Posted in Book Talk

Why I’m Too Impulsive for Reading Challenges

Reading challenges, everywhere!

It’s not a new thing, in any way. I see soooo many bloggers and group posting about the reading challenges they are taking part in. Readathons, themed reads, category challenges…magazines, Goodreads groups, libraries….everyone seems to have some challenge they’re carrying on about!

Seriously.

The examples.

Are pretty much.

Endless.

But they just don’t work for me. And, with a dose of painful honesty, I think it all comes down to my commitment issues.

I can’t have just one

To be clear, those are commitment issues with books only! My beau and I are fine. But when it comes to anything that will even slightly try to shape what I end up reading, I am so quickly running in the other direction!

It doesn’t really make sense, because I typically read multiple books at the same time. I also typically read 7-10 books a month —

sorry, writing that just felt quite surreal for a moment —

So it’s not like I don’t have the time or space for a few extra books. So what gives?? Why can’t I find the joy of a book club, or a clever list challenge from a trendy online site, or even a fun themed group option in my Goodreads groups?

Books = heart

It’s actually simple: what I read is almost 100% dictated by my current mood. They’re totally dictated by where my heart and head are at in a moment. The idea of feeling obligated to read something ruins reading for me. Most likely, I would end up struggling through any book that I was required to read for a club or group if it wasn’t one I was feeling at the moment, which then ruins the whole experience!

As I’ve been beginning to write more about my reading through this blog, and adventure into “required reading” spaces like author requests and NetGalley reviews, I’ve been very careful only to accept books I knew I was interested in reading at the moment. Otherwise, they would either go unread for too long (which is unfair to those who offered the book), or I would read it with resentment and probably rate it more poorly than I otherwise would since I had a negative attitude about it (also not fair). Reading is important enough to me to ensure that I keep it as something I enjoy, rather than a chore.

Usually the ultimate goals of reading challenges is to get people to read genres they might otherwise not pick up. But I read a fairly wide range, though I clearly trend more towards YA and fantasy. But there’s still nonfiction, and mystery, and chick lit, and romance, and historical fiction, and so on… so I think I do okay without forcing myself to read something else.

So really… it’s just better of for everyone if I don’t try to cram my reading time into a box of any kind. 🤣 I will remain flexible and random in what I read, and do it happily!

Oh… except for that whole thing where I’m starting a book club. But at least I have some sway over the books included, so hopefully that will work out? 😂

Convince me otherwise!

What challenges have you done or are planning to do? I’d be interested to see if any can sway me enough to give them a shot! How do you stick to your challenge goals when you don’t feel like reading the book needed for that challenge?

Author:

Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

8 thoughts on “Why I’m Too Impulsive for Reading Challenges

  1. I’m not here to convince you. What I will say is that each blogger’s reasons for participating in a challenge vary, though you’ve boiled it down to one or two and you indicate there’s only one objective to creating challenges. It’s okay if you don’t want to do them or don’t think they fit you. What’s not okay is for you to make us one monolithic mindset. If you’d actually read my challenge posts, you’d see clearly why I’m doing them. None of my reasons are represented in your outline above.

    Again, not here to convince you but to invite you to actually read what you’ve offered as examples. Maybe you’d have a better perspective.

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    1. Oh, I’m sorry if you feel I didn’t represent your posts well. This was certainly not a post against reading challenges, as they certainly have merit, or as a thorough investigation into them, but rather a self-reflection on why I struggle with them.

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  2. Keep in mind that most reading challenges take place over an entire calendar year. That gives you 12 whole months to complete the challenge, many of which only require that you read 6-10 titles.
    Reading challenges can be a fun way of whittling down a large TBR, or introducing the reader to something they wouldn’t have otherwise tried. I find it enjoyable to just ‘find’ what titles meet the specific criteria for each challenge.
    I realize reading challenges might not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, but they can be very enjoyable if approached with the right mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, the long time frame would definitely help! I think what I’ll do is to see a challenge from last year and take a look through to see if what I read lines up with them a bit as is, which would help lessen the feeling of obligation towards certain styles.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find that reading challenges help me read a bit more. I kind of love pressure, so I really want to finish everything. If I don’t, it’s totally ok. But they’re fun and I enjoy tracking what I’m reading in different ways. I read quite a few books by Asian authors, but I found that I picked up more last year by joining the challenge. It feels good at the end of the year to see what I’ve done. It’s definitely a personal thing for me. Plus a way to connect with other bloggers that are participating.

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    1. Yeah, I loved reading about how you ended up reading more Asian authors. That was actually one challenge I was very close to taking on after hearing it from you, and probably should have since it’s more of a “how much can you do” than a “you have to do all these things” style of challenge.The pressure aspect is part of what gets me – if I set a goal and don’t meet it, I know I’ll feel bad about it, so I’m hesitant to take the risk. Sounds like you have a much healthier way of dealing with it haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I’m super critical. I know I am. Having goals and challenges helps me do more. I know I feel a little bad if I don’t finish something. But that happened once last year and I was surprisingly ok with it. Just trying seemed to make me happy. 🙂

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