Bookish New Year’s Resolutions


At Austin’s Trail of Lights, 2016

Last year, I started the Read Harder reading challenge. I was enthusiastic, making the list in color and planning out the books I wanted to read. And then I just… stopped.

The problem, I realized, was that it wasn’t fun for me. I made it harder on myself than it needed to be (which is something I do). One of the challenge points was to read a book by a transgendered author. I read Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders, and I loved it. but it was only a novella, and I decided that didn’t count. So then I started reading I’ve Got a Time Bomb by Sybil Lamb. And. I. Hated. It.

I started looking at some of the other challenge points. A book about politics. A book set in the Middle East. A book of historical fiction set before 1900. And they looked overwhelming. Not fun. So I just stopped.

But I really liked the reading challenge I did in 2015, so I thought about what I liked and didn’t like about the challenge.

I like it when it’s a scavenger hunt, playful.

I don’t like it when the criteria are too specific.

This year, I’m going to do the Popsugar reading challenge. I’ve already started thinking about what books I can use in the different categories. And on Goodreads, there’s a group devoted to the reading challenge, so we can all get different ideas for the various categories, in case they’re difficult to find books.

Hopefully, I complete the challenge this year. Or, if not complete it, I just hope I don’t get frustrated and give up. Because looking back on the 2016 Read Harder challenge, I think I would have enjoyed it if I didn’t get fixated on that one book I didn’t finish. I don’t read to challenge myself or to impress people. I read to entertain myself. And as long as I don’t lose sight of that, I should be in good shape.

Are you doing a reading challenge this year? Which one?

4 comments on “Bookish New Year’s Resolutions

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    Yep, I’m doing Pop Sugar too! I like the idea of planning ahead a little though as well, so I think I’m gonna pick a few books and plug them in as possibles for the categories. I’m gonna check out the Goodreads group too. Thanks for the tip. I find it hard to give up on a book, even if I don’t like it, and that made me stall through the challenge this year, although I didn’t give up, but I only read 15 books.

    • doreeweller says:

      Reading 15 books still makes you above average! The average adult only reads 12 books a year, and that half of people read fewer than 5 a year. How do people survive reading less than 5 books a year?!? Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I hope you have a safe and happy New Year!

  2. Nope, no reading challenges for me. I don’t even do New Year’s resolutions, either.

    • doreeweller says:

      Until a few years ago, I thought resolutions were hooey. But I don’t know… I kind of enjoy the ritual now. Anyway, however you spend it, I hope you have a safe and happy New Year!

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