Challenges, schmallenges

I’m sick and tired of reading challenges. Whenever I fail to reach a certain goal within a given challenge, my conscience acts up and makes me feel guilty for not reaching the goal and indeed for reading other books. This is not good, because when it comes down to it, reading is supposed to be fun.

The only one of my challenges that hasn’t become a chore is the TBR challenge, and I have already reached the goal I set myself for that one for 2011: to reduce my TBR stack to below 840 books.

The Buchmesse challenge is a chore because the books that have been translated into both English and German are mostly literary fiction and crime novels and I really need to be in a very specific frame of mind to enjoy the former, and the latter I have already read and reviewed all of those that fit the criteria, in some cases several years before the translations came out.

The Top Mysteries Challenge is throwing in my path some books that I just don’t want to read at this point, e.g. political thrillers and espionage novels, and I have come to the conclusion that having a reading schedule for it (two books from the list every month) just isn’t working.

The three outside challenges aren’t really challenges for me, because since I read over 150 books in any given year, it is statistically highly likely that I will read books belonging to them anyway.

What I am going to do is to drop the Buchmesse Challenge altogether, put the Top Mysteries Challenge into low priority mode (it was never meant to be finished in a given length of time anyway) and not specifically try to finish the three outside challenges, although I am, for the reasons stated above, fairly certain I will finish them. I will continue with the TBR challenge, because I have realised that while it feels good to be surrounded by books, the knowledge that I haven’t read 40% of them is annoying. I may become active in the challenges later in the year but right now I prefer to just read whatever strikes my fancy.


Trish said…
I've been feeling challenge fatigued too. I only signed up for two this year so I think I'll probably be able to complete them. But it's always there in the back of my mind when I start a book that isn't in the challenge, like guilty, or something.

-ehn- that's not what I'm reading for. Once I'm done these challenges I'll just concentrate on what's already on my TBR shelf.
Dorte H said…
I have done fairly well with my challenges so far, but I regret that I have accepted - or even asked for - a handful of review copies which are definitely very good books, but just not what I want to read right now. The period between Easter and the summer holidays is always very busy workwise so I need light entertainment, not something where I need to take a lot of notes to make a proper review.

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