Hi, everyone! Today’s post is EXTRA-SPECIAL and VERY EXCITING to me: It’s all about the reading challenges I signed up for this year! I aim to make 2017 my best reading year yet and I can’t wait to read books upon books that count toward these challenges. Naturally, since it’s January ninth, I’ve already begun working towards my reading goals.
As usual, I signed up for Goodreads’ annual reading challenge, setting my goal to one hundred books. I’ve done this challenge every year since 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed it but since I also wanted something more this year, I added two other challenges.
The first reading challenge I signed up for is Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge:
- Read a book about sports
- Read a debut novel
- Read a book about books
- Read a book set in Central or South America written by an author who is from there
- Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative
- Read an all-ages comic
- Read a book published between 1900 and 1950
- Read a travel memoir
- Read a book you’ve read before
- Read a book that is set within one hundred miles of your location
- Read a book that is set more than five thousand miles from your location
- Read a fantasy novel
- Read a nonfiction book about technology
- Read a book about war
- Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+
- Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country
- Read a classic by an author of color
- Read a superhero comic with a female lead
- Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey
- Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel
- Read a book published by a micropress
- Read a collection of stories by a woman
- Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love
- Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color
The second reading challenge is called Around The Year In 52 Books:
- A book from the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards
- A book with at least two perspectives
- A book you meant to read in 2016
- A title that doesn’t contain the letter “E”
- A work of historical fiction
- A book being released as a movie in 2017
- A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
- A book written by a person of color
- A book in the middle of your TBR list
- A dual-timeline novel
- A category from another challenge
- A book based on a myth
- A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
- A book with a strong female character
- A book written or set in Scandinavia
- A mystery
- A book with illustrations
- A really long book (600+ pages)
- A New York Times best-seller
- A book that you’ve owned for a while but haven’t gotten around to reading
- A book that is a continuation of a book you’ve already read
- A book by an author you haven’t read before
- A book from the BBC’s “The Big Read” list
- A book written by at least two authors
- A book about a famous historical figure
- An adventure book
- A book by one of your favorite authors
- A nonfiction book
- A book published outside of the four major publishing houses
- A book from Goodreads’ Top 100 YA Books
- A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
- A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
- A magical realism novel
- A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
- A book where one of the main characters is royalty
- A Hugo Award winner or nominee
- A book you chose randomly
- A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
- A work of epistolary fiction
- A book published in 2017
- A book with an unreliable narrator
- A best book of the 21st century (so far)
- A book with a chilling atmosphere
- A recommendation from “What Should I Read Next?”
- A book with a one-word title
- A time travel novel
- A past suggestion that didn’t win
- A banned book
- A book from someone else’s bookshelf
- A Penguin Modern Classic, any edition
- A collection (e.g. of essays, short stories, poetry, plays, et cetera)
- A book set in a fictional location
Together the two challenges add up to only seventy-six* of the one hundred books I intend to read this year, which gives me plenty of wiggle room to choose books that don’t count toward either.
*Assuming I don’t double-count any books, which I’m not planning on doing unless I get particularly desperate.
While it’s entirely possible that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew – especially considering how greatly depression affected my reading habits in both 2015 and 2016 – it’s really important to me that I at least try these challenges.
Since we’re several days into the new year by now, I’ve already begun both of them and look forward to seeing how I progress from here. I’ve been posting on the respective forums and enjoyed seeing what everyone else is reading – although, unlike some other participants, I haven’t created elaborate checklists with every single book I plan to read for these challenges. I do have a vague list in my head of some of the books I’d like to get to this year, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to stick to a predetermined list for months: I’d get bored or distracted. So I just didn’t make one.
I want to change up my reading habits and, in discovering new and exciting books to read, rediscover why I loved reading in the first place. I want to stretch my mind by selecting books outside the categories from which I normally read.
For instance, I read a lot of #OwnVoices books and diverse lit, but I haven’t read much historical fiction lately. Or poetry. Or long books, for that matter. I also hope that participating in these challenges will help me find the motivation to read steadily instead of taking breaks that last for weeks or even months as I have in the past. (Reading slumps are THE WORST.)
I hope that these challenges lend greater structure to my reading habits.
I hope that this year, I read more widely, more voraciously, and more rewardingly.
Are you doing any reading challenges in 2017? What are they and what made you decide to sign up for them?
P.S. Become my friend on Goodreads to follow along with my reading challenge progress throughout the year! I think I’d like to post periodic updates about both of these challenges on this blog, but haven’t yet decided just how often that should happen. Stay tuned!