You may recall my 2019 Reading Challenge, which I pretty much abandoned around mid-April last year. I think I was a little too ambitious in my criteria. But I still really like the idea of challenging and stretching myself with my reading, so this year I was looking for a way to do that without having to be so rigid about it. I’ve decided on two ways that I’m going to approach my reading differently this year.
A Different Way to Track Reading
Everyone knows the Goodreads Challenge, right? You set a goal for how many books you want to read for the year, and then you use Goodreads to keep track of the books you’ve read, and then at the end of the year you get a little badge thingie.
Last year I set my goal for 75 books, and I did it (I think I actually read 77 books), but I don’t feel like I really gained anything from it, and the stress I felt when I was behind was more prominent than any sense of accomplishment I felt.
So, instead of tracking or setting a goal for the NUMBER of books I want to read this year, I am setting goals for TIME SPENT reading each month. I want to try to average an hour a day, so 31 hours for January, 29 for February (because it’s a leap year), etc. I want to see how this affects not only what I choose to read, but what I gain from what I read.
I did still set a Goodreads Challenge goal, because like I told my brother, I like the outside validation of being able to check things off a list. But I set my goal for 12 books, one book a month, because I am also participating in a Reading Challenge this year…
The Fictional Hangover Book Club Challenge
Fictional Hangover is a podcast that discusses Young Adult and New Adult fiction in weekly episodes, sometimes featuring author interviews. The podcast is fun, but I think I get even more enjoyment out of their social media interaction (the podcast’s Twitter account has become sentient).
They’ve also recently created a page on Goodreads and provided a reading challenge for this year that I think has just the right balance of freedom of choice and variety of challenges. And it only has 12 books on it. Perfect.
So I’m going to give this challenge a try. Of course, the podcast focuses on Young Adult fiction, but I like that most of these prompts are flexible enough that you could read adult or children’s fiction or nonfiction for them.
January’s prompt is The Times They Are A-Changin’: Read the last book in a series. This one may be a bit tough because I cannot think of a series for which I’ve read all but the last book, so I guess I will have to read an entire series. As Amanda, one of the hosts of the show, pointed out to me on Goodreads, a duology can count, so I guess I can do that. I did just start reading Kiersten White’s Slayer, and the sequel comes out this month and is supposed to be the last book, so that could work…
Oh! I literally just thought of this as I was typing–I listened to the audio of Six of Crows last month, so I could read/listen to Crooked Kingdom! Perfect.
Are you participating in a Reading Challenge this year? Do you have any other reading-related goals for 2020?