Seven Reading Challenges to Fuel Your 2019 Reading Life

Seven Reading Challenges to Fuel Your 2019 Reading Life

I love a new year. New years always means new resolutions and while I have my own list of reading goals, I know some of you might be looking for something for yourself. I love that word, “challenge.” It means that you’re taking your regular life and trying to add more to it. It could be a new routine. It could be a different approach to what you’ve been doing. It could mean anything, but what it definitely means is standing outside of your comfort zone.

I love a good challenge and with that in mind, I put together a quick list of some reading challenges I found online. A few live on their own while others are within the Bookstagram community. I hope you find something that works for you!

The Reading Women Reading Challenge

As you can imagine, this reading challenge focuses on one overarching point; read more women. This challenge is great because it doesn’t just challenge you to read women, but it also challenges you to read diversely. I’m always up for challenges like this and while I won’t be participating in this one, if you love reading diversely and you love reading female authors, then you’ll love to follow along and try your hand.

The Guy With the Book’s #BetterReadsChallenge

Out of all the challenges, this is probably both the easiest and the hardest challenge to do. Instagrammer, @theguywiththebook, decided that this year he would read every single day. For some people, this isn’t an easy task. We all have busy lives with a lot of stuff going on and reading may have to take a back seat every once in a while. However, Faroukh challenges all of us to read every day. It doesn’t have to be all day and it doesn’t have to be an hour. He just challenges you to pick up that book and read it.

Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

I love the read harder challenge because it really makes you read harder. If you’re the type looking to change up your reading life this year, then definitely try this one. It’ll get you out of your comfort zone and help you discover more enjoyable reads.

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge

If you’re looking for something on the easier side when it comes to challenges, I think Anne Bogel’s reading challenge for 2019 might be the one for you. It’s challenging yes, but in comparison to some of the others listed here, it feels a little bit more geared towards your own reading choices. You can easily find novels in your own collection or brand new ones at the store that fit into any of those categories. I think this is perfect for someone who wants to challenge themselves for the first time this year. No shame in that game!

The Unread Shelf’s Reading Challenge

I loved when Whitney from @theunreadshelf came up with this challenge last year and this year she’s continuing her challenge. Out of all the challenges, this is the one that’s most intriguing to me (and mostly because my unread bookshelves are bigger than my read ones). This year, you’ve got monthly prompts already set up for you and the challenge is to read what you already own. I’m very much into this idea and I’ve already started this challenge by adding two books from my backlist bookshelf to my monthly TBR. Also, I’ve got my own book club dedicated to reading books published before the current year. It’s going to be a blast to see how much shelf space I can make with this one.

Popsugar’s Reading Challenge

I discovered this challenge this year too and oh my gosh, I’m in lurve. Not only are the books on this list fun, but it challenges you to read based on aesthetics. Read a book with a plant on the cover! I mean, that could be anything. I think what Popsugar offers here is a fun reading experience. It’s not about improving your reading life or expanding your worldview. It’s about enjoying reading and challenging yourself in a different way. I might just follow these every once in a while to change up my reading life!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

The old tried and true reading challenge. Perhaps you’re not interested in upping your reading game. Perhaps the challenge for you this year is to read as much as you can. So for those folks, the Goodreads Reading Challenge is right for you. Just set the number of books you want to read this year and then do it. Read those books! But make sure to give yourself space and don’t worry if you can’t hit that goal at the end of the year. We’ve always got next year.

 

#TamingTheTBR – My road to reading freedom

#TamingTheTBR – My road to reading freedom

I love blogging about books. The other day I was talking with some friends about work and the differences between working for yourself and working for a big company. If you work for a big company, you’ve got your steady income and your health insurance. Your job may be a pain in the ass every once in a while, but it works out because you’re living comfortably. There’s nothing wrong with that.

If you work for yourself (specifically in blogging), you’re making little-to-no money. You might have to hustle 200x harder than you were at that company job and you don’t have normal hours like a company person may have.

Continue reading “#TamingTheTBR – My road to reading freedom”

My 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

My 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

Wow, 2017 felt like a whirlwind. I hit a ton of different milestones, came to some interesting decisions, and will be starting my new year with a different career path. While the world was in shambles, 2017 treated me pretty well and I’m thankful to be starting off 2018 with some great plans.

It was a great year for books (well, every year is a great year for books) and I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve read, what I’ve learned, and a little on what I will be reading next year.

First, let’s get to the numbers.

  • # of books I wanted to read: 25
  • # of books read: 43
  • # of books that were diverse reads: 18

My favorite books of the year

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It was tough to dwindle this list down and I had a tough time to get it to these eleven. I restrained myself and thought about what really captivated me about them. Here’s my favorites:

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saez
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Isn’t it kind of funny that by the end of the year, you remember most of the books you read during this half rather than the early half. I feel like the books I read in the early half of the year don’t really represent the repertoire of reading I picked up in the second half. I think I’m going to try and keep my reading pretty even across the months.

Some interesting insights

I read some really interesting books this year. Books I didn’t think I would read because it just wouldn’t be available to me in the methods that I chose. I also received so many books from various different publishing companies and I couldn’t be more grateful of that.

I think my favorite books will have to be the ones I ordered from Book of the Month Club. I don’t want to gush or advertise for them, but the judges have wonderful taste and I always found every book I read to be intriguing and interesting. I would strongly recommend especially if you’re a bestselling books reader. You’ll be the first to read the best sellers!

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I realized that thrillers and mystery aren’t my favorite thing. I think I have a few that I will try and read but mostly because I heard good things. I don’t think I’m going to actively search for any more thrillers, but maybe horror will be in there? I don’t want to poop my pants while I read.

I also revived my love for Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, which also ties into my love of Young Adult novels. I’m so excited to continue reading more of these stories in the future.

My future plans

I’ve accumulated a fairly large pile of books. While my book buying ban will continue to go through 2018, I want to focus on reading what I already have. Being surrounded by books all the time is quite comforting, but sometimes it can be a real eyesore and a nuisance. I can’t justify buying any more books not only because I’m trying to save money, but because there’s already enough for me to read.

I also haven’t read ANY non-fiction. I love non-fiction every once in a while and I somehow just skipped over all of that this year. I do have some non-fiction in my TBR so I hope to read those and get some more stories that aren’t just based in the mind of the author. I think I already know where to start.

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I’m also going to focus on reading more books written and about POC. While I did read 18 diverse reads this year, this was still less than half of my reading. I am pretty proud that the majority of my reads were from female authors, I still feel like there’s more diverse books to read and share with people. I especially want to read books by Middle Eastern/South Asian authors and characters. I also want to read way more Latinx and Hispanic authors and characters. I feel like both of these areas have been really neglected by me and other readers and they should also get some of the spotlight.

The final resolution (can we call these that?) is to really share more with you all. I’ve been pretty busy all this year with work and other obligations, but I want to double up my efforts with my blog and share a lot more with you all. You know where to find me on the social media universe, so I’ll be sharing on all those platforms.

Happy New Year, bookish peeps! I can definitely see 2018 as a big book year for all of us!