Finding Reading Challenges… Well… Challenging!

I have been an awful reader of late.  Rather than getting through tomes at my usual pace, I have been rather busy, and have let my reading slide in consequence.  I was away for half of August, first in France and Belgium with my parents, and then in Oslo with my boyfriend – and reading was, understandably, not my main priority.

Perhaps predictably, then, I have failed with my 20 Books of Summer challenge.  I am also struggling to keep up with my Virago and Persephone lists; I had not set myself numeric goals to get through a prescribed number each month, but I have not been purchasing books, and have fallen behind somewhat.  The same can be said for mine and Yamini’s Fifty Women Challenge.  I have had to reschedule some old posts to keep up with the aforementioned, and there is no way that I will meet the target by the end of the year.  I am fully resigned to the fact that I probably will not meet my Classics Club target either, as University reading obviously has to take priority.

From now on, then, I am not going to be subscribing to any reading challenges.  Whilst I love creating the initial lists, and beginning to read from them, I never find that I am entirely satisfied with my reading pace.  I am going to be completing my Classics Club list, but may need more time in which to do so.  I will also be finishing my Virago and Persephone lists, but these are evidently longterm goals, rather than those which I will be able to complete soon.

Here ends this rather depressing post; I can only cross my fingers that my reading picks up a little in future.

13 thoughts on “Finding Reading Challenges… Well… Challenging!

  1. I stopped doing challenges this year not only because i was falling behind but because it felt like I was reading to too much of a prescribed order and I wanted more flexibility. i do have projects I’m pursuing (I call the classics club a project rather than a challenge) but they are going at my own pace. it does feel less stressful even though it is so tempting when I see another challenge that sounds appealing

    • Flexibility in reading is one of the best things about it, I think; I pride myself on reading as widely as I can. I love the idea of calling the Classics Club a project, and pacing it to suit.

  2. I’ve done the same thing for much the same reasons,Everything now is a project that will be done when it’s done, when life and my reading mood allows. I still make lists, for inspiration, and I think that most people who run reading events are happy that you take inspiration and read when you can.

    I’ll host another Margery Sharp Day – and maybe days for different authors – but they’ll be days so that anyone can read a book when it suits them and schedule a post today. And of course I’m happy to see anyone reading one of ‘my authors’ on any day of the year.

    • That’s a wonderful way to look at things. I am so looking forward to your forthcoming author days; I so enjoyed the Margery Sharp Day last year, though from memory I think I was late in posting my review!

  3. I very much abandoned reading challenges as I always fail miserably. If what I’m reading coincides with something (e.g. Women in Translation month) that’s fine – but I always want to read what I *want* to read, so challenges have gone out the window. Having said that, I just embarked on a project to read all the Penguin Modern Poets, didn’t I? Doh!

    • That is an excellent way to look at things! Reading all of the Penguin Modern Poets sounds like a wonderful project though, and I can’t wait to hear how you get on with it!

  4. Generally the only challenge I participate in is the goodreads challenge and my personal challenge is to maintain a goal of reading a book a week, which isn’t to try and read more, but just to ensure that I continue reading. I shy away from challenges because I so enjoy being influenced by reviews, by where the book takes me, and so I don’t want to close that door of inspiration and spontaneity that takes me in a dreiction somewhat different to that I would have to take if I were to stick to a list chosen in the past.

    That said, I read a lot of translated fiction, so I knew that at least half my reading would be from “Around the World” and so I did join that challenge, but without specifying exactly which books, just that 25 of the books I will read this year will be from authors from around the world, i.e. not from the English speaking world/culture.

    It’s good to go through the reading challenge experience, it helps us clarify and define what our reading requirements really are, we discover that when we have removed them, we feel as if there is something missing from our reading and we need to get it back.

  5. I like the challenges to help focus some aspects of my reading – and introduce new or neglected genres – but I’m trying to concentrate on enjoying & appreciating what I do manage and not get hung up on quantity.

    Accepting I can’t read everything can be a slow frustrating if not cruel lesson😕

    • Yes, I agree; there are both positives and negatives with it. Not worrying too much about quantity is excellent; it’s quality that matters! We just have to be selective in what we read, I suppose, so we don’t have to miss too much of the good stuff!

  6. Oh, lovely! Reading challenges can very easily become a daunting task. The only reason I managed to complete my 20 Books of Summer challenge was because I didn’t have a set list of books to read, and I just randomly picked up whatever I felt like reading at that time. It also feels like I’m going to fail my Reading England challenge, since I haven’t managed to read even half of the books on my list yet (and most of them are pretty hefty..).

    The most important thing is to enjoy your reading time and to read the books that you want to read. Challenges are fun but they can quickly turn into obligations, which is far from fun, right? You shouldn’t worry too much about completing the challenges and just make sure you’re enjoying your reading 🙂 I always love reading your posts, and your reading diversity always inspires me to read more great books! :*

  7. I’m awful at them, as you well know, mostly because I’m such a mood reader. I don’t think I’ve finished any TBR list I’ve set out to do! My Classics Club list is a work in progress, since I set myself 5 years to do it. I’m not too fussed with that. I also do the goodreads challenge, but I try not to set the limit too high, so I don’t feel too pressured. This year has been a decent one, since I read so much over the summer, so I’ve remained consistently in front on that one. It’d be so much easier if I wasn’t so weird about what I read and when!

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