On Reading Challenges

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After 1 3/4 years of my book choices being defined by reading challenges, I’m getting fatigued.

I don’t regret doing these challenges, and here’s why:

  1. They’re pushing me to read books outside my comfort zone.
  2. They’ve helped me find new authors to follow.
  3. The weekly book-review post series I created to wrangle the challenges has become the backbone of my blog.
  4. I think more critically about books (and my own writing) because of the reviewing process.

All of which are excellent things, of course.

But I’m tired. And despite participating in Mount TBR this year at the highest level, my unread pile is only barely shrinking–and I don’t get to borrow library books anymore, because they’re not mine, so they don’t count.

I miss the library!

With all that in mind, I’m already thinking about how I want to read next year (or late this year, if I finish Mount TBR with time to spare.)

  • I want to continue to focus on finishing unfinished series, as I’m doing for Beat the Backlist this year.
  • I want to read from more romance subgenres.
  • I want to continue to clear out my physical TBR, but with less pressure.
  • I want to choose one reading challenge to participate in, probably PopSugar again, and not to set myself an unrealistic total-books-read goal for the Goodreads challenge.

And I have a few specific goals in mind as well:

  1. Read the entirety of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle. I read The Left Hand of Darkness years ago (still have it) and I picked up two of the lesser-known novels in my vacation book haul. Plus the boxed set of her selected stories and novellas has a few of its pieces as well. The rest shouldn’t be hard to find via Thriftbooks or the library.
  2. Reread Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I’ve only read each of the three gargantuan novels once, and it’s going to be a significant time investment to read them again, but I’ve been feeling the itch. (I’ve read all the other works of his I own except Seveneves more than once.)
  3. Read more comics/graphic novels. My library has Overdrive, which has an excellent selection I can borrow–I’ve been wanting to read things like Saga and Lumberjanes and a handful of others I’ve seen recommended.

It may seem early for me to be thinking about next years reading when I still have three months left of 2017, but a) that’s apparently the way my brain works, and b) the end is in sight for two of my three current challenges. I’ve got three books left to read for PopSugar, nine for Beat the Backlist, and 36 for Mount TBR, which will mostly overlap with the other two.

I can finish them all, I know I can. But next year, I don’t want to be so exhausted by the goals I set myself.

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