Reading Challenges and Why I Don’t Do Them

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Happy Monday and Happy Pride Month to everyone reading this! In addition to last week’s post filled with resources of paying literary journals, here’s the latest for June:

The Practicing Writer 2.0: June 2022

Cathy’s Comps and calls for June 2022

Take a look and send the best work that you have!

In the last few years, I’ve noticed the trend of Reading Challenges picking up pace. I noticed it first on GoodReads and then started seeing them everywhere. Each time I log in to GoodReads, it demands to know how many books I want to or will read this year. The answer, like everything in the future is, I don’t know! It really depends on my mood. Some years I like going through my favourite old reads at a slow, almost languorous pace. Other times I find myself whizzing through a bunch of thrillers or even nonfiction books that leave me hungry for more.

I’m part of a couple of reading groups and its quite common to see posts that start off with something like ‘35/50’, which reads like a test score but it’s not. 35 equals the number of the book the person has read and 50 is the target they want to achieve.

If this measure is helping readers, who don’t otherwise read a lot, to up their pace and wolf down books, then it’s the greatest thing on earth. I cannot imagine a downside to this because reading is the greatest pleasure and the most productive thing one can do with their time (yes even if it’s just 50 Shades of Grey).

But – and it’s a very small but – the trend of people announcing it and looking for ways to announce it make it’s a very Social Media competition thing. its almost in line with the number of followers/ fans/ likes that every ‘Influencer’ craves and spouts. I don’t like it much but it is people’s choice to share and I guess as long as it doesn’t harm anyone its fine. I will only add one caveat – no one should compare their reading stats to others and try to achieve the same. If you are reading just to hit a target then you are not enjoying the journey (this applies to almost everything in life!). Read at your own pace and make sure you enjoy it.

If I track my reading journey, I used to gobble up anywhere between 3-5 books per week. Then I had kids, and now I’m lucky if I finish that many in a month. My pace is much slower these days, closer to 2 or 3 books a month on average. Many of them might be re-reads of books I’ve read long back but forgotten enough to enjoy a second read.

You can find a ton of books to add to your TBR pile by going through my recommendations. My reading situation is just like those memes – enough books to fill a house but I still keep buying more. Help! It’s an addiction!

Do you take part in book-reading challenges? Have you won any of them? I’m jealous if you have, but let me know more in the comments anyway!

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