I am guilty. Every year I choose a reading challenge (or two or three), but I never end up completing it. I usually fizzle out around May to June or so. The only reading challenges I can complete is Goodreads’ challenge, where you set a strictly number goal. After finishing that over the past few years, it feels too easy. The question then becomes what do you choose and focus on for your challenge? In this post, I will walk you through how I decided on the reading challenge I will be attempting in 2018.
Quantity Vs. Quality
I’ve been tracking my reading this year, so I know I can get through around five books a month. I could either try to pack in as many books each month as I can and blow my previous numbers out of the water, or stick to my regular pace and try to read more selectively. I know from power-reading before that I will get burned out after a few weeks. Going for quantity is not the best option for me.
The next thing to decide is what do I want to read? Do I want to follow someone else’s challenge, or do I want to design my own? There are plenty of reading challenges out there to try. Some of my favorites are from PopSugar, Modern Mrs. Darcy, and Book Riot. Other bloggers and podcasters have their own reading challenges as well. You could also tackle a book list, like reading every book Rory mentions on Gilmore Girls, or all the books that have won a particular award.
If you choose to design your own challenge, it really is up to you to decide how you want to expand your horizons. I would recommend looking at existing challenges and figuring out a theme for the year. For my Shoulda-Read Along, I am trying to read the books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, but haven’t. You could choose to read all books by a particular author, or books by authors of a different nationality or race. Also, if you design your own challenge, you have the freedom to choose how many books you want to attempt for the challenge.
Marathon Vs. Sprint
Many challenges are designed to take place over a year, but some people know that that just won’t work for them. They will forget, or lose track, or even lose interest in the challenge. If that is the case, I would recommend choosing either a shorter period of time, or doing readathons instead of reading challenges. Readathons can be as short as a day or as long as a month, and they usually follow a particular theme. I recommend following Readathon News on Twitter; they keep track of all the readathons bloggers and podcasters are running on a handy Google calendar.
My Challenges for 2018
In addition to my Shoulda-Read Along, I will be doing the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge. I like the list she curated. I think I can easily double up with other books I’m planning and my own challenge (yes, I am a double-dipper). Each challenge only calls for one book a month. I can easily fill in around that with all the other books I want to read. Or if I miss a book one month, it wouldn’t be too hard to read an extra challenge book another month to catch up.
Are you planning any reading challenges for 2018?
Let me know in the comments!