One of my favorite activities is setting my reading plans for the year.
For many years I just read whatever came to hand, whatever I was in the mood for. I like to allow for that and for reading new books and unplanned discoveries. But making plans for the year helps me be more intentional, work in the books I plan to “get to someday,” and broaden my horizons.
Reading challenges also help with those purposes, plus they are fun. And some offer prizes!
The reading challenges I plan to participate in this year are:
The Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. This is one of my favorites. Through this challenge, I’ve been introduced to classics I never knew about before and authors I had never tried. My usual classics taste tend toward 19th century Britain: Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Elliot. These are the cozy classics to me, and I try to read from them every year. But it’s good to branch out, and Karen’s categories help me do that. The categories this year are:
- A 19th century classic.
- A 20th century classic.
- A classic by a woman author.
- A classic in translation. Any book first published in a language that is not your primary language.
- A classic by BIPOC author. Any book published by a non-white author.
- Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic. It can be fiction or non-fiction.
- A Classic Short Story Collection.
- Pre-1800 Classic.
- A Nonfiction Classic.
- Classic That’s Been on Your TBR List the Longest.
- Classic Set in a Place You’d Like to Visit.
- Wild Card Classic. Any classic you like, any category, as long as it’s at least 50 years old!
Since the categories were just posted, I haven’t had time to think about them and decide what to read. But I’ll enjoy contemplating them! I’m sure I’ll continue with the next in Trollope’s Barsetshire series for the 19th century classic. I might delve into The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis for the nonfiction: I’ve been wanting to read that for a while.
Shelly Rae at Book’d Out hosts the Nonfiction Reader Challenge. She provided 12 categories of nonfiction, and participants choose which level they want to aim for. Thankfully, this year she has included a Nonfiction Grazer category where we set our own goals for how many and what kind of nonfiction to read. That will work best for me this year.
I’m going to plan on at least 12 nonfiction books. I usually read more than that, but many are in the same categories. This year I want to read:
- At least one biography, autobiography, or memoir.
- One writing book
- One book of humor
- One Bible study book
- One Christian living book
- One book of letters or journals
- One book by C. S. Lewis that I have not read yet
- One book on organization or productivity (I have 13 on my shelf! Some read, some dipped into, some unread.)
- One book pertaining to a holiday (probably Christmas)
- One book related to midlife or aging
Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Reading Challenge. The idea is to read books you already owned before the start of this year. Bev has made levels in increments of twelve, each named after a mountain, and we’re to choose a level to shoot for. Even though I’ve reached Mt. Ararat (48 books) the last couple of years, I think I will play it safe and stick with Mt. Vancouver (36 books).
There are a couple of other TBR challenges I have participated in for previous years, but the rules of each are slightly different. So, to keep it simple, I think I’ll just stick with this one. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment to get to those books!
These next to are new to me. They focus on books I usually read anyway, so they won’t require extra effort except for the record keeping.
I’ve seen some other interesting-looking challenges with various categories, like this one. But I don’t want to get involved in too many to keep up with. I may have already! We’ll see how it goes.
Do you participate in reading challenges? Which ones?