Despite having a Goodreads account for years, it wasn’t until I began blogging that I started becoming active on this wonderful, wonderful site for bookworms, which ultimately led me to discover the magic of reading challenges. It happened like this: I was trying to figure out how to tackle my TBR shelf and at the same time trying to decide which book I should pick up next–should I go for that new 2016 release that will cost me my entire monthly allowance, or should I pick up that book I bought earlier last year but never got around to reading or should I just pick up whatever the current craze is in the reading community?
Luckily, I stumbled upon a really interesting GR group called 2016 Reading Challenges. As the name suggests, this group is all about today’s discussion post, and one of the very first challenges I participated in was the TBR Randomiser Challenge (about which I will discuss in details later in this post). Although I have yet to complete even half of this challenge, it made me realise how challenges like this can not only broaden your choice of genres and introduce you to new books you probably never would have picked up otherwise, but it also helps trim down your TBR shelf a great deal. Here are some challenges that I have participated in and am enjoying quite a lot at the moment.
If you are not interested in joining a Goodreads group to participate in a challenge, you can always participate solo in Goodreads yearly challenge, where you get to pick any number of books you would like to read during a particular year.This is a very popular challenge, and it’s a neat way of shortening your TBR list. You could go for 10, 25, 50 75 or even 100 books a year (I once met a blogger on Twitter who pledged to read 150 books last year and ended up reading 175) and Goodreads will keep track of your progress for you as long as you remember to update your currently reading shelf every time you read and finish a book. It’s the perfect challenge for us bookaholics–we can never stop reading!
Lifestyle media publisher Popsugar came up with a really cool challenge last year and this year is no different. Their Ultimate Reading Challenge for 2016 involves reading books from 40 descriptions, ranging from fairy-tale retellings, satirical books and even strange descriptions like the first book you in a bookstore. Here’s a complete list of their descriptions for this year’s challenge:
The great part about challenges like Popsugar’s is that you get to read different kinds of books, maybe even the kind of books you have never read before. If you want broaden your comfort zone, challenges like these are a pretty cool and fun way to do it.
Speaking of challenges that make you discover new types of books, I just have to talk about the Top 100 YA Books Challenge as hosted by Goodreads group YA Buddy Readers Corner. This monthly challenge , based on the top 100 Young Adults books listopia on Goodreads, is fun not simply because it gives you chance to catch up with all the craze in the YA world, but also because the descriptions in the challenge are fun and flexible. Don’t be daunted by the name of the challenge–you don’t have to read all 100 books in a month. You could read as many books as you want, use the same description as many times as you like, and although the group moderators have included several handy listopias to help look for books you can read books that are not in those lists so long as they fit one or more of the descriptions listed in the challenge. And seeing as how there are 100 descriptions, you have a lot of choices.
Let’s Turn Pages Challenge: Unlike most challenges where you challenge yourself to read a certain number of books, the Let’s Turn Pages Challenge hosted this year by Goodreads group 2016 Reading Challenges makes you set a goal for the number of pages your would read in a year. The more books you read, the more page numbers you add to your list to reach your set goal. It’s an even more flexible challenge as there’s no set number of books, and you can read any kind of books you want. All of you have to do is keep counting the pages until December 31st.
Around the World In Books Challenge: My favorite books are books that focus on a country or culture that I am not familiar with (like Cinder, which is set in New Beijing) and with the growing demand for diverse books in the reading community, it’s no surprise how popular this challenge is. The challenge works by reading books by writers from as many different countries as you can–the writer can be born there or may just be living there. First you choose the number of books you want to read, then you decide on the countries, and there you go! You are travelling around the world in books.
Before I say anything about this challenge, I am going to ask all of you to check out Modern Mrs. Darcy (or Anne) who is a uber cool blogger with a gorgeous site full of incredibly thought provoking posts about what it really means to be a modern woman. I’m serious guys, you have to check out her blog if you haven’t already, she’s one of the best bloggers in the community!
This year Anne made a reading challenge of her own, a small yearly challenge that is fairly simple and easy to accomplish, 12 books in 12 different categories over 12 months.
Personally I think this is the best challenge for those who have never participated in a reading challenge before. The categories are fun and easy, the number of books are pretty small especially given the time to finish the challenge–any bookworm, no matter how busy, can definitely find the time to read at least one book a month. Keeping that in mind this is also a great challenge who are new to the world of reading!
The TBR Randomiser Challenge: This is by far my favorite challenge, cause there is a big element of surprise (and I really love surprises!). The challenge works by letting Goodreads decide what you want to read. First you choose a number of books you would like to read, then you change the sorting option in your to-reads shelf on Goodreads to “Random” and Goodreads will choose your books for you! It’s for those who have a hard time choosing what to read, but personally I love it because I will never what will come up for me.
Have you taken part in any reading challenges before? What do you think of these reading challenges in general? I would love to know your thoughts so feel free to comment away!
Happy reading bookworms!