Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Confessions of a book challenge junkie

I've confessed several times before that I'm a little bit of a book challenge junkie.  I don't think I commit myself to too many.  I think I give myself room to read books that have nothing to do with a challenge.  I like the challenges, and I feel that I tailor them to suit me and my reading habits.

I confess to the following reasons that book challenges work for me:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. If I don't finish the challenge, I don't feel like a failure.  It's really no big deal to me.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

Wednesday link-up with Nadine & Kathy 


  1. i have tried to be all smarty pants and read classics like Jane Eyre, Wutherhing Heights etc but nope, can't do it because those books are boring as fuck #sorrynotsorry.

  2. I can't WAIT for Megan's next challenge!

    I've seen the Around the World in 80 Books challenge on various blogs and I'm intrigued by it. I might give it a go :-)

  3. I have not done one of these! But... I have the attention span of a gnat lately which makes sticking with a book a challenge. Need to do better!

  4. book challenge queen! i cant tell you about how many books i have at home and i cannot read them. teach me your ways! i think i just need to cut back on tv and stuff haha. make time!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  5. I'm a fan of book challenges, even though I'm currently failing HARD ar yours right now. Lol.
    College got me out of the habit of picking up a book in my down time so these challenges are slowly "forcing" me to read again, which is really really helpful!

  6. I confess this book over is too busy or exhausted to read these last few weeks. I even missed blogging so far this week, work and kid stuff has me longing for June 3rd and summer break!

  7. I'm bad about book challenges. I struggle to pick out what I'm going to read anyways so adding in categories, it just makes my brain cry a little :)

  8. I have not participated in any book challenges yet. I am planning to participate in your Read My Books Challenge for June. I went through my unread books (grimaced a lot because some were ignored for a reason!) and set aside which ones I want to tackle. I typically do not participate in book challenges because it seems like whatever I "need" to read, no longer interests me. Sigh.

  9. I like book challenges in theory for the same reasons you listed. I just don't participate in or finish them because I read what I read when I feel like reading it and usually the challenges are not at the forefront of my thinking when I put books on hold at the library.

  10. yes to so many of these! I always have so much fun putting together my lists of what I want to read and trying to fit books on my tbr list into the categories. also, I started out of the easy and LOVE it!

  11. I don't know if I have ever completed an nitrite challenge. I think just one. For whatever reason if I know I have to read this book and that book it suddenly becomes less fun for me. Though, in theory they always sound awesome! Goodreads is the bomb.

  12. I've loved the book challenge (my first one!)...I'm finishing up a book that I will definitely have done by April 30th, and I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment. Looking forward to participating again in July!

  13. I can already start to tell that I might be turning into a Reading Challenge junkie too! I participated in the Semi Charmed Book Challenge for the first time this winter and yours too, and I loved it! Like you said, it's fun to see how to make the categories work for your TBR list, and it gives me the ability to read books that I might never have read. I had The Kite Runner on my Nook for years, but joining your challenge finally made me read it, and I'm so glad that I did! It was such an amazing book! P.S. I have 30 pages left in my 9th book, and my goal is to finish the last one before the 30th!

  14. I've never did a book challenge, but it sounds really fun! I really need to start reading more books again, I truly enjoy it! :)

  15. I'm terrible at book challenges. I forget about them or can't find the books or find better books and it just falls apart.
    Love the Belle gif!

  16. Oh, girl... You know I do! I think I may a junkie, too. Unfortunately, my personality is the type that I must finish what I start. I have to see it through. It's just something deeply ingrained in me. Right now, I'm doing whatever it takes to finish my 20th and final book for your 4.0 challenge. I WILL finish it by 11:59pm on Saturday! LOL! Man, I may need professional help...

    PS - Looking forward to your June read the books you already have challenge!

  17. Wow, you are in a lot of reading challenges! I'll probably join up to one this summer when I start taking my "parking lot lunches" where I spend most of the time reading my book. Right now, I tend to go home to watch Jimmy Fallon rather than reading. :|

  18. What Nadine^ said. I like the idea of book challenges, I like lists and peruse Goodreads and Steph/Jana's linkup and add to my TBR shelf all the time, but if I sign up and don't finish, I feel like a failure, and nobody likes that! Which is why ours is the only one I'm doing this year. That, and the fact that reading my shelves is on my 101 list and I really want to do it!

  19. I didn't start participating in book challenges until last year, but I've grown to love them for many of the reasons you've listed here. I'm definitely a planner/list maker, so that part is almost as fun for me as actually reading the books!

    I do really hate changing my initial list (like REALLY hate it to an unnatural degree), but I'm trying to learn to be a little more flexible. After all, sometimes the library waiting list for a certain book is just outrageous ... So obviously if I'm number 130 on the list and they only have 10 copies, I might not get it before a challenge ends. I have to accept that and move on. That being said, part of my planning/initial list making process involves checking to see whether the books I want are readily available at the library. But it's not like that's foolproof. Someone could check out a book and then lose it or just forget to return it for months (or something), and if they only have a single copy of that particular book, I'm out of luck unless I want to buy it.

    I'm working through what I can of the bonus round for your challenge right now. I'm not going to be able to finish 10 books for that round, but I'm pretty confident that I'll at least finish the book I'm currently reading by Saturday night. That would give me 4 books for the bonus round, and I'd be happy with that.

    I'm looking forward to the new Semi-Charmed challenge as well as the Read Your Books challenge you're doing with Dani. I know I won't finish all of the books I own (and haven't read) in a single month, but I'm planning to set a specific goal for myself and kind of work around that. I haven't exactly figured it all out yet, but I've still got some time. I also didn't know your next book challenge was coming up so soon, but you can bet I'll be joining that as well! :-)

    Clearly I also think and talk about book challenges a lot considering the length of this comment. Haha.

  20. you know i love challenges! i haven't been keeping track of them recently and i think i need to just start all over with my challenges page on my blog because it is not up to date. the only thing i struggle with is when there is a category that i absolutely hate to read - like you said with classics. i love your challenge and i wish i completed it, but i think you had short stories on yours? i hate short stories. i know it's the stupidest thing ever, but it just makes me not want to read it even more, and if i force myself i hate it. but i will get back on track and i will win your next one ;) lol

  21. Totally agree with this! I love reading challenges. They help me feel like I'm making a dent in my massive TBR list.


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