Sunday, January 25, 2009

TSS: What I Like About Challenges

Yes, I know. People get carried away. You can end up reading something awful like Xena Warrior Princess just to add an X title to your challenge list.

But there are good things about challenges, too.

I only signed up for two challenges last year: Newbery Challenge and Around the World in 80 Books. The idea behind ATWIB is to read books set in 80 different countries. I thought I was reading books that were set all around the world. Well, I discovered I was reading books set in countries outside my US, but over and over and over I found I was reading in China and India and Iraq. And that was all. I needed to push myself a little more.

I completed the Newbery Challenge. I read all the Newbery books last year. Believe me, there were some I wanted to give up on. And that was the good thing about the NC; I stuck with it. I found a lot of wonderful books, many unknown to me.

This year I signed up for a dozen challenges. That sounds like a lot of challenges. But many of them are easy for me. If I can't complete the Young Readers Challenge (12 children's books) by the end of January and me a primary school librarian, then something's wrong! And because I read so many children's books, it is a piece of cake for me to read 52 books, even 100 books.

Some of the challenges will be more, well, challenging for me. The World Citizen Challenge, which encourages readers to try to read from the categories of economics, politics, worldwide issues, sociology, history, and memoirs, will probably be my biggest challenge.

I am going into this with the mindset that this is all just for fun. I'm really not interested in the prizes some challenges offer (though they are a nice added incentive). If I can't finish the challenge, oh well. But I've already read lots of great books I'd never have encountered if I hadn't ventured out into unknown waters. Even if I never reach land, the swim is delightful.


  1. Because of challenges, I've widened my horizons in the last two years. I read a lot more short stories, novels up for literary prizes like the Booker. and books that have been on my TBR shelf for literally 20 years. I've signed up for about a half dozen challenges for 2009.

  2. I agree with you about how the challenges expand your reading horizons. I signed up for four of them last year, but I completed only two. So far this year, I'm sitting them out. I have so many book on my TBR shelf it will take me a year to get through them all. That's my goal at this point.

    P.S. I love the snow effect on your blog. Too cool.....

  3. This is the first time I've signed up for challenges other than a couple of perpetual ones. I'm not pushing myself real hard, but a couple of the challenges are presenting me with some lit I wouldn't have read otherwise, which can be a blessing and a curse! I'm also trying not to stress about them. Reading needs to be a fun activity for me, mostly!

    Have a great Sunday.

  4. I've just recently started signing up for challenges, and I find them to be a lot of fun. The Chunkster Challenge has given me a license of sorts to read longer books, and the Sci Fi Experience has really encouraged me to read outside my comfort zone and get to to know a new genre. I also find that challenges give me a bit more incentive to finish some of the books that have been on my TBR for ages and ages.

    But, that said, I'm a total challenge wuss. I only sign up for the ones that I'm 95% sure I can complete!

  5. I'm new to the blogging world and challenges - so I just jumped in to both. I think that I have signed up for half a dozen. :)

  6. I don't have the self discipline for challenges so I admire yours! :-)


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