Oh yes…. I haven’t yet completed the Reading Challenges for 2017, and already I’m thinking of the strategy for 2018.  I’m finding more reading challenges around than ever, thanks in part to My Readers Block, who both runs challenges (the Colour Coded one was hers) and sets up a listing for people to add theirs as a directory – as does the Reading Challenge Addict, whose is more complete.

reading addictSince I’ve proved that I am complete rubbish at resisting temptation of new books from Netgalley, I might as well give myself a challenge that includes them.  But since I really need to get my TBR list down (this is getting to be a boring refrain) I will continue the Mount TBR Challenge.

Last year I found the Reading Challenge Addict Challenge, which I’m still hoping to complete before the month end. I signed up to complete five reading challenges. That needs some serious reading over Christmas, but then what else is there to do? Edit my books. Entertain family. Play golf.  Oh, get your priorities sorted out, for heaven’s sake!

The trouble is the Colour Coded Challenge, where I’m having trouble with the multi-coloured category. I have picked books to read just on the basis of their cover colour, so I don’t think I’ll do this again, since it seems a silly reason to add a book to my list. What I’m trying to do is force myself to read books that reduce my TBR.  I know I could just do that, but having to pick one to meet a challenge suits my personality.  It’s like Camp Nano.  I can write a book in a month without the word count bit.  But doing camp makes me put those words in each day.  I don’t think Bruce Gargoyle will be setting a challenge this year either, so that reduces the chances to stray into new books.

So what are my 2018 Reading Challenge options?

alphabet soup 2018

Alphabet Soup Challenge

is one I thoroughly enjoy. It makes me search my list for Q, Y and Z books. Sometimes books turn up when you’re looking for their letter – the Narrow Bed was my November bookclub read when I was thinking I hadn’t got time for the bookclub book, because I needed to find an N.  (But I do add odd letter titles to my TBR during the year in preparation, so maybe it’s actually bad for my TBR). I can include new books (bookclub reads and ARCs) in this one.

The Non-fiction Adventure

is a long-term challenge which is not onerous, and all the books I’m likely to read are not only on my TBR, but on my bookshelves, gathering dust.  So that continues.

Mount TBR

as I’ve already said.  It’s a basic necessity!

The Vintage Mystery Challenge – Just The Facts, Ma’am  

This is something I saw on The Reader’s Block list for 2018 – yes it’s up already. Doubtless will have grown some more by the time you read this.  There are two book categories – pre-1960s, and 1960-89 inclusive. I think that’s publication date. Then you have six categories to read books in – who, what, why, when, where and how. There are tips for classifying your book into these categories.  It’s complicated enough to make me love it, but I’m not sure how many books I have on my TBR that qualify for either section. Needs research.

The POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

is hugely popular and even has its own Goodreads group.  It offers forty prompts to help you diversify your reading, although I suspect that most of these could come from my own TBR already. You can pick which prompts to go for, you don’t have to do them all.  I might have a go at this, starting with a target of 20.

The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge

from the Roof Beam Reader. This requires you to read 12 books from your TBR pile, all must have been published and on your list before 1/1/17.  It’s very strict!  You have to compile your list by 15th January 2018, then link your reviews back to your list.  Two substitutes (prenamed) are allowed.  You can count books in other challenges as long as they meet this one’s qualifications. There’s also a check-in post on every 15th of the month.  While it overlaps with Mount TBR (and I can count the 12 for this in Mount TBR if I decide to) the idea of deciding the list in advance appeals to me. I have too many that make it up to the top 5 then sink down again.

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge  

This is from the blog Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My, and has levels to move through as you read books in the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Sign-ups close in April.  I might go for the 5-15 level Amateur Sleuth. I read a lot of these books for fun, as opposed to because I should 😉  So there are a lot on my list, including the Falco series, Elly Griffiths books, the next Rebecca Douglass mystery, Noelle Grainger’s next Rhe Brewster story (I’m one behind, I think)….

Becky’s Book Reviews 2018 MG Book Challenge

Becky does something very clever with this – she gives you three options. 1) sign up to read 6 MG books 2) read books by one author (perhaps all the books by one author) or 3) read from your chosen number of categories from a list of 104 prompts!  These include A to Z, Newbery winners, authors, new to you, genre, fact, fiction… you name it! You can count a book in more than one category, but not more than two.  I suppose this is the challenge I should do, rather than want to do!

Scifi & Fantasy?

I’m sure I saw a scifi challenge last year, but didn’t join up. Lilyn at Scifi and Scary ran two last (this) year, both involved choosing/working through lists of recommended books. I don’t think that would work for me, as most of those I liked I’ve read, and the others aren’t on my list already.  A Speculative Fiction Challenge looked good, but the owner changed their blog in September and I don’t see any evidence that the challenge continued. Flights of Fantasy looked to have a good sign-up in 2017 but is limited to Fantasy, and I’d like more spec fiction, I suppose.  The Fantasy Books Project gives you a list of 813 books and invites you to set a target for the next ten years.  I initially recoiled in horror. Then I looked at the list I saw I’d read a lot of them, or have consigned some of them to ‘do not read this author again, ever’ as long ago as the 1990s (David Eddings if you really want to know). Further down the list I started to see books I have on my TBR, so it’s worth considering. If you see a scifi one you think I’d like, let me know, please!

Which reading challenges will I pick?

What you might take from this is that there are challenges that would suit you that don’t suit me.  Have a look at The Reading Addict’s list, and check out ones that sound more up your street (alley).  Oh – and there are a few with really nice badges that might have an influence on my choices!

I’m going to see about making the list of 12 TBR Pile options, and also look through my Cloak and Dagger ones.  I’m also going to check my TBR for the difficult Alphabet letters.  But while I want to read more of my books, I do want to make sure I leave myself plenty of time for sorting out all those books I’ve written, and write new ones.  So really, I should concentrate on what I need to read to keep my audience interested in my blog, and what helps me relax! Maybe I shouldn’t have challenges at all – but they are fun!

Reading Challenges for 2018 – what to choose?

5 thoughts on “Reading Challenges for 2018 – what to choose?

  • 4 December, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Jemima! My fourth book’s publication (Death in a Mudflat) has been pushed back to March – I’d been aiming for January, but my husband is having back surgery this week and is facing 3-6 months rehab. So I will be busy, Hugs to you and cucumbers to all the gang.

    • 4 December, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks, Noelle! March is a good month, I think. Good luck to your hubby – I hope the surgery fixes everrything for him. <3

  • 4 December, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    A thanks for the shout-out here, too. I’m hoping for a release date in January, Feb 1 at the latest.

    I’m thinking that I’m not going to do any challenges. I never take them very seriously–just fill in where something I read happens to fit. But I’m feeling a little burnt out from group reads and books I’ve taken for review, etc. I need to just read what I feel like for a while.

  • 5 December, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Yes, Group reads are the killer. I don’t like to sound too fussy with my real bookclub, but often the books are not what I would choose ever – sometimes that’s a good thing (like Perilous Question) but other times… meh. I like to do about 50% of the GMGR books, partly to widen my experience of MG books!

    • 5 December, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I’d say I do about the same. I also have a GR group that’s all challenges, but I just read what I read and see what I can fill in there. Once in a while I hunt up something on purpose for one of the categories, but not often.

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