Well last year turned out to be a bit of a slower reading year for me. In spite of COVID time off, I was well below what I'd been averaging the last few years with numbers of books read. I thought at the beginning of COVID lockdowns that it would be perfect time to motor through a bunch of books and it would help me to reach my 50 books read goal. But nope, it had the opposite affect on me and I found myself struggling to pick up a book for the first month of lockdown. And that's okay. But weirdly, it's also the first time ever, I read a whole book in one day. So when I throw in the two books I started but Did Not Finish (DNF) I had a total of 34 books. And I accomplished some other goals such as knocking off some of the books that have been sitting around here the longest, like I'm talking years. And knocking some books off my library "for later" shelves. I completed two audio books for the first time ever thanks to COVID. I started listening to them as I clean and sanitize at the end of the work day. What I have found with audio is that I enjoy listening to non-fiction but I struggle with fiction. With fiction my mind wanders away too easily. So all in all I am good with last year.
This year, 2021, I am changing up my reading challenge a bit. Because confession time: I am a book hoarder! I cannot seem to stop myself. Just take a look at one corner of my closet. And under that basket is a file box full of books and there is also an under the bed bin full of books.
Please don't judge. I haven't necessarily bought all these books, though some I have. The dawn of the Little Library in my community has certainly added to the height of these piles. I'm notorious for taking books I no longer want to Little Libraries but in turn I also kept finding books I wanted to read so my piles never actually went down, they increased. Yikes! BookOutlet has certainly added to my addiction as their books are so super inexpensive I just can't help treating myself at times. Some of these are gifts or gift card purchases. I'm also notorious for still going to the library on top of having all these books to read. I can't help it, it's a de-stress thing for me but invariably I always find something to bring home to read. So in the end I am bringing in way more than I actually read at any one time.
So I've joined a challenge I found on a Youtube channel, Chantel at An Intentional Life. It's called the "Read Your Bookshelf Challenge". Each month there is a prompt and you pick a book that fits the prompt from your own shelves. I have decided that I am going to take on the challenge by not just finding one book within the prompt but I'm going to pull all my books that fit that particular prompt and call it my possibility pile for the month and read as many as I can from it. That way instead of being stuck with having to read a book I picked earlier but now am not feeling it, I'll have freedom to "mood read" within the challenge. Sounds fun to me. Here is Chantel's prompts for the year:
January ~ A book with a "home-ish" word in the title such as "house", "home", "room", "mirror", "kitchen", "garden" etc. Feel free to interpret this one how you like
February ~ A book with red on the cover or spine
March ~ A book recommended by a friend
April ~ A book with 5+ words in the title
May ~ A book you should have read in high school
June ~ A book with an animal on the cover
July ~ Title that starts with the 1st letter of your first name
August ~ Book in a series
September ~ A translated book
October ~ A book set in a different country than where you live
November ~ A book with a night scene on the cover
December ~ A book with a winter element on the cover
I am going to really focus on getting this embarrassing pile down. Hopefully I'll get some of these books read and out of my closet and house. I am going to try and avoid the Little Libraries for awhile to try and not bring anymore books in. And I'm going to try and not use the library for awhile which is easy at the moment because it's curbside only. Though I do have a couple of previously put on hold titles I will have to add when they come in.
I also like the idea with this challenge that it is monthly. The other challenges I've done have been kind of seasonal so I was picking books for 3 months worth of reading. But last year I found this got overwhelming and I didn't always feel like reading some of my original choices as it got towards the end of the time frame. And I ended up changing some of titles midway thru the season because other more interesting things came up or library books I'd put on hold came in. So I think this monthly time frame will give me more freedom. I also think by having a possibility pile instead of a for certain pile it will be more fun and I won't feel bad if the named titles don't get read. It's a shift in mind set for me.
So do you challenge yourself in your reading? Do you take part in formal challenges? Do you enjoy setting goals and what kind of reading goals do you set?