Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My 2009 Challenges Recap, & Questions

If you are not a reading challenge addict, you may wonder what the appeal is. (And you're probably getting sick of all the challenge sign-up posts you've seen lately as well!) I certainly wondered about it when I first started blogging. Why would I want someone/something else to structure my reading life? What I've discovered is that I love this structure ... in moderation. For me, challenges serve several purposes.
  • First, they introduce me to new books that I otherwise wouldn't be exposed to. The 1% Well Read Challenge is excellent for this.
  • Second, they help me focus on my personal reading goals. The Read Your Own Books Challenge served this purpose (or would have, if I had completed it).
  • And third, they give me a sense of accomplishment. I love signing up for challenges that include books I want to read anyway; it is so much fun to mark them off my TBR list!

I signed up for 11 reading challenges that either began or ended in 2009. I'm very goal-oriented and I like to complete what I start, so I try not to sign up for too many challenges and I try to complete every one I sign up for. I'm very proud of my challenge record this year: 8 completed, two in progress, and only one not completed.

The links take you to my end-of-challenge recaps where I list the books I read and my thoughts on that particular challenge.
  1. Stephenie Meyer Mini Challenge - completed Jan. '09
  2. '08-'09 1% Well Read Challenge - completed Feb. '09
  3. Baker Street Challenge - completed April '09
  4. Science Book Challenge - completed June '09
  5. Non-Fiction Five - completed Aug. '09
  6. World Citizen Challenge - completed Sep. '09
  7. War Through The Generations: WWII - completed Oct. '09
  8. 2009 1% Well Read Challenge - completed Oct. '09
  9. Read Your Own Books Challenge - not completed (link takes you to my original post about it) - I'm throwing in the towel on this one
  10. LOST Books Challenge - I still have 5 books to read but this doesn't end until mid 2010 (link takes you to the challenge blog)
  11. Really Old Classics Challenge - I'm co-hosting this challenge and have started my first book - I have until Feb. '10 to read at least 2 more (link takes you to the challenge blog)

As I said, I'm very pleased with the challenge reading I've done this year. Not much of it was outside of my comfort zone but some was. And more importantly, I enjoyed each of these challenges for different reasons.

So tell me ...
  • Are you a challenge-addict? A challenge-avoider? Or like me, a challenges-in-moderation person?
  • Did you participate in any of these same challenges this past year? Which was your favorite?
  • What challenge that wasn't on my list would you highly recommend?


Trisha said...

I'm clearly a reading challenge addict as I've signed up for about 13 challenges in the coming year. I love them too!

hcmurdoch said...

I only began blogging in the past few months, but I am gearing up for challenges in 2010 (YA, Flashback, Women Unbound, South Asian Authors, Movie/Book, New Year's and...). I may be over doing it, we shall see!

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bermudaonion said...

I'm kind of in the middle - I'm only going to do a handful of challenges next year. I think it's because I'm not that good at challenges and only want to sign up for those I can complete.

Literary Feline said...

Hi, my name is Wendy, and I am a challenge addict. I'm actually going to try and hold back this next year. We'll see how that goes. It's been so hard not to sign up for all the challenges that catch my eye. They are all so tempting! I definitely fall into the overdoing it category, I'm afraid. I committed to way too many challenges this year and ended up dropping out of many of them.

You've done wonderful job with your challenges, Heather.

softdrink said...

I'm a challenge in moderation person. Only my definition of moderation is 2 or 3. ;-)

Elisabeth said...

You expressed perfectly why I'm drawn to book challenges. I've just started blogging this year, and have been intrigued by all the challenges I've been reading about. However, like 'softdrink' I'm joining in moderation. I actually created one this year that sums up what I want to achieve through challenges.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I've become a challenge addict I think as I have signed up for quite a few. They get me to read books I normally wouldn't and I have discovered different genres I actually like. So they expand my reading horizons. It's a good thing.

mel u said...

I am for sure a reading challenge addict. I began blogging in July of 2009 so I did not join a huge number of challenges for this year but I am going to join a lot on 2010-

you might consider the Women Unbound Challenge and the South Asian Challenge

I join challenges for fun, to support the book blogging community and learn about some new books. I still direct my own reading life. In 2009 I was lead to read my first Japanese novel by the Japanese Literature 3 challenge in which you are required to read only one Japanese work. I went on to read 40 or so of them since July. This challenge opened up a whole new area into my reading life.

So far I will be participating in 18 challenges in 2010, three of which are carry overs from 2009. I only join challenges that allow overlaps. It is sort of my own little challenge to see how many challenges I can complete in 2010. In any case it will be fun and I will read a lot of good posts from other readers.

Rebecca Reid said...

I love challenges, but I'm trying to avoid them since I'm trying to eliminate pressure from my reading/blogging hobby. I just have so much I need to be doing besides, blogging, you know?

Ah, so many good challenges out there.

Heather J. said...

*** I loved hearing from all of you - thanks for chiming in with your opinions on challenges! ***

Callista said...

I found challenges in the middle of 2007 and joined quite a few, finishing most of them. In 2008 I was addicted and signed up for a whole bunch and finished a small amount. In 2009 I signed up for over 30 challenges but have been focusing on review books all year and had a few blogging breaks so I think I've finished 1-5 challenges total. I haven't looked yet. So for 2010 I said I'd sign up for just a few that I knew I could do but I'm already starting to see too many I like.

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