Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.

Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.

Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.

Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…

Reading report for January 2014

Here it is, finally: the reading report for January. (February‘s report is in the works: I have it entered into Excel and I just need to transfer it into Word, edit the layout and write the preface. It will either take a couple of days or a couple of months).

I finished 26 books in January, although admittedly a number of them were novellas. As I mentioned in my previous post, I delved into a new(ish) type of genre: gay (or M/M) romance. I found everything from genuinely sweet romance to hardcore BDSM, in sub-genres like fantasy, suspense and mystery and even a quartet of entertaining (and unlikely) rock star romances. Other books I read in January include the highly enjoyable memoir of cooking doyenne Julia Child, two straight romances, and Jennifer Worth‘s trilogy of memoirs about her experiences as a midwife in a London slum in the 1950s. I also watched the first season of the TV series based on these books and may (I say 'may') write something about this when I have finis…