I love a Reading Challenge or two. It appeals to my sense of order. Apart from the happiness of finishing a book, I love to punctuate it by including it in a challenge list. I know many people think this is daft, but each to our own!

Review of 2019 reading challenges

  • 2019 New Release Challenge: Despite telling myself to aim for twelve and limit myself to no more than 16 I read 19 by mid-November, and refused to read more. Learning point: be more picky, or your TBR will suffer. Although several of these made my Book of the Year list.
  • Alphabet Soup (Author edition): Just as difficult as doing the title edition. I found all authors on my TBR, which hasn’t been the case for the titles version, but next year I wouldn’t be able to source all the authors either. I had to track down some of the books for authors (eg Yep) and do some detective work on others (Le Queux), but it worked.
  • Cloak and Dagger: I didn’t sign up for this, but tallied qualifying books to see how I’d do.  Answer – 10 read, which makes me an Amateur Sleuth without trying.
  • Colour-coded Challenge: this is fun, and I completed it properly this year with a title including ‘Spotted’ for the last category. All these were on my TBR; the last has generally found me hunting for something new, which is not what I want to do.  So whether I do it next year depends whether I have something that qualifies already.
  • Mount TBR: Oh dear. I really struggled with this three mountain target—well I’ve always struggled, but this time I was well behind at halfway, only just up the first mountain. I’ve made it partway up the third, but it was a struggle once more. Must take fewer Netgalley books.
  • Non-fiction Adventure: This was not only easy, but non-fiction books kept jumping into my lap. I was one ahead at the start of the year, took two in the A to Z Review event, had four memoirs from Net-Galley, and took another two from my backlist. Result being that I’m almost finished the next year’s quota as well. Well, that’s okay. Must take more from my TBR, though.
  • SpaceTime Reading Challenge: I have another post this Friday for participants, but after thinking I was nearly finished in August, had to slide in a final book in December. It was no hardship, since it was a Becky Chambers book, though!  The sign-up post for 2020 is here.
  • Reading Challenge Addicts Challenge: I think I’ve completed five challenges to confirm I’m a reading challenge addict, but that includes my quota from the Non-fiction one, as I failed on Mount TBR again.

Reading challenge goals for 2020

More of the same, mostly.

2020 New Release Challenge: still aiming for 12 and no more than 16, to keep me in the basic level.

Alphabet Soup: I think I’m going to tweak the rules to get more off my TBR and say it can be either title or author. Still not sure if I’ve got an X that qualifies, though.

Cloak and Dagger: Let’s sign up for Amateur Sleuth again – 15 maximum.  Note: the sign up page has moved from last year. Now hosted by Carol at Carol’s Notebook

Mount TBR: I still have to aim for Mount Vancouver (36 read). Let’s see if I can do better this year.

Non-fiction Adventure: Given I am already up to 18 in three years, I think I should push on to make it to halfway this year, which means reading 7 non-fiction works. A reminder that my target is to read 50 non-fiction works in 10 years, so the soft target is a minimum of two.

SpaceTime Reading Challenge: well, I do run this one… target 10 for Intergalactic Explorer again. Although at one time last year I considered the next level.

Reading Challenge Addicts Challenge: well, that’s five again, then.

Clear your eReader

I know I seem to be repeating myself, but whilst I’d be quite interested in finding something to make me stretch myself, what I really want to do is to get the ones on my TBR read.  I did see a ‘clear your ereader’ challenge, too, but that would really just be duplicating Mount TBR.

This is what someone else said about the Clean out your Ereader (COYER) challenge:

So, a few weeks ago, I audited the unread books on my bookshelves for the Mount TBR Challenge.  There were a lot.  I sat in a daze and muttered, “I think I might have too many books”, a sentiment which brought joy to the person with whom I share living quarters.  In the weeks since, I have found myself in bookshops saying insane things like, “I don’t know about getting a book today, I have so many at home”, or even actually being aware that I have three books by an author waiting to be read, so buying a fourth is perhaps not a smart move.  I realised that I just like buying books, like the way other people buy themselves a chocolate bar.  The pleasure of acquisition is entirely separate to the enjoyment of actually reading the thing. [Girl with her head in a book, Feb-17]

And yes, then she joined Netgalley and it got worse. I’m glad there are people even more addicted to books than I am!

But it seems that COYER hasn’t been active since last spring, and it did seasonal challenges rather than annual ones.  It may be active in a Twitter group or in a Facebook Group, so if that suits you, hunt for COYER on your favourite social media.

Oh – and congratulate me: I went into Waterstones bookshop in November, and only came out with TWO new books, one of which has been on my TBR for ages!

I went in again in December, and succeeded in coming out with only presents for other people. Well, one I may have to hang onto to read to the people concerned when they visit 🙂

The Stretch…

I had a bright idea for the more stretching challenge: to complete each challenge with unique books. What I mean by that is, a book cannot be counted for more than one challenge.  With 12 new releases, 26 Alphabeticals, 15 Cloak and Dagger, 7 non-fiction and 10 Spacetime, that makes 70. That is more than I usually do. Well, New Releases and Cloak & Dagger are both ‘up to’.

With that in mind I should try to make them eligible for Mount TBR (if they are) but only ONE other challenge. That should push me a bit more.


Reading Challenge Round-Up and Goals for 2020

7 thoughts on “Reading Challenge Round-Up and Goals for 2020

  • 2 January, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Phew! I read 30 in total last year – no method, other than reading my monthly book group title, plus, on average, one or two others it seems. I do read a lot of blogs …

    • 3 January, 2020 at 10:04 pm

      I aim for one a week. Some take longer, some only a day or two (reading some kids books helps!). But I didn’t note the size of my TBR this year, which I usually do. It’s now at 654. I add net 50 a year, it seems. But I have a new target – to keep my TBR list smaller than my ‘read’ list!

  • 2 January, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    It sounds exhausting, Jemima. I don’t keep track of what I’ve read. I did try one challenge last year but soon abandoned it. I just read what takes my fancy.

    • 3 January, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      My trouble is knowing what I fancy. This means there’s always one waiting in the wings. Sometimes I read something that I didn’t know I’d fancy, which is great.

  • 3 January, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    I’m impressed with your breadth of reading – and amazed at how many challenges you tackled, Jemima. Just Goodreads and the Cloak & Dagger taxes me as you read on my site. Good reading in 2020.

    • 3 January, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      I’m not sure it’s that broad, Roland – scifi and crime are what I like most, I suppose. Non-fiction also interests me, but much of that is science based or biography. And there are so many books I own that I want to read!

  • 4 January, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Reading about your challenges always inspires me—but then I can’t even keep track of the ones I’m doing on GR (the MG A to Z and a whole slew of challenges from the Bookworm Challenge group). In the end, I read randomly, but I think that I should make a resolution to read one book from my TBR pile each month—even if it means I have to (gasp!) buy it (I am a huge fan of the library’s ebook collection).

    Of course, I got two books for Xmas, both of which will take a lot of reading. One is the 600-page Far From the Tree, about parenting and genetics, as far as I can tell so far (600 pages leaves out the 2-300 pages of notes). The other is Como Agua Para Chocolate, yes, in Spanish, given me by my son to help me with my Spanish studies.f

    Looking at our travel schedule I downgraded my GR Challenge again, this time to 110 books, which is a little less than I read this year.

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