Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Reading Challenge

Last January, I said that I wanted to make time to do three things daily: journal, color, and read.

I did journal last year....though I had long stretches of nothing.

I did color last year...a couple of times.

I did read last year...in spurts.

I came to the conclusion that saying I'm going to do things every day is a hard goal for me to meet. Some days, Adam is traveling, I'm caught up with the house and everything in it, and I have an evening to relax and focus on things for me. But more often, I'm spending my days in an endless cycle of dishes and laundry and tidying and school prep and deadline and paperwork and chauffeuring and, and, and. AND when I finally get a minute to breathe, it's more likely that I'm going to play a mindless game on my phone or watch some mindless TV.

But I still want to do those things. So I'm adjusting my goals a little. I used January as my month to get reset, and I'm getting myself set up.

But, I've already started reading, because I already had a plan. This year, for the first time, rather than make a vague "I'd like to read everyday" goal, I decided to try something new. I decided to try the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge.

The point of this challenge is not only to read, but to expand your library. I tend to stay in my comfort zone, with favorite authors and favorite genres, because I know that nine times out of ten, I'll be happy with the choice. This challenge doesn't really allow for that. You have forty prompts that push you to select forty books that you may not have looked at twice. Some are easy to select, but some are more challenging.

When I first looked at the list, I intended to charge through it pretty easily. But I found that some selections were going to take a bit more time. I found myself googling some of the categories, hoping to see something that sparked my interest. I found myself lost in the world of Goodreads, searching "Top Books with an Animal in the Title" and "Novels set on different planets". It was fascinating, and I realized it would be much more of a challenge than I thought.

But it has a cool element to it as well. I joined a group where we share our progress and discuss what we selected from each category. I'm exploring bookstores and the library in new ways. And so far, I'm really enjoying it.

My goal is to average between 3-5 books a month. In some ways, this is far less than I usually read. When a novel hooks me, I'll stay up way past a reasonable bedtime, hoping to finish, and I can easily do a book in a couple of days. But this isn't quite the way I usually read, and I think I need to give myself something I can reach.

I'll hope to wrap up each month with a list of what I've read, and what I'm hoping to read next! And hopefully, I'll inspire some others to stretch their reading brains as well.
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