Dani & ME (again!) - Coming soon this June! Join us in a challenge to read from the pile of books (ebooks, audiobooks) that you already own and are waiting to be read.
- Semi-Charmed Kind of Life's book challenges - I've been a regular participant in Megan's challenges. Her summer list will be posted May 15th.
Do you participate in book challenges? What do you like/dislike about them?