This week’s Weekly Geeks:
"Reading Challenges: a help or a hurt? Do you find that the reading challenges keep you organized and goal-oriented? Or, do you find that as you near the end of a challenge that you’ve failed because you fell short of your original goals? As a result of some reading challenges, I’ve picked up books that I would have otherwise never heard of or picked up; that, frankly, I have loved. Have you experienced the same with challenges? If so, which ones? Do you have favourite reading challenges?"
The first reading challenge I participated in was at a romance reading group at Shelfari. I had never heard of reading challenges before and found the concept sounded like fun. I chose to read 15 books and I enjoyed choosing the books and to think about what book would fit the single challenges best. Since we were asked to review what we were reading this challenge also had me starting reviewing books on this blog in the first place. Unfortunately I never finished the challenge and still have about 4 books to read which are now sitting on my shelf.
On J. Kaye’s book blog I joined a few other challenges, which I enjoyed but those didn’t keep me going either. I discovered a few authors though that I really liked. Somehow in the middle of all those challenges my interest shifted to gay fiction and I didn’t want to spend more time reading romance with damsels in distress or the usual TSTL heroines.
The only challenge I’m participating in at the moment is Anesthezea’s m/m romance challenge. I didn’t use any of the hints or special options and just read what I feel like, but I have – as some others – passed the 10 books mark a long time ago. Since the challenge started I read and reviewed 46 stories here, not counting all the ones that I didn’t review for some reason or other (see my last weekly geeks post about catching up on reviews).
Even though I might not follow through the challenges all the time I still like the thought. I discovered new authors, got recommendations from others and found books I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. I don’t take them too seriously though. If I like something I’ll read it no matter whether it will fit into a challenge or not. After all reading is supposed to be fun and not a chore that needs to meet certain criteria.