Choose Your Own Reading Challenge

Thursday, January 05, 2017
A photo posted by rlroberson (@rlroberson) on

I love to read. I’m sure most of us here do. To me, there's nothing more exciting than stepping into a library or bookstore. Deep down, I know I should be spending some of the time devoted to reading books to more of my writing, but then again, there’s also that argument that to be a good writer, you must read. So I do!

I’ve noticed people taking annual reading challenges on Goodreads, which look like they can be personalized by reader. You set a goal to read X number of books and mark the titles off on Goodreads as you complete them. While I’ve never done a reading challenge, I did see one floating around on Facebook that looked pretty interesting. It presented the challenge of reading at least 26 books in 2017. Some of the challenges included things like reading “a book that became a film,” or “a self-published book,” or “a book that you read in school.” But I noticed some of the comments on the thread pointed out that there were challenges that would be a little hard to meet. These included “a book with a character with your first name,” and “a book set in your hometown/region.” If you have an obscure name and live in a place that doesn’t make it’s way into books very often it could get tough.

I looked back over the past year and tried to think about whether or not I personally “challenged” myself with any of the titles I read.
  • Read a 400+ page book? The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
  • Read a book that could improve a specific area of your life? Journaling Power by Mari L. McCarthy.
  • Read a book published in the last year? In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch.
  • Read a book told in reverse? All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.
  • Read a book you can finish in a day? Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.

I read a lot of books over the past year, but I didn’t really step outside of my comfort zone a whole lot. I read thrillers, women’s fiction, middle-grade and young adult fiction (which is what I write), and my usual favorite authors like Elin Hilderbrand. I didn’t branch out and read genres like science fiction or any cozy mysteries. I also realized I need to read more books by male authors. Go figure.  I’m working on putting together my own 26 Books in 2017 Challenge, and I’ll tailor it to include things I normally wouldn’t read.

How about you? Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? Did you read anything in 2016 that surprised you or helped you discover a new author or genre?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor and bookworm who reads everything from Jodi Picoult to Stephen King. 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--If you DO create a reading challenge, I hope you share it with us. I certainly need to get out of my Jodi Picoult rut and read books of different genres.

I haven't been too adventurous with my reading choices, but hopefully that will change. I bought a few books for myself, still not cracked open. One of Neil Gaiman's books--he's an author so many writers rave about--is on my "to read" list and is sitting on the stack.

Thanks for this post, Renee. It got me thinking of the choices I make and how I can branch out a bit...

Margo Dill said...

Those questions you answered--the reading challenges about books in reverse, etc--are interesting. I am thinking about at least keeping a list this year. I have a terrible memory about what I read when and as I have mentioned, I have had trouble reading too since the big D. But like writing, it is getting better too.

Michelle Mach said...

I'm doing my local library's challenge this year - 12 genres in 12 months. I do tend to read the same genres over and over, so I thought this would help me branch out. (The list is posted on my blog if you want to see the genres.)

Mary Horner said...

Love this idea and the interesting categories! Fun with reading!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top