The Best Time of the Year: Choosing Book Challenges

With Christmas already passed and the new year settling in, there is now something else to look forward to: Creating and/or picking out a book challenge for the year. I’m sure some of you avid readers have already done this. And so did I, on the very first day of the year, but now I’d like to discuss my plan, and you’re invited to “listen” in.

For me, book challenges are a relatively new experience. In college, it seems like I barely read anything of my own choosing (a sad fact), but during these past few years, I’ve become addicted to book challenges, evidenced by one of my posts from 2016.

Last year, however, I took on a little too much of a challenge. Even without reading anything, it was a busy year. Among other things, I passed my big exam to exit graduate school, took on more classes than usual, graduated, got a new job, moved, took trips and went to conferences, and met a new niece. In other words, reading was not at the top of my list, which means that most of my reading goals were unmet. I did finish 34 books, though! –which is good for me, considering I’m a fairly slow reader and like to take my time.

As a person who tends to overthink everything and create several lists in the process, I usually have a solid list of books I’d like to finish within a certain period and a list of authors I’d like to explore every year. Back in August, I took one of those random book quizzes that can be found all over the Internet titled “What’s your reading personality?” Considering the reading habits I’ve just described, my results are actually pretty accurate.

Reading personality

My results in a nutshell: I want to read just about everything but read pretty slowly, which is why I research everything to get just the right amount of variety. Even so, I still want to read everything by all of my favorite authors, which I’m sure will take years and years.

This year I’d like to approach reading in a more relaxed fashion. Basically, I want to tackle my Goodreads to-read list. There are over 130 books on it, and it’s always growing. I know I’ll never finish it in a year. I won’t even finish half of it. But at least I’ll have plenty to choose from! My plan (because–being me–I can’t go without a plan entirely) is to skip around my list, rather than going down the list one by one. Working at a public library, I saw several people who would go down their to-read list, checking out whatever book happened to be next. This amazed me because, well, those people might never reach the bottom of the list! Those titles might be on their list for years, unread and unexplored and forgotten.

For me, however, I must skip around. At different points, I’ll become obsessed with adding books from different genres, so that all of the classics or young adult books, for example, are lumped together. That’s another reason I don’t want to read straight through my list–I want some variety! I want fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, young adult, romance, historical, classic, children’s books, and so on.

With my main priority being to tackle my to-read list, I also have a small challenge on the side from Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Modern Mrs. Darcy

Twelve books. That’s all. Surely the books from my to-read list will meet all of these items!

After reading this long explanation, you’re all probably thinking, Man, this girl’s crazy. She needs to lighten up and relax. Well, your right. But I can’t help it! If it’s about something I enjoy, overthinking can sometimes be fun!


Have any reading plans of your own for 2018? Comment below!

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