This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: Reading Challenges- why participate?

Reading Challenges. What do they mean really? If I finish the year at 40% to my reading goal am I giving myself an F? Is that what reading challenges are supposed to make me feel like? I hope no one takes them that seriously! As many do, I set a goal for myself on Goodreads for last year and again set one up for 2018. Does it drive me? Do I feel good or bad when I hit a mark that shows progress?  Society has taught us, with grades through school, goals and budgets to hit at work, and even how many times we have sex with our spouse in a week, to grade ourselves against what someone else has declared the norm. So my reading challenge shouldn’t be about if I hit my goal or not, right? At what point do I start feeling bad about myself? Being driven to succeed by overachieving?

overachieving meme

OK, I’ll fess up. I’m somewhat of an overachiever and actually surpassed my Goodreads challenge for last year by 12 books. I may have cheated a little bit because I listened to quite a few books too and counted those as having been read. Technically they were listening, but it was a book and I finished it and because I was driven to succeed by a number no one else set for me but myself, I counted it. Whew! Glad I got that off my chest….

Let’s talk about these challenges. Why do we do them?

  1. Well, I’m a book blogger! I read books. I talk about books. I review books. Sometimes I need help motivating myself. I’m a goal oriented person and these challenges do the job! It seems silly, doesn’t it? Why would I procrastinate reading a book when I love to read? Well, sometimes if you feel like you have to do it, you put pressure on yourself. So having someone else challenge me? It’s a contest, and well, I love to win. Even if the prize is only reading a great book.
  2. I like to feel like I’m part of a group. Isn’t that why we read popular books and comment and have conversations about them? Isn’t it fun to interact with people who are doing the same things you are doing? Feel free to nod in agreement. 🙂
  3. Focus!  This is a big one for me. Like most of you, I too have a ton of books to read, lots of ARC commitments and still want to read my own stack sitting on my nightstand. A challenge, whether it be a Goodreads countdown, or even a TBR Take down challenge helps me focus and get the job done!
  4. Organization- I’ll admit, I mainly use Goodreads to keep track of all of the books I read. It’s a great tool!  The extra side benefit is I get to see what my friends read too. Want to be my friend on Goodreads? I would LOVE that!  Click HERE.  I love to scroll through the feed to see what everyone is reading.
  5. I created my own mini challenge last year when I went on vacation. Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow 10 books at a time and I noticed that I’d let mine get up to 10 and had to delete a book (horrors!) in order to add a new one. I needed to read down my Kindle Unlimited list. I challenged myself to read only Kindle Unlimited books while on vacation.  I think I read 6? Of course, I read the first in a series and then read the other three that hadn’t been on my list previously so I kind of defeated the purpose. However, it was a goal I set and I somewhat stuck to it! LOL.


I know there are other readers, bloggers and talkers out there who love challenges.

Do you participate in any challenges? Or have you created your own? Feel free to add the link to your challenge in the comments. We all need motivation!

Why do you participate? For the same reasons I mentioned? Or do you have your own reasons. Tell me in the comments. I bet Quite a few of us feel the same way!

Until next Sunday!