It’s 2019 folks! Time to get serious. Last year I loosely followed a reading challenge list and only got through about six books. Especially, because I started following it during the spring, instead of starting in January. This year I’m aiming to read 52 books. But, it’s my first time really going for it, so we’ll see.
Why you should try a reading challenge in 2019:
It’s a perfect way to avoid a reading slump. Every few months, I’m on the receiving end of a dreaded book slump. Either because I can’t find a book I want to read, I have too many books to read and start but never finish any, or I just have too much to do. Reading challenges keep you motivated, give you ideas for books, and force you to finish one before you move on to the next.
You find books you never otherwise would have found. One of the books on the list I’m following is “a western”. I never ever would have thought about reading a western. When I saw it on the list it reminded me that my grandpa has lately been reading what my grandma calls “cowboy stories”. So I asked him what exactly it is that he’s been reading. He told me that a friend of his has a big box of Louis L’amour books and he’s been pulling books out of that box. I looked up about L’amour and his books and decided that once I get to reading my “western” I’ll try out Treasure Mountain. I’ll let you know what I think of it once I’ve read it.
Competitions are fun especially when they involve a hobby. Why not make a competition out of it? Ask some friends to join you and see who can read the most books this year. Or who can finish a certain amount fastest.
Me, my sister, and one of my friends are doing a competition of sorts with our reading challenge. Whoever reads the most books by the end of the year, or finishes 52 first, wins. Each loser buys the winner their favorite book out of the ones they read in 2019.
Some tips for your reading challenge:
Find a reading list online. We’re following the blog Natural Beach Living’s 52 week Reading Challenge. There’s lots of good lists out there depending on the type of challenge you want and how many books you want to read. Goodreads has plenty of different reading challenges that I found interesting. I really liked the Around the Year in 52 Books list, but found it after we decided on a list. If you’re looking for a challenge with specific books, there is a Popular 2019 Reading Challenge. But, I prefer to have a list with some flexibility to it.
Know how much you can and want to read. Some people have more time and read faster than others. If you can read a book per week, great! If not you can aim for 12 or 24. Or if you feel like you can read more than 52, go for it. Kudos to you. If you like a certain book list but don’t want to read the amount on it, you can choose certain books off of the list for less or combine multiple lists to make it longer. Reading should be fun, so don’t feel pressured to comply to reading a certain number of books.
Feel free to change the list. If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain genre or book, look on a different list to swap that book out or choose a random book on your To Be Read list. You don’t even have to follow a list, you can ask friends for suggestions or just set a number of books you want to read. (I think following a list makes it funner and easier though)
How to find books:
Reading challenges are a challenge! Especially because there’s lots of different genres and books you may never would have thought or heard about. Which is fun, but also daunting. So here are some tips on where to find books.
Ask a librarian. I know that sounds cheesy but it works! Tell them what kind of book you’re looking for, the difficulty level, etc. and they’ll more than likely find you a good book. A librarian doesn’t have to be the one at the local city library. Hunt for small bookstores and ask the clerk. They often are super passionate about books and will tell you what books they love and give you suggestions.
Ask friends or family. There’s always gonna be that one person in your friend circle who loves book just as much or more than you do. Ask them for their favorite books. (You could invite them on the challenge too). Like I said with my grandpa, there’s some people that read a lot. Ask them where they get their books and how they find them. Actually, I have a lot of family and friends that love books. My aunt is a writer and she and my uncle love reading too. They’ve given me lots of great suggestions, like Book Thief and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Do some online research. I’ve typed the book type on the list directly into Google, and found results. Look on blogs, Goodreads, and library sites. Library sites often have staff picks that are interesting. After finding books, look them up on the forbidden site, Wikipedia. That’s what I normally do for more info.
So go for it! Try out a reading challenge this year!
Let me know in comments…
- What challenge or list you’re doing
- Tips you have for reading challenges or for finding books